The job market is getting better, but finding a job is still a challenge. Here are some tips for standing out in a tough job market.
Even though the job market is showing slow and steady signs of a recovery, finding a new job still isn't a cake walk. The challenge is still to stand out among the other job seekers and impress hiring managers with your creativity and your skills. One of the best ways to do this is by honing your job seeking skills and taking your job search to the next level.
Here are some tips for finding a job in a tough job market:
- Only apply for jobs you are qualified for – When you're desperate for a job, it's tempting to apply for every job you find that remotely sounds interesting. This is really a waste of time. While it may make you feel more productive, the odds of finding a job this way are slim. Instead of spending your time spreading copies of your resume far and wide, look for jobs that work with your experience, skills and qualifications. Do some quick research on each company before you apply to find out a little about their corporate culture and their mission. This will give you ammunition for the next tip -
- Write a great cover letter – A cover letter never goes out of style. It should be custom written for each job you apply for and it should be one page, about three paragraphs long. In your cover letter, be sure to tell the hiring manager why you are a good fit for their company. Mention why you fit into the corporate culture or are passionate about their mission. This takes a few minutes longer, but it will impress a hiring manager because they are getting swamped with resumes from people who aren't qualified for the job and from those who are looking for any job. They want to hire people who are passionate about working for their company.
- Be polite, but keep in touch – I often hear job seekers complain that hiring managers never get back in touch with them. The thing is, you really have to follow-up after an interview. Be polite and not pushy. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but often follow-ups and a thank you note can help you build rapport and keep your name in the hiring managers thoughts.
- Lean on your network – One of the best ways to find a great job is to be recommended for it by someone in your network. Even if the person recommending you is your aunt's friend's niece's husband. When it comes to getting a foot in the door, there is nothing better than an employee referral. So, use your social networking tools; Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and BranchOut. Find out if you have friends who work for companies you are interested in. Don't be too proud to ask for a referral.
What other things do you think can set you apart in this tough job market? Let me know in the comments.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for CommunicationsJobBlog. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.