In 2012, the key to finding the right job isn’t sending out more resumes – it’s learning how to become a smarter job seeker.
Going into 2012, it appears that the U.S. and international job markets will continue to be highly competitive search environments. Despite a few glimmers of economic hope, there are still millions of unemployed job hunters anxiously vying for a shortage of good jobs.
Many unemployed job seekers have been in the market for months (if not longer) and are starting to grow tired of the job search routine. For some, the problem isn’t lack of effort, but a failure to invest their time and energy in the right places.
To improve the level of your game, Elena Bajic, founder and CEO of Ivy Exec, offers eight tips individuals can start utilizing now to become smarter job seekers and be better equipped for the 2012 job market.
Eight Ways to Become a Smart Job Seeker in 2012
Evaluate Your Finances.
Whether you’re a current job seeker or are planning to enter the job market in the next twelve months, it’s important to assess your finances and identify areas where you can curb spending. The more frugally you can live, the longer you can wait for the right job to come along.
Perform a personal SWOT analysis.
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses are essential for every job hunter. To land the right job, you need to have precise understandings about your professionals strengths as well as your weaknesses.
Establish Realistic Career Goals.
It’s also important to establish (and routinely review) realistic job search goals. Create granular checklists of activities for each day to maintain your forward momentum, (e.g. “I need to make three phone calls today and network with four people.”)
Prepare to Work Hard.
A job search is a job in itself – and it needs to be treated that way. If you aren’t committed to fully invest yourself wholeheartedly in your job search, you will have a hard time competing with the scores of job seekers who are willing to make that type of commitment.
Conduct Relationship-Based Networking.
The goal in networking isn’t a job offer – it’s to build relationships with individuals who have the ability to connect you to the people who can help you find a job. If you go for the kill in every networking situation, you will minimize the real value of networking to your job search.
Improve Your Job Skills.
Unemployed job seekers have time to invest in self-improvement and other activities that make them more appealing to employers. Take a class, attend a seminar, learn a language – whatever it takes to give yourself an additional edge in the marketplace.
Seek Professional Assistance.
If you have the resources, consider hiring a career professional – someone with the ability to offer objective advice and help you avoid common job search mistakes, (e.g. taking the first job offer you receive, interviewing with any company that shows interest even if it is the not right fit, etc.).
Employers can spot a negative attitude from a mile away. No matter how discouraging it feels, stay on track and try to maintain a positive attitude about your job search. With a bright outlook and a little diligence, you will eventually find the job that is the right fit for your qualifications and career goals.