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These days, the job market can be tough to maneuver. It’s not as simple as submitting a résumé, attending a couple interviews and landing a job; you need become a personal branding specialist, projecting and maintaining the appropriate professional image both offline and online. The key to getting through those hard months of non-stop job-searching is to have a determined attitude, and few tips to help you persevere and be successful:
1. Don’t let career opportunities pass you by. A great way to keep up-to-date on the latest opportunities is to sign up for an email job update. For sales positions, try registering with SalesJobsCanada.com and set up your job alerts today.
2. Before an interview, practice talking about your previous experiences in a way that takes the interviewer beyond what they’ve already read in your résumé. For example, prepare a one-liner that mentions the effect your work had on your previous company as opposed to just listing the work you did.
3. We all have heard of the “hidden” job market. But how do we access it? One way is to get yourself involved on some level in the industry of your interest. Attend conferences, join an association, volunteer at an event. In this way, you will increase the chances of being in the right place at the right time.
4. Always be prepared. You never know when a job opportunity may come up. If possible, keep an updated version on a USB stick with you at all times, that you can give away if you happen to meet a potential employer or a networking contact who knows of an opportunity that may suit you.
5. Make use of the back of the business cards you receive! Write down where you met the person, and a reminder about what you had spoken about. This way, when you follow up with your new contact, you can connect with them about something specific from your first interaction.
6. Complement your job search efforts by making use of the many services available (several that are free) from job agencies, nonprofit career counseling organizations, community centres, etc. You don’t have to do it all on your own.
7. Keep an open mind when searching for job opportunities. Don’t limit yourself based on what you think you know about a particular company or region – do the research and find out.
8. Before attending a job fair, be sure to check the list of employers who will be present and research the types of positions they have available and whether you think you’d be a good fit for the company. Prepare some intelligent questions to ask employers based on your research.
9. Have your résumé read by several people, especially people that already work in the industry of your interest. Different perspectives will allow you to fine-tune your résumé and help you stand out.
10. Take your job search to the next level by making use of social media platforms like LinkedIn. Complete your LinkedIn profile as thoroughly and carefully as you would your résumé.
11. Turn any event into a networking opportunity. Always carry your business cards with you and be prepared to talk about yourself and your interests.
12. Fostering a career network is important especially in the midst of your job-search – keep in touch with your contacts on an ongoing basis.
13. Be sure to include networking events in your job search plan to gain contacts in your industry that may lead to new work opportunities.
14. Don’t limit your job search to one medium; consider expanding your search to different sites online, job boards, word of mouth, social media, trade magazines and newspapers, networking events, etc.
15. In addition to preparing questions beforehand to ask your interviewer, take notes during the interview and ask well-crafted clarifying questions that demonstrate your genuine interest and knowledge of the business.
16. Ensure that the tone of your résumé reflects your pride in your accomplishments, and demonstrates your enthusiasm to continue developing.
17. Continue to develop yourself in the areas that will set you apart from competition with similar industry experience and knowledge. For instance, advance your second language skills even if it isn’t a requirement for the job.
18. It’s easy to get caught up in listing all our accomplishments in cover letters and résumés. Keep them succinct by only mentioning the experiences that directly relate to what the employer is looking for.
19. First impressions matter because people are prone to bias. Ensure that you have a positive mind-set during your interview and it will show through to your interviewer.
20. Don’t be afraid to apply to positions that will stretch your limits. In this way you can be committed to ongoing personal development, and learn to apply your skills to new experiences.
21. Keep up-to-date on industry news, jargon, trends, technologies, and skills. Incorporating these new bits of knowledge into your résumé will convey that you are still currently involved in the industry, despite being out of work.
22. Choose a résumé style that best frames your experience, accomplishments, and skills. Limiting yourself to a chronological format may not showcase your qualifications for the position.
23. Follow up is one thing. Continually calling or sending emails to check on second interviews shows your lack of professionalism.
24. Expect interview questions that explore your personal management style. These questions look at how you relate to employees and how well you fit with the company. The interviewer is looking for a manager that can fit in with the team and complement the current management style of the company.
25. If you have some gaps in your CV or in your competences, remember that the recruiter / headhunter will ask for these gaps. Be prepared and have an answer ready for the question you probably will be asked.
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