Because everyone should dig their job

Summer Strategies to Step Up Your Job Search

By Debra Wheatman

Job search is not what it used to be. Many candidates who have struggled over the past few years to find their footing, realize that the landscape has changed and are doing what it takes to improve their odds. If you are job seeking, here are a few suggestions for the remainder of the year: 
1.  Determine your specific roadblocks; identify those things within your control and make changes. If you lack certain skills, don’t procrastinate a minute longer. Get the training you need ASAP. It is estimated that many of the jobs of the future will be in technology, so look into practical training that will help you get skills that are marketable both now and in the future. 
2.  Perhaps you have a good resume and are getting your foot in the door, but then blowing the interview. Take a serious look at what you might be doing to cause this problem.  Ask friends and colleagues for brutally honest feedback.  Consider improvements to your interview wardrobe and appearance, assess your responses to standard interview questions, and try to identify as many ways as you can to improve your interview performance.  Ever thought about working with a coach? Now might be the time to step up your ‘A game.’
3.  Step beyond your comfort zone and reach out to potential hiring managers, whether there is an advertised opening or not. Pound the pavement, so to speak. If you wait for postings to appear online, you are not likely to meet with as much success. A very small percentage of the jobs out there are ever advertised. This is why it is critical to uncover hidden job opportunities. 
4.  Consider beefing up your personal branding efforts. Determine the attributes that make you valuable to employers and develop a strategy to convey your assets by using social media and local networking.  Be sure to polish your career documents to reflect your new and improved image.
While finding a new job in a sluggish economy is difficult, the key thing to remember is that it is not impossible. Even if the first half of the year got off to a rough start, there is still hope. Searching for a new job requires more effort on your part than in the past, but dismal job news is not an excuse to sit on your… laurels. It is an opportunity to sharpen your job search skills and move forward to become a stronger candidate.