2012 is your chance to seize the opportunities and get a job or launch the career you have always wanted. It is time to make a change. The economy is still rough, with an 8.5 unemployment rate nationwide. There are positions available, but there are also many more applicants vying for those same assignments. To land a career this year, you will need to put your best foot forward, resume in hand and win over the prospective employer with your skills and experience. With the right tools, you will find the process easier to accomplish.
Create a Job Search Strategy
As you gear up for your job search, plan a strategy. Only apply to positions you are truly qualified for; not those that you lack experience or training in. You are wasting your time (and that of the HR staff). Instead of applying to everything under the sun, apply to positions you have true skills in that are most likely to land you a position. Tailor your existing skills to fit the job requirements of the position. This means spending more time preparing a killer resume and cover letter.
At the same time, diversify your search. Employers are using job-posting boards, but many are using other tools as well. Consider local and online networking opportunities. Use social media to help you to connect to the right people. Some agencies still want you to apply in person, but far more are expecting an application through the online resume links on their website. Do not wait for the prospective employer to post a job ad, either. Apply to companies that posts positions right on their website.
Stand Out from Other Job Seekers
There are many ways to do this. For example, when you do get to an interview, avoid the standard or trained answers to questions. Answer in a way that is going to make it look like you did your homework. Be sure to research positions and the company culture before you apply. Often, you can learn a great deal by networking through sites like LinkedIn. Hiring managers may post information there that is helpful to you.
When you are searching or scrambling for a job, it is easy to see an opportunity and shoot off an email right away prior to reading it in full. You want to get in before everyone else does. However, you may be missing the real opportunities because you are not listening to what the prospective employer is looking for in this position. Communication, through words written or spoken, is critical to get right.
Take the time to set your goals, too. As you work your job search, give yourself goals along the way. Possible goals may be the number of jobs you apply to each day. You may join a professional organization, sign up with a contract-staffing agency, or even do some volunteer work to boost your resume. Ensure that you are working towards finding the ideal job for you one-step at a time. You can do this better with goals laid out in front of you.