It seems as though we’re drowning in bad employment news. Millions are currently out of work. Competition for jobs is fierce.
If you’re looking for work in these stormy economic seas, how can you keep your head above water?
Here are a few quick, easy, and really useful ideas to help you stay afloat:
- Leverage your network.
According to Monster.com, 80 percent of jobs are obtained through networking. Use this statistic to your advantage. Contact your college’s career center or alumni directory. Send an e-mail to your social media contacts. Make phone calls to old business contacts. Let everyone you know that you’re looking for a job and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open.
- Put your best foot forward.
When it comes to your job search, image is everything. So review your résumé, social media profiles and website to make sure all information is accurate, professional, and showcases your strengths. Before an interview, learn all you can about the potential employer. Critically evaluate your experience and skills, so you can learn how to talk about yourself in a meaningful and powerful way. Finally, practice the answers to potential interview questions. All this preparation will help you make a fantastic first impression.
- Pay attention to detail.
Sometimes, little things can make a big difference. Take the time to customize your cover letters to address the specific skills or qualities a potential employer wants. After the interview, handwrite and hand deliver (if feasible) a thank you note that recaps your strengths and addresses any weaknesses that may have come up during the interview.
- Keep working.
When you have bills to pay, a job that is less than ideal is better than no job at all. So consider freelancing or temporary work. Both offer a great way to get your name out there, form new contacts, sharpen your skills (and develop new ones), keep your morale high, and provide income while you’re looking for a full-time opportunity.
- Never stop searching for opportunities.
Sending your resume to everyone in your area and posting it on every major job board is just the beginning of your job search. Don’t stop and wait for an opportunity to come along – be aggressive. Set weekly goals for finding new leads and making new contacts. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
- Look on the bright side.
When you’re struggling to find work, it’s easy to become frustrated and even depressed. Do whatever you can to stay positive. Talk to friends or former colleagues who will pick you up when you’re down. And remember, there are literally millions of jobs that become available every month in the U.S. You only need to find one of them.