Archive for the ‘marketing yourself’ Category
Embarking on a job search is a necessity of life but it can seem like a daunting task. If you take the time to do some prep work before you start your job search, you will be prepared to apply for any job position that arises.
1. Define Your Job Objective
Your first step towards a successful job search is to clearly define what kind of job you are seeking. Are you looking for a new position within the same industry or transitioning from one job sector to another? Are you looking to move to a higher level or transition laterally to another department, or company?
2. Revamp Your Resume
Regardless if you are actively job hunting or passively monitoring the job boards to see if anything piques your interest, your resume should be updated and ready to send just in case a suitable position arises. Be sure that your resume includes information on your most recent position and accurate contact information. You might also want to create a cover letter template that you can send along with your resume so that you don’t have to stress over it.
3. Research Your Industry
If you are looking to change jobs and employers, keep abreast of emerging trends and technology within your industry in which industry competitors may be utilizing but your current employer is not. If you are hoping to move around within your current employer, keeping on top of industry trends and technology and introducing them to the appropriate person may benefit your cause.
4. Update Your Training
If your present employer is lagging behind in the latest trends and technology, or you want to stay one step ahead of your competition, consider upgrading your skills and training through the industry governing association or your local college if they offer the necessary courses. The additional training will benefit you for years to come and keep you in demand.
5. Join Your Industry Related Organization
Become a member of any associations or organizations that pertain to your current job sector or the one in which you are transitioning to. Be an active participant in industry events and dialogue and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic ‘player’. The goal is to stay informed and be recognized as an industry professional.
6. Maintain an Industry Contact List
It is very important to maintain an industry contact list and keep in touch regularly through industry events, online industry forums, and networking. Remember that co-worker that you shared an office with 10 years ago; they may be in a position to offer you a new position within their organization. Never underestimate your efforts to stay connected with industry workers and leaders.
7. Protect Your Reputation
If you are active in various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, ensure that your profile does not contain any discriminating information and/or photos that will tarnish your reputation. Many prospective employers are searching social media sites for any information that they can find regarding prospective employers. If you don’t want the world to see it or read it, don’t post it online. If you have not done so already, create a profile on LinkedIn which is geared to the business world and enables individuals from varying backgrounds and industries to connect.
If you follow these seven steps before embarking on a job search, you will be ready when a new job opportunity comes your way.
When writing a cover letter, the ultimate goal is to grab the attention of your prospective employer and make you stand out over the other candidates. To do this you will need to use an arsenal of techniques designed to market yourself to employers. It can be easy to dismiss some of these techniques to save time, but doing so could hurt your chances of landing an interview.
Employers go through hundreds of resumes and cover letters while hiring. If they receive a cover letter with little or no white space, their eyes will glaze over and your name will not catch their attention. Nothing is more boring or dry than staring at a huge chunk of text. White space is a marketing tactic. It makes the body of writing easier to read. You should utilize this marketing tactic when promoting yourself. With the right amount of white space, your cover letter will look professionally crafted.
The use of bullet points goes along with white space. They make your cover letter easier to read. Your job is to make your employer’s job as easy as possible. You should use your bullet points to highlight your skills that specifically relate to the position you are applying for. Most people’s eyes are naturally drawn to the bullet points. If your bullet points basically sum up the employer’s job description, it will go a long way to landing you an interview. On the other hand, if your bullet points are unrelated to the position, you will not be considered for your job. Make sure to take your time when writing your bullet points to ensure you obtain the maximum effect.
It is important to research the company before you write your cover letter. Doing so will allow you to pick up on company terms and technologies, which you can then incorporate into the body of your cover letter. Nothing is more powerful than portraying yourself as someone who already invested in the company.
Using a standard professional format on your cover letter is necessary to present yourself as a professional. If you stray from the format, you cover letter will stand out, but not in a good way. It will be perceived that you don’t know what you are doing or cannot follow instructions. Even the most qualified people can be passed over due to a poor format.
If you can find the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter, be sure to include it. A simple “To Whom It May Concern” can work, but your letter will be much more powerful if you are able to find out the hiring manager’s name. It will show that you did your research before submitting your cover letter.
Spelling and Grammar
The biggest mistake you can make when submitting a cover letter to a company is neglecting to proofread it. One spelling mistake or grammar error will turn your cover letter that pops into a cover letter that flops. Even if you think your grammar is perfect, double check a couple times before you submit it.
You will need to show that you are excited about this job opportunity, even if you are not. Enthusiasm can be hard to convey in writing, so you will need to include little tidbits at the end like “I am looking forward to speaking with you” or “you can reach me at”. Even though these statements might seem pushy, they let everyone know what your intentions are.
Writing a really good cover letter can be time consuming, but it can also be a doorway into a new career. By crafting a well writing cover letter that pops, potential employers will be more likely to want to sit down and talk with you. After that happens, it’s time to brush up on those interview skills.
Social networking has become an effective way to get attention and job leads but few people use social networking to get a job. So stand out from the crowd and expand your online social network. Get on Facebook and Linked In and friend everyone you know or have ever met. Send personalized notes to all your networked friends mentioning you are looking for any kind of work in whatever fields you have experience in. Don’t ever ask directly for a job on your social network because that puts people on the spot; instead ask for referrals and job leads. Most people want to help people they know who ask nicely so you should be pleasantly surprised at the responses.
Volunteering is another effective way to get serious positive attention in a job search. To volunteer and get results, first make a list of the top five businesses you really want to work at. Next walk into each of these businesses and offer to work for free for a week or two. Make it clear that the company has no obligation to hire you. The only commitment you are asking for is an honest recommendation letter at the end. If you prove yourself on the job, most companies will go to great lengths to hire you permanently since you showed such initiative. You are unlikely to make it through the list of five businesses before getting a job with this plan.
Or consider following the lead of Robert Dubois. A fifty-something website and graphic designer living in the small lakeside town of Penticton, British Columbia, Robert spent four months sending out resumes with out getting a single interview. Believing that if you do the same things over and over you get the same results, Robert decided to try a new tactic.
Robert set up a booth in the local shopping mall with big signs promoting his experience and skills. One sign stated he is the “best employee in Penticton”. When the TV crew showed up to interview him for the evening news they found Robert spending his day talking to passersby about his job quest and making new friends. Between the mini-resumes Robert was handing out and the region wide TV exposure it seems quite unlikely that Dubois will be jobless much longer.
So get out and do something really innovative in your job search. Maybe your competition sitting at home will get to see you on TV getting the job you really want.