Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ten Keys to a Successful Job Search

From Beyond.com:

1. Take stock - (Know Yourself)

If you know your strengths and weaknesses and what you want in a career, then you have a much better chance of finding your perfect job. Finding that dream position starts with understanding your personality, values and what drives you. Taking a career and personality assessment is a huge first step towards optimizing your personal career path. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is the most widely used personality instrument. More than 2 million worldwide assessments are performed each year by job seekers, professionals, and organizations, including 89 of the Fortune 100.

2. Networking - (Know others)

Many jobs are obtained through networking. It is a very important tool for job seekers and is an extremely fast and effective way to find your next job or career. While many employers advertise open positions on internet job boards like Beyond.com Career Search , you should find out about the “hidden job market” as well by talking to as many people as possible and letting them know you are looking for a job.

3. Accomplishment oriented resume - (Know how to write it well)

The purpose of a resume is not to get you a job, but to land an interview. An organized, industry-specific and accomplishment-oriented resume will get employers to take notice. In todays hyper-competitive job market, you simply cannot afford to send out a resume that is less than perfect.

Two Common Yet Easily-Avoidable Resume Mistakes
1. Always use a professional email address on your resume. While footballfan@aol.com may be fine for conversing with friends, it will give employers a negative perception of your level of professionalism and commitment to your job search.

2. If your resume includes an objective statement, it should be geared to both your personal goals as well as the goals of the company. Describing how you can add value to the company will give potential employers the impression that your goal is to provide a long-term commitment.


4. Job proposal - (Know your value)

Get the attention of decision-makers at a company through a Job proposal. It’s a one or two page “mini business plan” that’s intended to get you an interview with the decision-maker of a targeted prospective employer. While a resume tells someone what you have done in the past, a job proposal shows in some detail what you are going to do for the company down the road. Specifically, it lays out how you will help them achieve their vision of success. It generally explains the vision you have for a new product or service, how to enhance an existing program, or why to implement a new process. It may also outline your plan to increase company sales or improve accounts receivable. When you challenge the relevance of traditional job search strategies and begin utilizing tools and techniques that clearly distinguish you from the pack, most anything is possible, including winning a dream job with a great company during a down economy.

5. Industry Knowledge - (Know your market)

During your job search, it is imperative to show initiative and drive while continually looking to improve your industry knowledge. In today’s competitive job market, staying up-to-date on your industry is crucial to your future success. To be a truly outstanding business professional, you must not only understand trends and developments in your own industry, but the trends and developments in an average consumer’s industry.

6. Research - (Know the players)

There is no substitute for hard work and research. Knowing which companies are hiring in your area is only half the battle. Take your search to another level by getting access to key contacts, decision makers, and hiring managers. Check out sites like Hoovers.com to gain access to these types of lists.

7. Interviewing - (Know how to communicate)

The biggest mistake in interviewing is not being fully prepared. It is crucial for job-seekers to use every conceivable means possible to prepare for an interview and to allow ample time to fully prepare. Understand that interviewing is a skill; as with all skills, preparation and practice enhance the quality of that skill. Preparation can make the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected.

Practice Answering These Commonly-Asked Interview Questions:
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Where do you expect to be in five years?
3. Describe a work-related problem you had to face recently. What did you do to deal with it?
4. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?


8. Marketing - (Know how to sell yourself)

An interactive marketing portfolio of yourself pulls together your accomplishments, education, experience and awards in one place. It is a highly-effective job-hunting tool that you develop that gives employers a complete picture of who you are -– your experience, your education, your accomplishments, your skill sets, and what you have the potential to become -– much more than just a cover letter and resume can provide. You can use your career portfolio in job interviews to showcase a point, to illustrate the depth of your skills and experience, or to use as a tool to get a second interview. Don't forget to setup your portfolio at Beyond.com Career Search . The best kinds of portfolios can be built and distributed to employers through the internet.

9. Background Check - (Know your history)

With thousands of resumes to choose from, employers often select from pre-screened candidates first, as these job seekers appear more serious in their job quest and commitment. Pre-screening by the job seeker saves the employer valuable time and money, and places pre-screened candidates ahead of the competition.

10. Learning never ends - (Know more)

The investment of time and money in continuing your education sends a powerful message to prospective employers that you are serious about improving your skills and abilities. Employers are more likely to hire candidates that show the desire and commitment for lifelong learning. Whether it’s a certificate program, associates, bachelors, or masters degree, there is a program to fit your lifestyle, schedule and budget.

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