Getting a job in today's economy is no easy challenge. You may not be able to land a job even after weeks or months of job search. This is because most of the jobseekers are using specific strategies to stay ahead in the competition. If you don’t want to be left behind in the race, you too need to have an action-plan ready with you. The more time it takes to look for a job, the more frustrated you can become. So, you need to act now!
Given below are seven key tips that you can use to boost your job search and land a job before it’s really too late.
#1. Don’t Look for a Perfect Job
If you ask career experts, they’ll tell you that there’s nothing like a perfect job. You may not always be able to get all you want from a job in a single package, particularly when the going is really tough. Therefore, the first thing that you need to keep in mind while trying to get a new job is ‘let go of perfectionism’. You’ll always have time to find better opportunities when you’ve got a job already.
#2. Gear Up Really Well
Preparation is always the key, whether it’s submitting a resume, applying for a job, attending an interview or meeting with the employer. Make sure all your gears are in good order. Spend adequate time to create an impressive resume. Do remember to tailor your cover letter to the specific requirements of the employer you want to work with.
Take a look at How To Write a Resume - Feel the Employer Pain
#3. Network Extensively (But not Blindly)
Social or professional networking can bring you amazing results. If you want to boost your chances of landing a job really quickly, you should try to connect with more and more influential people, both offline and online. Attend social and community events where you can get to know new people. Be active on popular social networking websites like Faceboo, Twitter and LinkedIn. In any case, don’t waste your time networking blinding. Always connect with those people who you think can bring you career benefits in some way or the other.
More at Top 10 Networking Books for Your Career Success
#4. Don’t Let Rejections Discourage You
Getting rejected is just a part of the game. And it’s so easy to get frustrated when you see no results from your job search. Not every employer will want to hire you. Hiring managers will offer you a job only when they are fully convinced of your potential and how you can help their company with your skills. Even if you are rejected in your first few attempts, you need to continue with your job search. If it’s really taking longer than what you expected, you need to review your strategy and modify the action plan.
#5. Focus on Getting Your Foot in the Door First
If you really want to boost your chances of getting a job, you should first try to get your foot in the door. The first break is important. Unless you get your first break in the industry, you can’t build the work experience that you’ll need to negotiate better job or career opportunities.
#6. Also Target Regional Job Websites
Don’t make potential job search mistakes like many others do. While it’s always advisable to submit your resume to the major job boards, it’s also a useful recommendation not to ignore regional job sites. Try to find jobs in your own location by visiting job sites that focus on a specific region.
Have a look at the Riley Guide
for job board directories.
#7. Don’t Ignore Temporary Jobs
Getting a temporary job is always better than sitting unemployed. Since these are really lean times, you shouldn’t completely ignore temporary jobs. Many companies hire candidates for temporarily. If it’s one with a potential employer, you should grab it quickly. Who knows when this temporary job can turn into a full-time job position. Just give your 100 percent to whatever job you take up and try to showcase your most essential and unique skills.
Finally, ensure you're not making any mistakes by reading the Top 5 Job Search Blunders
James Tomerson writes regularly on career, education and latest job trends. To read more from him, you can visit Jobdiagnosis.com, which also offers jobseekers a free career aptitude test
to choose a career which is in tune with their career, aptitude and skills.
Image credit CEBImagery
LinkedIn is a game changer for job seekers as well. It can put the power back into the hands of candidates and out of the hands of recruitment consultants. There are plenty of ways you can be proactive, rather than reactive in your job search. Here are my 20 top LinkedIn job hunting tips, in no particular order.
. There is no point being half-hearted. This point is my big bandwagon point for Australian professionals and job seekers.
Connect with people. Look up people from your past and find out where they work now. Use the connect email to invite people for coffee and find out what they are up to. Show some interest in them, and what you are looking for, job wise, will inevitably come up.
about a job, based on the thoroughness of a question he answered.
Find a role model networker who is working in your desired area. Look to see which groups they belong to and join those.
Start a group around your area of interest and expertise. Invite people who can add value to join. Welcome them to the group and ask them a question directly. You can build up your knowledge of their organisation, any problems they may be facing, and approach them with a solution in mind (you).
Look to see who has viewed your profile, and add them to your network. If they are recruiters, see if they have jobs coming up in your area. As a carrot to see you, mention that you may have useful contacts for them.
Look to see where people with your background are working and what their responsibilities are. That way if you want to approach a company directly about jobs, you are making an informed and targeted approach.
Invite people out for coffee to find out what they do. This is a good tactic if you want to change careers. You can find out the good, bad and ugly about their jobs, and whether that might be an area of interest for you.
Add value to your network. Be known as someone helpful. You often have to build trust with people before you can ask them for favours. If you see someone asking a question, then answer it. Be proactive and send them an email with a link.
Update your status with recent information of use to your network. You’ll give people a reason to contact you if you do that.
Link your LinkedIn profile to your personal emails.
on how to make it easy for people to connect with you.
Put your LinkedIn link to your Facebook profile. I have seen jobs come through friends, and Facebook is one place people tell their friends if they’re looking for staff. You want to make it easy for people to check you out.
. I have over 8000 first degree connections.
Go along to social events that are organized via LinkedIn. There is only so much you can achieve online. Trust is better built face to face.
Ask a connection for an introduction. That’s kind of one of the big points of LinkedIn.
from a former manager carries a lot of weight. This is one big area recruiters and employers focus on when they look at your profile.
Find out what a job really requires. Job advertisements often have a lot of woolly wording. If you can, find a company insider to give you the insight into what the company is about, or even what the job requires. They may even pass on your resume, and save the company a recruitment fee.
You can ask me a question there and I’ll answer it.
to hit the top page of your profession when headhunters search. I can give you tailored training to network effectively and mazimize your chances of being found by employers and headhunters.
How important is Twitter to you? Chances are you have more followers on Twitter than any other social media network, mainly because it’s less personal and acceptable to follow complete strangers. I would venture to say Twitter is as important to you as your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Some tech recruiters even say they won't deal with candidates with little or no Twitter presence.
Yet for some reason we tend to neglect what our profile looks like, perhaps because we think nobody really cares or don’ t have the time. I believe that’s a mistake for a number of reasons.
Why you need to do it
First off, if you are tweeting in your own name, your Twitter will come up very high in your Google
results. Anyone (that’s including employers, recruiters and headhunters) will be able to find your Twitter profile and it should be consistent with your personal brand across other platforms. Second, some tweeters are really particular about who they follow back. Unless you have a credible profile, they might take you for a spammer and you stand to lose followers.
Third, you will want to be searchable for what you do and how you can help others. Imagine a customer searching the net for your type of services, your Twitter account is one channel that you must make the most of.
Here are five simple steps to boost your Twitter profile today:
1. Add a decent photo
The obvious one! Either dig out a nice nice mugshot or see a headshot photographer that can take a few snaps for you. As the photo space is tiny, you will want to get as much of your face in there as possible, the closer up you are the more trustworthy you will come across. Whatever picture you upload, try to keep it the same on your other social media profiles, website and or blog – personal branding
is all about consistency. Not having a photo will definitely deter any potential followers, as will your favorite cartoon character.
2. An informative bio please
Right, you only have 160 characters so let’s keep it short and to the point. I would list the main value I am able to add to people starting with the highest value activity. So put your job title, what services you provide and try to inject a little bit of personality at the end. Or if you have it, put your personal brand statement
3. Fill in the location field
This field is becoming increasingly important with local Twitter directories such as Twellow
listing fellow tweeters in your area. If you are an offline networker, you need to put your correct location on your profile so that you attract the right followers. A final note on location; think what anyone searching for you would enter. If you live in Hoboken, you might want to put Greater New York City – Twitter is a global tool that used correctly will connect you to people from around the globe.
4. Link to your site or blog
This is your free backlink from the good folks at Twitter Inc, don’t waste it by leaving it blank or entering your LinkedIn
addresses. Always use your own real estate in this field as you will be able to track how many clicks you get from your Twitter profile with the help of analytics software.
4. Set up some lists
By starting to categorize the people you follow in list, you will look like a serious Tweeter. You can have lists broken down to geography, interests, friends or whatever you choose. You will also find that people love getting on to these lists as it adds to their Twitter credibility.
There you have it, five simple steps to pimp your Twitter profile today. Twitter doesn’t give you much space to play with so you have to get it right. Tinker a bit and see what others think of your changes. If you don’t like it, change again. I know from personal experience that whenever I feel like changing my bio
I will test it on Twitter first as it’s fast and the updates aren’t sent to any of my friends’ feeds like on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Tell me what you think, would your Twitter profile impress an employer?
Furhter reading at Top 7 Ways to Kick Off Your Twitter Job Search
What is a behavioral interview? Behavioral interview questions often start with: “tell me about a time,” “describe a time” or “provide me with an example.” The idea behind behavioral interviews is well founded research that past behavior is a reliable predictor of future behavior, that is what you’ve done in the past, will predict what you do in the future.
If the behavioral interview is well constructed, the questions you are asked will come from some solid on the job research. A recruiter “benchmarks” top performers in a role, isolates in detail the competencies required to perform that role, then writes questions to allow the interviewee to demonstrate those competencies.
How are you assessed in a behavioral interview?
You are judged on the “quality” of the example you provide. In general under each competency is a a set of behaviors that the recruiter will physically or mentally tick off as you answer each question. You may be asked the same question in different ways to check that your skills are well developed and that you’ve used them consistently. You’ll be assessed highly if you demonstrate all the behaviors required in each competency. Recruiters like this method of assessing people because it’s structured and clear and a good answer is obvious to all.
The challenge for interviewers in this scenario is for them to elicit the best answer out of you to enable you to demonstrate your skills. Your challenge is to understand and clarify the intent of the question properly.
STAR interviewing technique
So how do you answer STAR questions: “tell me about a time” or “describe a time” in a behavioral interview?
Describe the situation you faced or the task ahead. Describe how you handled that situation and describe how it turned out. Think of it like a story. At the very least, the interviewer wants you to give an introduction, describe what you did and what happened in the end.
You need to be specific in answering these questions. Not what you would do. Not what you usually do. Not what you do every day. But something you have actually done, and preferably an example from your work environment.
Why such specifics? If you can provide recent examples that you can easily recall, you are actually demonstrating, rather than just claiming, you have the skills the interviewer is looking for. The more easily you recall these examples the more convincing you’ll be.
How much detail should you give?
As you tell the story you need to provide detail about how you achieved something, but don’t provide so much detail that you lose track of what you are talking about. Give enough to be credible which will reassure the interviewer you have the skills they are looking for. If you are confused, remember interviewing does not need to be a one way interaction. You can always ask the interviewer if they need more detail or how much detail they need.
If you think you are providing too much detail, check with the interviewer. Or use your cue from the body language of the interviewer. If they stop writing, then it’s a good idea for you to stop talking, and check back in.
What if you can’t think of an example?
It’s not a great idea to pass on too many questions. However it is easy to freeze up under the stare of an interviewer. Don’t put pressure on yourself by trying to think of your best scenario. If you can’t think of your best example, then think of your most recent. Many people take for granted the skills they use every day, yet if you are doing these things every day, you may under rate your competency.
Can you use a general example instead?
For a behavioral interview the short answer is no. Try not to. It’s too text book, and just not convincing. You could have made it all up and you will sound just like the next person in line.
What if you can’t provide relevant examples at all?
One of the beautiful things about behavioral interviews is that they allow you to showcase competencies. You may have developed these skills in a role unrelated to the position for which you are applying. So listen carefully to the question and provide an example that answers that question, regardless of where you have gained that experience. Again if you are not sure whether you can present an answer from another context, ask the interviewer.
Further reading at 10 Killer Interview Tactics You Ought To Know
Karalyn Brown is a resume, interview and job search consultant based in Australia. She’s also an online careers agony aunty, writes frequently on career issues for a major Australian newspaper and talks job search tactics on the national broadcaster. She gets a real buzz out of helping people find jobs. You can visit her blog @InterviewIQ