I would like to begin by thanking my lucky stars that, in this economy, I have had the good fortune of being gainfully employed for the past two years since graduating college. But, as I start a new chapter in my life, one that I hope turns out to be about a fabulous new career in a wonderful new city, I can’t help but compare my job search today with that of two years ago. So much has changed in such little time, so I want to pass along the job searching tips I’ve gained over the past few months of job searching. I hope this advice resonates with those of you who are looking for employment opportunities for the first time in years and may be feeling a little lost as you find work.
Job Searching Tips & Employment Opportunities
1. Job Search Strategies Include Social Media Even if you are not a College Kid Anymore
If you hadn’t heard, social media is all the rage now and that includes the tradional job search. (By the way, if you really hadn’t heard, you may want to climb out from under that rock and join us all in 2010.) There are so many choices for social media, but the three most common sites for those looking to network during a job search are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
If you don’t have a profile/account on these social media sites, I really recommend you check them out. Job search networking has proven to be an excellent way to connect with people within the field you are aspiring for. Click on the respective logos below for some great tips from some folks with much more expertise (Mashable, Forbes, and ICT-Guru) on how to use these sites effectively to make professional contacts.
2. Job Application Advice: Networking- To Whom It May Concern is the Kiss of Death
Remember the good old days when you mailed your resume and cover letter in, via snail mail? Ok, to be fair, I don’t even remember that, but I heard it happened. What I do remember is actually getting my current job two years ago by, *gasp*, faxing my cover letter and resume to a complete stranger. Unfortunately, gone are the days when just anyone has a shot. It seems that if you want to even be considered for a job, you must know someone. To get an interview with a company to which you have zero personal connections is nearly unheard of.
So what does this mean? You have to make personal connections with people. Begin job search networking. Join a local networking group. Make meaningful contacts online via social media. Do whatever it is you need to do to build your personal and professional network because someday soon you will need them to help you get your foot in the door somewhere.
3. Make the Most of Employment Opportunities: What’s So Special About You?
Ok, back to the economy. We all know it’s in shambles and that unemployment is higher than it’s been in years, but there are jobs out there! The competition is tougher, but they exist. So what are you going to do to stand out of the hundreds, or dare I say thousands, of applicants vying for your dream job? You are unique and offer your very own perspective to whatever position you apply for, so come up with a plan. Not a cheesy gimmick, but something that will make yourself known and illustrate your tremendous value to a future employer: whatever it takes to get noticed as the competent professional you are. Avoid becoming a wallflower in your job search!
I’m not an expert on job search strategies, but I am a careful observer of all things job search related because I am in the throes of my very own job hunt. I hope some of these tips help for now, because in another two years, this advice will be moot and we will all be looking for some more sage advice!
Ashley Campbell is an association professional whose organization supports women in business. She has a healthy obsession with social media for its unyielding ability to create amazing connections and opportunities for people and hopes to someday move from the Midwest to NYC to pursue a career in the non-profit arena. To learn more about Ashley and connect with her, visit her blog, Entry Level Observations, which highlights the unique experiences of Gen Y professionals. Don’t forget her Twitter & LinkedIn.