For many job seekers the hunt for employment can seem tedious and frustrating. A common sentiment during the initial stages of the game is “I’ve scoured the newspapers and the job boards and sent my resume out to A LOT of companies but I’m not getting any calls! Aaaauuuugghhh!”
If this is you don’t despair, you are not alone and there are ways to better your chances. The biggest key is preparation. When you find yourself un-employed with bills looming, the natural reaction is to rush out and send a resume to anything that moves. Sometimes that works, mostly when the economy is booming, but more often than not it is just not an effective method for finding a job.
So my advice is to get your “ducks in a row” before you send out that first resume! This will take you 1 to 2 days to accomplish and I promise you the effort will pay off. While I own a few job boards and I would encourage you to use them, they are not the only tools that you should be using. Newspapers, trade publications, and social media outlets are a few other choices that you have.
The first thing that you need to do is to take stock of your skills and experience. Jot them down and then try to figure out which companies would be interested in what you can do. This is another way that jobs boards, business directories, newspapers etc. come in handy. They help you identify companies that are hiring right now but they also identify other companies in your industry that you can target as well. Many times these other companies are recruiting, just not on that particular board or newspaper. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t send them a resume or pick up the phone to make contact with them.
Now that you have the initial list of companies you need to identify the contact person. You are in luck because these days you have LinkedIn and others like Glass Door that can help you find that information. They can also provide a lot of useful information that can be used if you are called for an interview. The next step is your resume.
How is your resume? If your phone isn’t ringing this may be an indication that it needs some work. It really only has on purpose….to get the hiring manager to call you for a phone or face to face interview. If the phone isn’t ringing…..don’t just sit there and ring your hands. You HAVE TO TAKE ACTION. Jobs will not come to you! So make sure that your resume accomplishes it’s mission. If you are not sure about how to write an effective resume, I would suggest buying this course from Landon Long or hiring a professional resume writer from Monster. Yes, you may have to spend a couple of hundred bucks for a resume writer from Monster, but would you go into an interview wearing jeans with holes in the knees? In most cases that would not be a good idea. So if you are serious about finding a good job fast, invest the extra effort and spend a small amount of money to arm yourself with the proper tools to get the job done.
Once you have a killer resume you should start to see some action so you will need to get prepared for the interview. This may come initially as a phone interview and then if you get through that a face to face with the hiring manager or board. There are a million books on interview questions so pick one up for $20 and start going over them. Make your answers fit your personality so that it seems natural and conversational. Also go to You Tube and search for the term “interview questions” and you will be able to pull up about 15-20 FREE videos on how to answer the toughest interview questions. There are several questions that almost everyone asks so really practice those. Example: Tell me about yourself. Almost every interview I have been through I have been asked this one.
So to recap, build a list of potential employers, make sure your resume is an effective document, be ready for the interview. Follow these tips and you WILL get a job!