But if you haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of looking for a new job recently (or ever for you new college graduates), you may not yet be up to speed with current techniques and trends… and you will need to brush up on some job search skills!
Here are the six things every new job seeker must know in order to compete well in today’s job market…
1. Stay Positive and Motivated
This mantra is easy to say… and very difficult to carry out.
The job search process comes with rejection, or worse, indifference. It also requires you use new skills (like managing relationships and writing persuasively) which may be uncomfortable. When you go at it alone, it can get pretty discouraging and you may feel like you are the only one who’s having a hard time. Since it is your attitude that will ultimately convince a future manager to hire you, you’ll want to create a support system to help you stay positive.
2. Defend Against Looking Like Damaged Goods
Get help with your job search sooner rather than later, especially if you are not working. As crazy as it sounds, given the number of people who become unemployed due to no fault of their own, there is still a stigma associated with being unemployed.
Even if you are employed and looking, you should know that job searching has become more competitive, and you want to make sure you are using up-to-date and effective job search tactics – not the ones you used years ago. The faster you can successfully land interviews, the better.
3. Self Promotion Is an Ugly Necessity
You don’t like bragging – few people do. But, your ability to accurately and effectively promote yourself determines your success in landing a new job.
There is more competition today, and it’s up to you to convince the employer you are the most desirable candidate. This doesn’t end once you land the job, either. Managers are always being asked to do more with less, and you don’t want to be the one to get axed just because you didn’t feel like you should have to talk about your successes. A good manager should know, right? But when tough decisions need to be made, managers only know what they’ve been told. That, is up to you!
4. Don’t Get Weeded Out… Get Referred In
Applying to jobs through job boards is so alluring. You simply send your resume electronically (or fill out the online application), and you’re hired, right? Wrong. Applications flood the company’s system and recruiters quickly sift through the keyword selected candidates. Your odds of being chosen for a pre-screening phone conversation are slim.
Instead of posting and praying, turn to a friend. Ask someone inside the company to refer you, and see how your application rises to the top of the “must-call” pile.
5. Keep Your Ears, Eyes and Mind Open
You never know where your next opportunity will come from or what it will be. In fact, your next job may not look or sound like a match initially.
Learn about every opportunity you’re presented with or stumble across. Read between the lines of the job posting, if there is one. Research the company, leadership and employees, and learn all about the customers, products and services.
It sounds like a lot to do, but you never know what you’ll learn. Organizations have varying job titles, structures and cultures. It is difficult to know if you’ll be a fit unless you do the research.
6. Job Stability is Dead… Long Live Career Stability
The rug may be pulled out from under you, but if you have cutting-edge skills, a strong network and a resilient outlook, you’ll have career stability. You’ll have more than a dozen different jobs during your career, so learn how to stay up to date, keep your head out of the sand and embrace change.
Get current. Get ready to compete. And, as you jump into your new job search, let us know what works best for you!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!