Are You Doing What it Takes to Get Noticed?
Hiring methods have forever changed. In the past 10 years, the internet has revolutionized the way we look for jobs as well as the way employers go about hiring. This became even more evident to me recently when I took on a new job seeker client; she’d had zero experience in using the Internet to find work. She had been in her previous position for the last 13 years and suddenly was out of a job because the small company she worked for was going under. She didn’t have an electronic version of her resume; only a paper one. She had never used a job board or even craigslist, let alone built a LinkedIn profile. She felt like a fish out of water.
It’s an all too familiar story, really. Many casualties of this recession have been long term employees of small businesses who suddenly find themselves without a job and without a clue about how to find a new one. Does this sound like you? You might be wondering, “where do I begin?” You might also be surprised when I tell you that job boards should not be your focus. Of course, they should be included in your job search efforts but they should not be the only sites you rely upon nor should they be where you spend most of your job search efforts.
First, let me tell you about 3 things that you MUST do/have before you start your job search:
- You MUST have a resume. If you can afford to pay a professional, then I’d advise you to do so. If you cannot, then there are a plethora of available resources to help you but you have to invest the time in getting it done or you are simply extending your unemployment. Make sure you have it stored on someplace other than just on your home computer. A CD is great but you should also keep a copy in gmail, yahoo or other free email account so that you can pull it up from anywhere. You never know when you might need it!
- Get a LinkedIn profile. This is just as important as having a resume. LinkedIn is the number one “go to” site for recruiters when they are looking for potential candidates. Not to mention, it’s a great place to make connections and network with other professionals in your line of work. Building your profile should be fairly self explanatory, as LinkedIn does a great job indicating how complete your profile is and what needs a finishing touch. If you aren’t sure how one should look, search profiles of other professionals in your industry. Find one that is complete and review it carefully. There are a lot of things you can include on your LinkedIn profile now such as blogs and tweets.
- Get a Twitter profile. Stop saying, “I don’t Twitter.” Stop saying, “I don’t get Twitter.” If you want to be noticed, this is a MUST HAVE tool. If you don’t get it, then read Twitter Tips. Then go build your profile and don’t flake out. Santa is watching and so is God. They will know if you skip this step.
Now that you have a resume, a LinkedIn and a Twitter profile, you’re ready to start! Here’s what to do next:
- ENGAGE. Here is the hard part. Most are afraid to jump in and start networking but you can’t be. Start with friends and family if that helps – connect with them on these platforms and let them know that you are actively job searching. Ask for leads. Don’t be afraid to tell anyone that you are out of work – this is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. Not telling people isn’t going to help you and they will still know you are unemployed eventually.
- Get INVOLVED! LinkedIn has thousands of groups and you should be a part of them! Search the groups on LinkedIn for keywords in your industry. These groups will lead you to others in your line of work that you can network with. In addition, there are job search groups that can help with additional tips and guidance. Make sure you continue to stay involved once you start! If you want people to take you seriously, this is the key. Besides, if you aren’t involved you won’t be on top of your game. Consistently staying involved is more likely to net more leads and connections.
- Get out from behind the computer. Yes, you read that correctly. This was the advice that worked like a charm for my most recent client. Visit every temp and employment agency that you can. Don’t rule out temporary work because full time work can often be found through them. That doesn’t mean send them all your resume by email. I mean shower, get dressed like you’re going to interview, get in your car (or on the subway, bus, train, whatever!) and beat feet. People don’t generally ignore you in person like they might be tempted to do through email. Make sure you bring paper copies of your resume as well as a CD with a Word Doc version of your resume on it.
- Review these tips as often as necessary and ask yourself, “Am I doing what it takes to get noticed?”
The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Job searching is a tough task for anyone and it can wear you down. Try to follow as normal a routine as you can. Maintain your Monday through Friday schedule; get up early and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Although your job search should be a full time job, you should still be taking time off. Weekends are a great time to recharge and doing so will help you remain sharp.
Do you have additional tips to share on how to get noticed in today’s work force? Please feel free to share them with us!
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