21 Tips to Speed Up Your Job Search Even In a Recession
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you worried about the economy? Concerned about rising unemployment
In recent months, the job market has become increasingly competitive,
and yes, all the indicators are that it will become even more
so. But even as the economy slows, there are many who are
incredibly successful in conducting fast, effective job searches.
Even in a recession - even in the midst of rising unemployment - you
CAN build your career and secure a job that is personally,
professionally, and financially rewarding. Here are 21 tips
that you can put into action today to speed your own job search
and drive it to a fast, successful conclusion.
1. Set weekly goals for your job search -
To keep your job search moving forward I recommend you set
manageable and motivating weekly goals. Your goals should
be: Attainable while providing a challenge; Written; Specific;
Stated in a positive way; Manageable; Measurable and trackable;
Timed with a deadline
2. Be clear about your focus - Knowing what
YOU want, what YOU are passionate about, and what YOU bring
to the table will provide you with a confidence that simply
can't and won't be matched by many of your competitors in
the job market.
3. Create and follow a multi-pronged job search plan
- An effective job search campaign is one that includes the
strategic, planned, methodical use of a variety of job search
4. Approach your job search as if it were a job itself
- Get organized and create a system for managing
your job search. At the very least, you need a calendaring
system, a system of logging inter-related and follow-up activities,
a contact management system, and a filing system.
5. Assemble a support team - You should build
a support team around you of people who can help you stay
motivated and on track while giving you honest feedback and
helping you stay accountable to your goals.
6. Develop and promote your personal brand
- Personal branding differentiates you from your peers and
helps to position you as a leader in your field. By knowing
and promoting your brand, you achieve instant, precision-like
focus that positions you as the ideal candidate for the specific
type of opportunity that interests you.
7. Prepare your CAR success stories - Take
the time to think about and document CAR Success Stories (Challenge-Action-Result
Success Stories). What are some of your greatest accomplishments
that illustrate the strengths you want to highlight in your
interview? What were the challenges you faced related to these
accomplishments? What actions did you take to meet the challenge?
What were the results—quantified results when possible—of
the actions that you took? You will use these in your resume,
during networking meetings, and in interviews.
8. Perfect your resume - Your resume is your
first introduction to most employers, and your only chance
to make a good first impression. Keep your resume up-to-date
at all times. Rewrite your resume to convey and illustrate
your unique value proposition complete with accomplishments
and "CAR success stories" that differentiate you from your
competitors in the job market.
9. Cultivate your network - There is no more
effective job search technique than networking. Make networking
a part of your daily routine and plan to spend the majority
of your job search time on networking activities.
10. Create and practice your elevator pitch
- You will hear the "what do you do?" or "tell me about yourself?"
questions over and over. Preparation is the key to confidence
and the key to making a lasting, positive, and memorable first
impression. Be ready with a 30-60 second pitch that confidently
conveys to the listener who you are as a professional and
what your value proposition is.
11. Do your research - Take the initiative
and identify the companies that you really want to work for.
Determine where you would fit in their structure and what
you have to offer them. Develop a proposal that clearly illustrates
how you would deliver a return on their investment in hiring
you. Now leverage your network to set up meetings with the
hiring decision-maker at the companies.
12. Strengthen your industry contacts and knowledge
- Informational interviewing is a great technique for almost
everyone. Contact people who can tell you what is going on
in the field, help you better understand the competitive landscape,
describe for you what it is like to work in the field, and
ideally point you in the right direction for the next person
you may want to speak with.
13. Build your online presence - Creating
and maintaining a blog on your area of career expertise is
an extraordinary way to build your credibility and visibility.
Business networking sites like LinkedIn and FaceBook are increasingly
popular ways to expand your network. Consider writing articles
on industry and profession-related topics. You can also participate
in online discussions on topics related to your career focus.
14. Introduce yourself to headhunters - There
are presently well over 15,000 recruiting offices in just
the United States alone. Do a little research and determine
which firms specialize in your industry of choice or positions
like you are seeking. This small, segmented list is the one
you should focus your time and attention on.
15. Be prepared for salary negotiations -
Know your value and be able to clearly articulate the returns
that an employer can expect from hiring you. Never forget
that as an employee you are investment. It is up to you to
know what your worth is, to make sure the potential employer
is clear on what that is, and to make sure that they pay you
the best possible price for your contributions.
16. Put together a strong list of references - Contact
each person that you intend to list and ask for their permission.
Never provide someone as a reference unless you have discussed
it with them first and briefed them on your current job search.
Verify the contact information for each reference and ask
for permission to list a telephone number and email address.
17. Get out and meet people - Join and then
take part in events held by professional associations and
other groups. Attend workshops and trainings in your field
or industry. Attend job fairs to meet directly with hiring
decision-makers. Volunteer your career-related skills in your
community. If you are an expert at something, offer to speak
on the topic to various groups.
18. Always follow up - A hand-written thank
you note or a more formal, typed thank you letter can make
a lasting positive impression that gives you a distinct competitive
advantage. A follow-up phone call on every resume you send,
whether it is a resume sent cold, in response to an ad, or
based on a referral from one of your networking contacts can
make all the difference in whether your resume is actually
read and considered or not.
19. Adopt a "failure is not an option" attitude
- Celebrate your accomplishments daily and weekly, but recognize
that a successful job search requires persistence and consistent
effort. It can be difficult to remain motivated when you don't
immediately see results but remind yourself that job searching
is a process and that it takes time. Reward yourself not just
for the results, but for the effort.
20. Consider an "outside the box" solution to employment
- If you are having trouble finding that one, perfect
full-time position, consider a "portfolio" career that is
built around a variety of part-time jobs, which may include
some combination of employment, self-employment, freelancing,
consulting, and temporary jobs. While many of us have been
raised to believe that a full-time job is really the only
secure work arrangement, a portfolio career may actually be
more secure because it involves multiple streams of income.
21. Adjust your attitude - An enthusiastic,
"can-do" attitude that exudes self-confidence and a clear
understanding of the value you offer in the workplace will
make all the difference. Always put a smile on your face when
you talk on the phone; it will shine through in your voice.
Make eye contact and watch your body signals and posture when
you meet with contacts in person. Your positive, confident
attitude is one that people will like to be around and will
make it more likely that you will be hired.
When you turn on the news and all you see is bad news about
the economy and the job market, it is easy to become so anxious
that you actually scare yourself into inaction. Don't let
that happen to you! There are great jobs out there to be had.
Stay competitive, remain in action and working toward your
goals each day, and one of those jobs WILL be your new job.
Job searching does take time, even at the best of times, but
by leveraging these 21 tips you will find yourself back to
work faster than you thought possible.
Nationally certified resume
writer and career marketing expert, Michelle Dumas
is the director of Distinctive Career Services LLC. Through
Distinctive Documents http://www.distinctiveweb.com Michelle
has empowered thousands of professionals all across the U.S.
and worldwide. Michelle is also the author of Secrets
of a Successful Job Search http://www.job-search-secrets.com
Published - April 2009
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