By Karen ReiffEveryone needs tips for finding employment. Follow these simple rules and you’ll be ahead of the competition.
1. Learn Career Management Behaviors. You’re trainable, and career management is not like learning chemistry. It’s an active, daily practice of polishing, recording, promoting your talents, and proactively looking forward. Seek out something new daily. If you’re green, you’re growing, if you’re ripe, you’re rotting. Don’t be rotting – keep learning.
2. Know Thyself. You’d better understand how your personality, work values, interests and motivated skills work together to help you understand yourself, what jobs might be a great fit, and why employers would walk on water to hire you. Nothing less will do. After all, if you don’t know yourself, how am I going to get to know you? Oh, and another thing: EQ (Emotional Intelligence) often trumps IQ.
3. Anything is Better than Nothing. If you’re not working, any job is better than no job. That includes the fast-food place down the street, a temporary job, or an internship. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
4. Find 3-5 SACs (Significantly Active Connections) STAT! Everyone has at least one significantly active connection, right? That SAC probably knows at least one other SAC. Even if you don’t know anyone you’d consider a SAC, think about your neighbors, dentists, teachers, relatives-they all know at least somebody. Tap into these connections; the success rate for people finding jobs through their SACs is about 80%. Significant.
5. Duh, It’s a Digital World. My clients who tell me they hate voice mail, email, Microsoft Office (“I only have Works at my house”) and social media will NOT – I repeat NOT find meaningful employment. No skills? Take a class, or, better yet, teach yourself. Embrace technology, especially social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.) because it’s another way to present yourself, so that employers can find you.
6. You Live in An Extroverted Universe. Lots of folks are introverts, and yet they function very well in an extroverted world. If you feel shy, come across with zero energy, or just downright hate working with people, well, you’ve got a problem. “Play acting” enthusiasm and energy is required here, especially in interviews.
7. What Do You Know About Us? If you can’t tell me what you know about my company beyond what I sell, produce or market, you haven’t done your homework. Try http://www.glassdoor.com and do your research. I'm waiting for at least one provocative question.
8. I Can Make You Look Great, But You Have to Own It. Your resume or your interview outfit look fabulous, but do you believe in yourself? Practicing why you’re a good “catch” and faking it ‘til you make it can lead to success. You are the CEO of YourBrand, Inc., so you’d better start believing it. Talk it, chalk it, walk it.
9. If it’s Not Working, Stop Doing It! I know lots of people who sit at the computer all day applying for jobs on job boards (Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc.) who never get a “bite.” Guess why? The success rate for using the Internet to look for job postings is less than 10%. However, see #5, and get on LinkedIn – developing your complete profile is critical to be seen - anything less, and you’re going to be passed over.
10. Yes, You Really Do Need to Follow-Up. Please end your interview by, among other things, asking when a decision will be made. Please follow-up after the interview with a thank you message. Please contact them if you haven’t heard from them after their stated decision date. Most applicants don’t; therefore, it will work in your favor.
11. There are Always Jobs Out There. Conservatively, there are about 1.25 million monthly job vacancies. This includes job growth and replacement. Do not – I repeat – do not buy into the media who laments that there are just no jobs!
12. Yes, Virginia, Happenstance Really Does Exist. Unexpected events take place throughout our lives. You can create and benefit from them. Adopt an open-mind; try something, even if you don’t know the outcome; make mistakes; actively try to create your own “luck” – even if you go for the job, then learn the skills.