By Randy | January 8, 2009
According to business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of the strategic guide for increasing employability “When The Little Things Count…And They Always Count” ($13.95 paperback), you shouldn’t let a discouraging job market discourage you from searching for work.
“Clearly, times are tough,” says Pachter, “but that means job searchers need to be even more diligent. There are still jobs available and the professionals who are persistent, prepared and polished will have the advantage.”
Pachter offers 10 tips to help you land a job:
1. Approach Your Job Search As If It Was Your Job. Work every day at your search. Stay focused. Set a number of activities, contacts or connections that you make each week. It is easy to avoid looking, but if you do, you won’t find a job. If you keep looking, you will increase your chances of landing work.
2. Continue To Develop Yourself. Expand your skill set. Take a class, learn a second language, read. Volunteer in your community. Not only are you helping others, you never know who you might meet or what you may discover—maybe a whole new career passion.
3. Prepare For The Search. Have an up-to-date resume. Keep a log of what you have done, who you have met and any follow up actions you need to take. Practice interviewing with a friend and record yourself. You may be surprised by what you see. Have your interview clothes ready in case you need to meet with someone on short notice.
4. Make Sure Your Online Presence Is Professional. Some people use a blog or personal website to let prospective employers know about them. Remember that people have gotten hired or fired based upon what was in their blogs or websites. Your copy and photographs need to be appropriate. This is also true for MySpace and Facebook. And Google yourself to find out what future employers will find when they Google you.
5. Use The Old-Fashioned Approach. Yes, it’s valuable to post your resume on websites like Monster.com, use professional networking sites like LinkedIn, or to visit company websites to find job openings, but don’t forget offline methods either. I know people who still find jobs from the want ads in their local paper. Job fairs can be gold mines too. Don’t forget to tap into the career center at your alma mater–they often have great connections.
6. Think About Who You Know. Again and again, people tell me that they got their jobs from people that they know, so let people know you are looking. Build a network and look for ways to add people to it. If you aren’t already, get involved in your professional associations. It will keep you involved in your career, help you learn about job openings and allow you to meet more people for your network.
7. Explore All Options. If part-time or temporary positions are available, consider taking them. They can provide good experience and sometimes lead to full time work. Be open to a career change. If an opportunity appears in a different profession or industry, think about taking it.
8. Be Cautious With Unusual Tactics. Some people have tried walking the streets wearing sandwich boards to advertise themselves or wearing t-shirts that announce they are looking for work. These different approaches sometimes work but they can just as easily make you appear unprofessional.
9. Help Others. What goes around really comes around again, so help others. When you can, be a resource to others. If you hear of an opening that is appropriate for someone, let the person know.
10. Stay Positive. Looking for a job is a stressful experience even in the best of economic times. Take care of yourself: eat right, exercise and get adequate sleep. Don’t let negative self-talk take over. Remind yourself that you will find a job. It may take awhile in today’s economy, but it will happen.
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