So you’ve been laid off. The sting has finally subsided and you’re ready to begin your search for the next chapter of your life. You are feeling especially fortunate for having maintained your resume over the years and you’re ready to go. Where do you begin? If you’ve been gainfully employed for a while and haven’t actively been in the market for a job my guess is you’re not really sure where to start. You’ve landed in the right place; welcome to an explanation of the revolution of the modern job search. You’re not going to believe what you’re up for!
Back in the day (you remember, five or ten years ago) the average job search involved networking with as many people as possible to find out about job opportunities. Much time was spent visiting the websites of companies local to the area a candidate was interested in living in to find openings. Large job search engine websites were commonplace in identifying opportunities and submitting resumes. These tactics are all still important in the modern job search but they are just the beginning. Think of them as stepping stones.
The most important consideration in your current search is your competition. There are thousands of people in your same position, in your area, all looking for the same type of career you are. What sets you apart from these folks is not only your history and experience, but also how you conduct your job search. Maximize your chances of success by following these important tips.
1. Speak to as many people as possible. Contacts are vital in your hunt. Nothing says more about the character and integrity of a candidate than a reference. Talk to your neighbors, former co-workers, your friends, your grandmother, even strangers you meet in your daily outings. These people might know of opportunities or may pass your information on as they learn of opportunities in the future. Here’s where this long-standing rule takes a modern twist. Social networking online is vital. Do you have a virtual presence? Sites such as LinkedIn are important in your search. Use these sites to provide information to potential hirers and to establish an online network.
2. Do not be afraid to elicit help from a professional. Corporations will often engage third party executive recruiters to weed through candidates to find quality. The advantage of this arrangement is that the recruiter knows exactly what the hiring manager is looking for and will only present the most qualified candidates. If you make the cut you can be confident throughout your interview and let your skills and experience speak for themselves. Much of the work has been taken care of for you. If you are not selected for the position the recruiter may be able to provide feedback as to why and will keep your resume on file for future opportunities. One important thing to remember is to NEVER pay a professional to assist in placement. Reputable recruiters work for the company filling a position and not for the candidate and will be compensated appropriately.
3. Blog. Blog. Blog. Read them. Write them. Comment on them. There are hundreds of blogs out there filled with suggestions, opportunities and stories all of which will help you in your hunt. Learn from other people’s mistakes and share your own. Post your resume and read valuable information about industry practices, job search advice and even specific jobs. You will be amazed by how empowered you’ll feel by connecting with the job search community and learning ways to better market yourself. Plus opportunity may find you…many recruiters (both internal and third party) use blogs to find talent. Good luck in your search!