5 More Job Search Tips that Work to Help You Land a Job You'll Love - Part 2
In the last article - 5 Job Tips - How to Find a GREAT New Job you dug deep into the real you and ended up with a list of skills liked doing that were also valuable to potential employers. Keep that list handy because now we'll use it to find that great job.
Job Tip # 1 Match Your Skills to Potential Jobs
You should be brimming with ideas by now - take a look of the skills on your list and start another list of positions that could use those skills. Don't forget - just because you always used a skill in a particular job - that doesn't mean it can't be used elsewhere. Consider the plight of this lady...
One woman told of her messy divorce. Her husband not only left her but shut down the Real Estate business they both spent the past 5 years building and skipped town.
In addition to the emotional beating she took, she was unemployed and could not even use her ex-husband for a reference. Plus she moved in with relatives in another town. She naturally thought in terms of her past 5 years and the Real Estate field. Big mistake. She had a lot more to offer if she looked at her skills rather than a single industry.
- She handled all the paperwork for the business so she had extensive office skills nearly any service business would pay dearly for.
- She did all the marketing for the business. This set of skills alone could allow her to work for many small businesses or even freelance.
- She worked the phone - answering calls, setting appointments, greet and help potential clients.
- In addition she built and maintained the web site for the business along with countless tasks associated with a small operation like this.
It almost makes you wonder what, exactly, the husband did!
Seriously - can you think of what kinds of businesses might need the skills she had? I'm sure you could develop an extensive list.
Now take a look at your own abilities in the same light. Make a list of types of businesses needing what you can offer. If you get stuck try brainstorming with a friend or associate.
Job Tip # 2 Zero in on the Best Prospects
The exercise above should present you with a list of potential positions and kinds of companies you should look for. If you have superior phone skills -your list should include any business that depends heavily on the phone. Think about sales organizations, corporations with national or international markets, brokerages of all kinds, etc. From here you should identify specific businesses in your area meeting your criteria.
Your list should be quite long at this point. Now you can get choosy. Rank the companies from the ones you think you'd most like to work for to the least.
You can always add more to this list or drop companies that turn out to be less than you expected. It's your list - you have total control here.
Job Tip # 3 Research Potential Employers
It's time to do some weeding. Don't worry about who is hiring right now - you are looking farther ahead than this. You want to cut this list down to the cream of the crop - your own short list of desirable employers.
How will you know what companies you really want to work for? Research. Talk to people. Find out what's below the glossy surface. Most people never know what a company is really like to work for until after they've been hired. Not you. You're going in with your eyes wide open.
Start from the top and start making some calls. Arrange for a personal visit when possible. Talk to people in the actual position in the department you are in. You are not asking for a job - you are researching the position. Ask tough questions:
- What do they actually do here. What kinds of tasks do they perform?
- What do they like about the position? What don't they like?
- What is this company like to work for? How does it compare to others?
Talk to the department head if you can. Talk to the second in command. Ask about expectations, what kind of people they prefer and why. Go in with a list of good questions - real questions about the kind of position you are considering.
Most will either say there are no openings right now or refer you to a human resources person. Make sure you tell them you are only exploring the position's potential right now. But do ask about the future of the position you are considering. Will demand increase overall? Is this company growing? Will they need more people in this position at some point? And so on.
Never let the statement they are "not hiring right now" scare you. Good companies gear towards growth. Growing companies need personnel to keep up with more business. If the company or the department sport a bleak outlook, then it is not an organization you want to hook up with anyways.
If the department looks like a good fit, the supervisor may well express an interest in you. If so ask if you submitted your resume to human resources, if she would like to be notified. If she answers affirmatively then by all means submit your resume with a note attached saying "Ms. Y said she'd like to see my resume when it was submitted."
After each contact, send a thank you card to each person you talked to. If you submitted a resume, add that fact in the P.S. so they can look for it if they are also interested in you.
Job Tip # 4 Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter to Fit the Position
With the abundance of excellent tools available today there is no excuse for getting by with a "one size fits all" resume. Read every job description carefully and rework your skills and qualifications to match what the prospective employer is looking for. Use their language not yours. If they want superior phone skills give them superior phone skills not "excellent telephone voice" and certainly not "type 500 words a minute". Typing is wonderful IF they are looking for typists! If not then spotlight the skills they want that you can provide.
And if you happen to notice yourself trying to get potential employers to overlook some shortcomings, then it's possible this job isn't really for you after all. If your mouth still waters for the job - then you need up upgrade your skills.
Job Tip # 5 Persist in Your Job Pursuit
Again, follow up with a thank you note. Don't be afraid to call. While you don't want to make a pest of yourself, once you decide to pursue a position -make it known. Instead of touting yourself - express how much your enthusiasm about the company.
Try to establish one or more contacts in the company who can keep you up to date with the latest happenings. You never know how the intelligence you gather about the company will help you. Remember - the better the company and the position fits with your desires and goals - the more worthwhile it is to be patient.
Taking the time and going the extra mile for a job you'll really like will take some effort you may not be used to exerting. On the other hand, your efforts are much more focused and the results can pay big dividends. Plus, you'll find you spend a lot less time pursuing positions you never wanted anyway. Add that to your calculations and you may find landing a great job takes less effort than getting a mediocre one.
Be prepared for unexpected results too. You may just discover the company you really liked at first glance was a dud up close. But interviewing people there gave you a lead on a much better prospect who happens to have an opening that would be perfect for you.
In addition, once you become an expert in the in's and out's of a certain job title and start comparing openings, you're more likely to come across something you really like. And from the potential employer's perspective... here's someone who knows exactly what is expected and bubbles with enthusiasm. You might find yourself being pursued instead of the pursuer!
Don't forget - you started out by seeking jobs that allowed you to do what you really like doing rather than taking anything you are remotely qualified for. How much better is it to go after a job and a company you went the extra mile to find? You are sure to be a more contented employee and your employer is likely to thrilled with someone who is exactly where they want to be.
great job search resources visit my resource page here.