Job hunting is serious business for people of all ages. Whether looking for your first entry into the HTM field or just looking to see what other opportunities exist, here are some tips and advice on how to find and land the perfect job.
Remain Active in the Industry
If laid off due to a downsizing or restructure, don’t look at this time as a way to kick back or take a break. Employers look for motivated self-starters so remain active by doing consulting, writing articles or blogging about your field.
Update Email and Social Network Profiles
Don’t use the same email address and profiles just because you’ve had them for years! AOL and Yahoo email addresses mark you as outdated so consider using Google or Outlook. Create a professional email address where you could even add something that identifies your profession. For your social network profiles (especially on LinkedIn which is highly used in our industry) make sure your profile lists your current or most recent position, your current location and contact information. Also, a photo is a must with a professional business headshot being best. Employers and recruiters like to be able to connect a face to the name and profile.
Power of Networking
What’s the most important tool of job-hunting, especially in times of uncertainty? Networking. It is the most effective tool because if you use your network properly, you will hear of multiple job opportunities, often before they are even listed. Some job seekers shy away from networking because they equate networking with taking advantage of people or bothering them. But, if done correctly, networking can be a rewarding experience for all parties involved. Networking is not asking everyone you know for a job. Networking means developing a broad list of contacts – family, friends and people you’ve met through various social and business functions – and using them to your advantage when you look for a job. People in your network may be able to give you job leads, offer advice and information about a particular company or organization, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network.
The Focus of Your Résumé
Many job seekers think that the longer their résumé is, the more impressed an employer will be. Limit your résumé to two pages using direct action verb bullet points instead of paragraphs. Your résumé should document your skills and accomplishments, not just your duties and responsibilities. List two or three accomplishments from each of your recent jobs on your résumé. Try to quantify accomplishments as much as possible. Consider developing a “qualifications summary” or “key accomplishments” section. Think of this section as the executive summary of your résumé. If the employer reads only this one part of your résumé, will it be enough to entice the employer to read the rest of your résumé? Finally, remember that a résumé is a living document. You are never “done” with your résumé. You should update and edit your résumé regularly, adding new accomplishments and skills and removing outdated material.
Job Search Follow-Up
Job seekers must follow-up on every job lead, every job application and every job interview. Some may see the follow up as being very aggressive. However, as long as you don’t contact the employer too often, following up with emails or phone calls is a way to stay at the forefront with employers as well as know the status of the search. Each time you follow-up, your strategy should be to reinforce the perception that you are the ideal candidate for the job with the skills and experiences required for the job. Follow up each résumé you send with a phone call or email requesting an interview. Follow up each interview you have with a thank you note to each person who interviewed you. And follow up your thank you note with a phone call or email to express your interest and fit for the job as well as to check on the status.
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