Tips For Job Hunting
- Know what your skills are and how to communicate them. You must be able to tell prospective employers and others you meet what you can do and do well. Don't assume that a great resume provides all the necessary information. You should be able to discuss how your skills related to the fields that are of interest to you.
- If you're anxious about interviewing, practice! Friends, counselors, and/or relatives can help you formulate strong answers to questions you might not anticipate. Preparation is key to interviewing well. By the way, sometimes "bad" interviews can tell you a lot about your fit for a particular position. If you've had several first interviews and no follow-ups, it may not be that you're a bad interviewee, but rather that you're looking for a position which is not a good fit for you.
- Know which skills you'd like to develop. Everyone in today's workforce should develop a portfolio of skills. Employers are interested in candidates who want to grow and develop professionally. The more versatile you are, the more employable you become.
- Make sure your resume is targeted to the employers who will be receiving it. Employers may only glance quickly at your resume; make sure it is easy to read and that the most salient details stand out. Make more than one resume if you are applying for more than one type of job.
- Learn how to talk with people about yourself and about themselves. To job hunt effectively you must be comfortable in conversation with others. You never know who may be able to assist you in your job hunt. The person next to you on the train, or in line at the movies may have information or contacts that will play a role in your finding a new position. Become adept at letting a casual conversation develop into a worthwhile discussion.
- Network, network, network. Each of us has many, many contacts. Think of the people you know, from school, from your summer jobs, from home, from organizations with which you are associated, through your family, etc. But don't limit yourself to these contacts. Literally everyone you know is a source of job leads. Start meeting with people, and use these conversations to learn more about their field or firm, to ask their advice, to make them aware of your job search and your employment goals, and finally, to get the names of others who might be useful to you in your search. Enjoy these conversations and learn from them. Stay in touch with those individuals who seem most willing to assist you. Don't forget: networking is the single most important activity to engage in when you are job hunting.
- Try the buddy system. Link up with a friend who is also job hunting. Arrange to speak weekly with him or her, to report on what you've accomplished in the previous week, and to discuss what you plan to do in the week ahead. Having a job-hunting buddy will keep you honest, and can help keep you going. (Do not choose your significant other to be your buddy. That person is too personally involved in your search to be truly objective).
- To job hunt is to ride an emotional roller coaster. Remain confident, but be prepared for disappointments. The best time to develop new leads and schedule more appointments is after a positive interview. Always have things in the pipeline, so that when bad news comes, you won't waste much time in the doldrums. Keep up your momentum until you actually have an offer in hand.