So, you've been job-hunting for a while, and you've hit a dry spell. Your interview suit is gathering dust, your diet consists mainly of Froot Loops, and you're way too invested in daytime television. Your search needs to see some action, and soon. Here are a few tips to give it the boost it needs.
Rethink your cover letter.
Be honest. Are you sending the same cover letter to every company? We know, it's much easier to copy and paste, but if you bait your hook well, you might get more bites. For every job you apply for—or at least the ones you really want—write an individualized cover letter telling them why you're the perfect candidate for their business. People know a form letter when they see one, so give them a personalized letter that stands out.
Use your network.
If you've just been trawling online job postings, you aren't taking full advantage of what's really out there. Most people get jobs through people they know. So go through your Facebook profile, flip through your church directory, ask your friends. Don't feel badly about requesting help from people you're only slightly acquainted with, either. The worst they can do is say no. Also, get yourself to as many networking events as you can. You never know who you might meet.
Ask for an informational interview.
Just because a company isn't ready to hire now doesn't mean they won't be ready to hire in the future. Ask for an informational interview to introduce yourself and learn more about the field you're interested in. Even if it doesn't result in a job, you'll get valuable interviewing practice and potentially make connections that could get you hired in the future.
Build your skillset.
Are you seeing skills that you don't have requested in job listings? While you're looking, take the opportunity to build those up. If the jobs you want request social media expertise, for instance, get a Twitter and a LinkedIn profile and read up on innovative ways to use them. If employers want someone with event planning experience, volunteer with an organization that will help you bulk up your resume. Read. Research. Give yourself the knowledge to shine more with every interview.
Broaden your search.
We're not in the business of crushing dreams here, but setting your job search parameters too narrowly can hold you back. If you refuse to consider any opportunity that isn't a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan, for instance, it goes without saying that you're limiting your options. We're not suggesting you lower your standards, but it can't hurt to expand your idea of what kind of offer you'd be willing to take, whether that means a lower salary, a smaller city, a less well-known company or a different position.
Don't give up.
It's tough out there. On average, it takes seven months or more to find a job in today's economy. Ugh. It's easy to start to feel hopeless, but chin up. The right job will come along, especially if you take the right steps to find it.
- Author Emory Cash
- Category Career AdviceCover LettersJob LeadsSocial Media
- Comments 0
Chances are, you already have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. But if not, you’re missing some of the most powerful weapons in your job-hunting arsenal. According to a recent survey from Jobvite, one in every six American workers has used social media platforms to find work.
The most powerful platform for actually finding a job was Facebook, with more than 18 million users finding work there. LinkedIn was credited for 10 million new hires, and Twitter led to 8 million jobs.
Those are some impressive stats—so if you’re using social media but not finding work there, what can you do to increase your odds?
· Add more connections. Most of the survey respondents who got their jobs through social media are considered “Super Social,” with 150 connections or more on each network. Often, even people you don’t know well can alert you to great opportunities, so don’t be shy about sending out connection requests to people you’ve met—you never know when someone might post a status update to say that her firm is looking to hire a new marketing manager or graphic designer.
· Update your profiles with current professional information. Though LinkedIn is a professional network by nature, Facebook is often seen simply as a social network, and many users don’t bother to share details of their recent work accomplishments there. Be sure to spotlight your work skills and post details about recent projects across all platforms—your updates might catch the eye of someone in a position to hire you.
· Pay attention to your privacy settings. While social media can be a great tool in helping you get a job, your profiles can also turn off potential employers if they come across photos or language that doesn’t fit their values. Make sure that personal photos and private jokes are only accessible to your “real-life” friends, so they won’t create a negative impact for potential employers or recruiters.
· Ask for referrals. When you’re looking for a job, it helps to be as proactive as possible. That may mean looking through your friends’ connections on Facebook and LinkedIn to find people who might be in a position to hire you, and then asking for an introduction. Don’t ask any particular individual for help too often, but if you send a polite letter explaining why you want the introduction, your friends (online-only or not) will likely be happy to oblige.
- Author Emory Cash
- Category Career AdviceJob LeadsSocial Media
- Comments 0