The Job Hunt:
Looking for a career that suits you...
I, like most people, hate looking for work. It can be long, tedious and very depressing at times. But if you want to follow your passion and go for yours, there are few things that you should know before you start your job search.
Just remember, computers are your friend...and if all else fails, CTRL+ALT+DEL is also your friend.
Here are just a few tips that can make your job search more effective, and find you that career that you were born to do.
- Be focused.
You need to think long and hard about what you want to do. What do you enjoy doing? What are you skilled at? Do you have the experience or the educational background to pursue that career choice?
Create a long list of all the things you love to do, then do some research on products and services that relate to each area of interest.
- Become computer literate.
You don't need to know how to network an entire office, but becoming computer literate will only help you in the long run. I was EXTREMELY scared of computers a few years ago, but by completing some computer courses and with the aid of a very patient boss, I was able to conquer my fears.
A good place to start is by becoming familiar with the Internet. Being able to log onto the net is not as scary as it sounds. There is a wealth of knowledge on the Internet, and it will help you with your job search. If you don't have your own personal computer, visit the neighbourhood library or go to an employment center. Most employment centers provide free workshops on learning the basics of some computers programs (Microsoft WORD, e-mail etc.).
Don't just check the local newspaper for work; there are several websites that advertise jobs that are not advertised in your local newspaper. The hidden market (online job postings) is booming, so take advantage of it!
Work on your resume.
Your resume should be current and free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. Many employers discard resumes that contain typos and spelling errors. So please look it over, and then have someone else look it over!
You should also try to keep it one page. Most HR personnel scan the document for specific information - your current position, your education and your experience. Do not list your interests unless it applies to the job. For example, if you are applying for an administrative position, it will not help your odds if you include that you are also a part of a budding R&B group.
Please remember to modify your resume for each job that you apply for. Generic resumes rarely attract the employer's attention. If computer skills are mentioned in the job ad, it is important to add that to your resume. Your goal is to make it a strong match.
No time to be shy, you need to network.
This is probably my favourite part of the job search process. I am a very talkative grrl, and I enjoy meeting new people. Networking is a great way of building and maintaining professional relationships. It is the process of actively developing contacts and creating ways to market yourself. Keep in mind that networking is not about having mindless chit chat. You must be fully aware why you are networking with someone. Do not waste their time.
There are several networking functions and organizations that will enable you to meet the people that are in your particular industry. But please, I repeat please, do not flatly ask for a job. Not only is it rude, it is incredibly unprofessional.
Shop for interview clothes.
First impressions are crucial. It's best to look the part to get the job you desire. Appropriate clothing, good grooming and well-shined shoes are little details with a huge impact. It is best to purchase higher quality blazers, shoes, handbags and pants to maximize your image. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on the items, just as long as they look professional.
Since this is the first time the interviewer will see you, what you wear could affect your chances of proceeding to the next round of interviews. Your goal should be to blend in. Whether you're applying for an office position or a merchandiser for a fashion house, dress appropriately for the job you want. Psst…jeans are never acceptable to wear to an interview, even if they are your "dressy" jeans.
Your job search preparation should pay off with an interview. But be patient, it will take some time before you land the interview.
Once you are contacted for an interview, you still need to prepare so that the potential employer can see that you are serious about the job.
First, you should do research on the company (this goes back to tip #2: check the web for the 411 on the company). Make sure you are familiar with the prospective employer's job requirements, company history, and industry. You'll make a much better impression during your meeting if you have done your homework.
Secondly, you should practice answering a few potential questions. For example, "Why are you looking for a job?" "What are your short term/long term goals?," and "What are the best and worst aspects of your previous job?" Don't forget to think of an answer for the dreaded "What are some of your weakness?" question. Every time that I hear this question I cringe, but believe me, they will ask you this. Try to put a positive spin on it, like, "I am not skilled in various computer programs, but I am currently taking courses to better my knowledge. By practicing these questions you will be more at ease and, have a confident, less stressful interview.
Always say thank you.
Do you remember what your mom always said to you back in the day? Yep, you should always say thank you.
Most job seekers forget to follow up after an interview. This could work to your advantage because it means that the thank-you letter that YOU send after an interview will be among the few received. It is a great way to show your drive and make yourself stand out from the crowd. Okay, looks like you're ready to start looking for work. Remember to be patient, be confident and be extremely proactive. Sitting home watching Dr. Phil ain't gonna help you now. Be positive about the search, and in a few months you will be receiving your very first pay check from your new job. ¤ Michelle