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Jump-Start Your Jobsearch

Monday, November 23, 2009

By Brad Karsh, President, JobBound

To ensure you land that dream job, it’s time to jumpstart your job search now!

1.    Network, network, network. Eighty percent of jobs aren't posted.  Sixty-six percent of candidates get a job through networking.  The single best way to get a job is to know somebody. Yes, it should be based on merit alone, but unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. Tap into as many connections as you can. School alums are a great one. They love to hear from other alums and to make connections. Don’t know many alums in positions to make a difference for you? Start emailing the grads highlighted in your school’s alumni newsletter. Congratulate them on whatever got them listed and let the conversation—and relationship—begin.

Don’t forget you can network with your parents’ friends, colleagues’ friends, neighbors, etc.

2.    Get your resume in order. Since this one piece of paper determines more than anything else your ability to get the job you want, it better be good. Focus on accomplishments instead of job descriptions. Most recruiters will tell you that a majority of resumes don’t sell a applicant hard enough because they simply list the activities that anyone holding that position has ever done.

If what is written on your resume can be written by the person who had the job before you, after you, or next to you, then you haven’t done yourself justice.

3.   Be professional. As a recruiter, you don’t want to call an applicant and hear the following message, “Yo dude, the K-man is rockin’ hard at the moment, so leave your digits and I’ll give you a holla when I can.”  Nor do they want to send emails to puppylover@yahoo.com or studmuffin@hotmail.com.

Now is the time to find other ways to express your individuality.

4.   Start reading "trade" magazines. Every industry has publications specifically targeted to professionals in that field. Usually they have online versions as well. In addition to learning more about the industry itself, you can also typically find job openings. For instance, if you read that Ajax Consulting just won a huge account, chances are they may be staffing up.

There are scores of these magazines, and if you’re looking to find a job in any industry, you need to be up to speed on that industry’s lingo and news.

5.  Research job openings. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Fact is, you have to do it. Start looking for companies and industries that really interest you. Comb over their websites.

Some may be hiring now, but many employ “just-in-time recruiting.” That means they don’t hire until they have a need.  But knowing how they hire and getting contacts at the companies can only help.

6.    Be persistent, not a stalker! You know that Recruiting Director you call eight times a day because they never answer their phone? Guess what - they have caller ID and threw away your resume after the fourth call!

It's important to remember that there are hundreds of people applying for the same job. It's virtually impossible for a recruiter to get back to every candidate individually.

It's okay to email a resume and then follow up with a call. If you haven't heard in a week or so, shoot them an email, and then wait another couple of weeks to email again. Try to be clever in the email to grab their attention. But let's be honest, no one wants to hire a stalker.

If you tackle these six steps, you’ll be on your way to landing a great job!

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