Whether you’re a first-time jobseeker or a career veteran re-entering the job market, every successful job search begins with nailing the fundamentals.
Given the choice, most people prefer a painful medical procedure to a job search in today’s economy. Let’s be honest . . . both have the potential to generate the kind of pain that can last weeks or even months, and there’s no guarantee that either process will produce any real results.
But even though it might feel like an appendectomy, a job search can also deliver a new lease on life. We won’t lie to you – finding a good job in this economy is no easy feat. Yet everyday, thousands of applicants achieve job search success without novocaine. And the majority of them do it by incorporating a handful of proven strategies into their job search process.
Are you enthusiastic about your job search? Probably not, especially if you’ve been thrust into the job market as a result of a layoff or downsizing. It may sound harsh, but employers don’t care about your backstory. They’re looking for positive and energetic candidates, so it’s important to remain enthusiastic throughout the process. If enthusiasm is in short supply, a “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality will have to suffice.
Treat It Like a Business
Whether you know it or not, you’re not actually unemployed. Although you may not be collecting a paycheck (yet), you are already working in a new business – the business of you. Consequently, you need to show up for work every morning, showered, shaved and ready to put forth your best effort. Some job hunters even go so far as to work a normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift in their quest for employment. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to sit around the house in your PJs watching Sponge Bob rather than actively seeking your next big break.
In general, individuals with a sales background have an easier time finding employment than people who are terrified of selling. Why? Because a job search is essentially a sales effort in which you market and sell yourself to prospective employers. Boning up on basic selling techniques can have value, but at a minimum you should create a personal “elevator pitch” – a thirty second synopsis of why you would be a valuable addition for employers in your industry.
Know Your Worth
By nature, the job search process can be demeaning and demoralizing. It’s becoming increasingly common for applicants with years of experience to find themselves competing for lower level positions or being turned away without the courtesy of a personal interview. That’s why it is critical to understand your personal and professional worth before you enter the marketplace. When you understand your value, you arm yourself with insights and understandings that can be leveraged in interviews and networking scenarios.
Assess Your Resources
Lone rangers don’t get very far in today’s job market. There are plenty of employment resources available for job seekers. Although some resources may not be useful for your specific job search, others will and you’ll need to dig deep to find the diamonds in the rough. Along the same lines, don’t hesitate to leverage your personal and business contacts to get your name out there and secure the inside track on upcoming employment opportunities.