Stepping out in the Job Search

Everyone I know is tightening their belts and wallets these days.  This comes as no surprise to the families and friends of the more than 11 million people out of work in the United States.  Basic economics teaches us about supply and demand.  Because of the vast numbers of unemployed, economics refer to the jobs market as a buyer’s market€.  Employers have access to hundreds of thousands of qualified employees and because the supply is so abundant, employers maintain the power over salaries and pricing.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has reported August unemployment at 9.7% with more than 216,000 job cut last month alone.

If you or someone you know has becoming recently thrust into the crowed job market, it’s important to start your job search off aggressive, organized, and professional keeping the following three areas in mind.

  • Skills & Qualifications Assessment. Most people don’t begin their new car search without visiting the Consumer Reports website, asking for opinions and advice from friends, and determining their needs and wants in their next vehicle.  Beginning your job search should be no different.  Understand your skills and abilities by visiting blogs, professional organization website’s, and viewing job posts for positions and industries you are qualified and interested in working for.  Ask for the opinions and advice about your top companies from friends and professionals within your industry.  Create a list, organize your thoughts, and be realistic.
  • Prepare Your Marketing Materials. Your Marketing Materials consist of your professional business card, your resume and coverletter, as well as your online social media accounts and profiles LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Myspace to name a few.  Just like a brand (which is exactly what you are), your message and voice must remain consistent through multiple channels.  Just like Gatorade’s new “G” marketing campaign, you must have a clear, concise, and targeted message to your target market which consists of businesses, prospective companies, friends, families and also professional colleagues.
  • Target Your Search. Using nontraditional and traditional job search methods can help differentiate you from the pack.  Traditional methods include job boards, newspaper ads, or other job advertising methods.  Nontraditional methods include your online social media accounts and face to face networking.  Using these in tandem can help your resume or application leap to the front of the pack just by making a connection using  LinkedIn or a personal recommendation from someone within your target company or a local influencer.  You know that person, it’s the one person you know that seems to know everybody.  Also keep in mind, that more than 30% of jobs openings go unadvertised.  Using nontraditional methods and networking can help put you in front of decision makers.

It’s important to manage and build your plan of attack when entering the job market.  Ideally, professionals regardless should always be planning for their next job opportunity especially in this unpredictable economic climate we live in.  If this isn’t an option, I recommend starting today and building your job search and brand strategy.

 

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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