The monthly release of unemployment figures leaves some job seekers feeling the blues. One approach to digesting these job figures is to not get caught up in the up-and-downs and focus instead on what is working. Every day people are getting hired and starting new jobs. For the job seeker the question becomes, “How can I be one of the people who gets hired?” A recent panel of job seekers who had found work revealed five actions that the newly hired felt led them to success. Here is a summary of techniques that worked and how you can implement them:
Built up visibility in a small community. To do this, join local professional groups, participate in online groups and attend local meetings and conferences. Make yourself known in your industry or field so that when jobs open up, people think of you.
Volunteered for industry activities. This is another great way to gain visibility, but also to show your skills and capabilities and widen your network. Making use of your professional skills in a volunteer capacity is a great way to keep your resume fresh and allows you to build new successes.
Had timely and specific skills that an employer needed. Not only must you have relevant skills, but you must bring them out in the application and interview process. Find out what they are looking for and make very clear how you are a match. The changing job market means some skills are simply in much higher demand than others. For some, retraining and refocusing on higher demand skills should be part of a successful job search.
Were focused and crisp about what they wanted to do. In a competitive job market, it’s tempting to go after anything that is available. That technique doesn’t yield good results. Be clear about what you want to do and how you are qualified to do it. Then pursue opportunities that are a fit, making your match and your promise of future value to the company clear during every step of the process.
Targeted smaller firms. Many studies are showing that smaller companies and start-ups may have more jobs to offer during the economic recovery than the big names. Networking is an important way to discover opportunities at smaller companies. As you talk with smaller organizations, emphasize your flexibility, resourcefulness and entrepreneurial spirit.
Don’t get bogged down in negative news about the economy. Instead affirm that hiring is still happening and focus on what you can do to be one of the people who finds work.