Marketing Yourself - Job Search Techniques

23 Oct 2017 22:04
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High unemployment rates force job seekers to be creative in their job search efforts. Here is some advice on traditional and non-traditional methods.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are presently 13.9 million unemployed Americans, bringing the current unemployment rate to a discouraging 9.1%. Many Americans are either out of work or underpaid. The need to find gainful employment because it is vital for families as well as our declining economy. For every job opening, there are hundreds of qualified candidates, making it necessary for applicants to find ways to attract the attention of employers. While a resume is often thought of as the primary, if not only, job search tool, it is no longer the stand-alone means to an end.

The resume

Getting creative and being unique in a crowd of 13.9 million is essential to finding a job. As mentioned above, the resume is your first employment seeking tool and should reflect who you are, where you’ve been and where you see yourself in the future. There are several types of resume formats, the two most popular formats being chronological and functional.

Chronologically formatted resumes are good for job seekers with a fair amount of work experience, as it lists employers in sequential order. A candidate just entering the job market or someone desiring to change careers would have a very short chronological resume because they would have little or no relevant work experience to list.

Functional resumes are better suited for these candidates because this format focuses on abilities, skills, and strengths. Work experience is less prominently listed at the end of the resume.

Not the time for modesty

Once you decide which format is best for you, it’s time to construct a highly polished, professional resume. Many people have trouble tooting their own horn and a resume is no place to be modest. Remember that you’re selling yourself to prospective employers and you want them to know what a great asset you’d be to their company.

If writing isn’t your strong suit then, by all means, hire a professional resume writer to write your resume for you. Cost varies but it can mean the difference between mediocre results and a well-written, attention-getting resume. There are also many resume writing software programs available online through software companies. These programs usually include writing assistance with the essential cover letter, a carefully tailored introduction to your resume. Many resume software programs enable you to easily upload your resume to job search sites with just one click.

Uploading your resume online

The best resume in the world is ineffective if it sits on your desk and is only mailed in response to newspaper ads. Hitting the pavement with your resume in hand, making cold calls to local companies and emailing your resume to prospective employers is critical. As mentioned above, uploading your resume to Internet sites is easy. It’s also a necessary step to take in your quest for employment. You should upload your resume to Monster, CareerBuilder, and any other online job search site. In an effort to avoid having to wade through hundreds of resumes submitted by unqualified candidates, many companies frequently peruse these sites in search of employees in favor of posting openings in traditional classified ads. You could very well find a job through an online site with a company you might not have considered or even knew existed.

Advertising your resume

Once your resume is uploaded to an online site you can easily include a link to it in several places. Add a custom email signature with a link to your resume. Every time you send an email, the receiver has the ability to easily click on and view your uploaded resume. When you email potential employers they can instantly look your resume over and consider you for an interview.

Social media networks shouldn’t be ignored either. Mention your job search on your Facebook wall via updates and comments. Creating a Facebook fan page also gives you the opportunity to advertise yourself and let people know you’re looking for a job. Tweet about your job search on Twitter. Register for a LinkedIn account and create a profile complete with an uploaded resume. All of these are excellent networking techniques that let friends, family and acquaintances know you’re in the job market.

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Consider creating a personal website

One often overlooked but a very effective outlet for job seekers is a website. A personal website is an excellent self-marketing tool and can be an invaluable way to showcase you, your talents, skills, experience, etc. You have the option of using a free blog-style website on sites like Wordpress.com or Blogger.com and this is a perfectly acceptable choice. Or you can choose to purchase your own domain name, find a hosting company and create a custom website. If you’re not adept at creating your own website there are some excellent website building software programs available online. A good website builder can have your site up and run in no time. Your website should include a resume page or a link to it, relevant accomplishments, a current photo, a personal statement or bio and some work samples if available. Again, as with your resume, include links to your personal website via Facebook, Twitter, email messages and online job applications.

Treat your job search as you would a job

There's no denying the job market is highly competitive. Whether you’re a recent college graduate, a displaced homemaker, a laid-off worker or are considering a career change the need to grab the attention of companies hiring new employees is crucial to your success. Treating your job search like an actual job is important to achieving your career goals. Scheduling your time wisely will keep you on track. Devoting time to reworking your resume, making calls, emailing potential employers, perusing job search sites, posting updates to your website and social networking sites and researching prospective companies are tasks that should be accomplished every day.

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