Jul 24

Reboot Your Job Search in 2014!

I recently conducted a job search workshop for the local library and I found the process of preparing for this workshop to be a lot of fun. Granted, I know about job search both as a professional and from my earlier career, but things continue to change.

My presentation began with a quote by Dr. Seuss. Remember the author of Green Eggs and Ham? Well he was a pretty remarkable guy beyond being an iconic author of children’s books. So the quote is “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

This was etched in my mind from the first time I read it, and it sure got the attention of the workshop attendees! This is so true and especially when it comes to a job search! Just like your resume needs to stand out from the competition, your approach to finding a new job needs to make you stand out.

Here are 10 tips that I hope help you.

1 – Be creative and multi-faceted. Spending your day in front of a computer continuously applying for jobs is not the best use of your time. In fact, some experts say this should consist of less than 10% of the time you devote to job search. So, network, both online and offline. Think about community groups or events you can participate in and get the word out.

2 – Volunteer. This goes along with the above, but if you are unemployed, this can help address gaps in employment by showing a prospective employer that you keep busy in meaningful ways. It also gives you the opportunity to gain valuable skills (leadership, perhaps) that you might not already have, and yes, it’s another opportunity to network.

3 – Let your friends on Facebook know about your search. While I am an advocate of LinkedIn as a great tool because of its professional focus, your friends and family are more apt to be your advocate than professional contacts.

4 – Join groups both online and offline. Find ones that resonate with your interests and career goals. Become active in these groups and share your expertise while expressing an interest in learning from others. We can all learn something new. Online consider LinkedIn groups for example; in your community consider Rotary International or Toastmasters, to name just a few.

5 – Love your library! Your local library has access to databases that you don’t and your librarian(s) are a treasure trove of helpful information. Never underestimate how much they can assist you and… the cost is FREE.

6 – If you are technically oriented, blog and tweet. Of course, these need to be about things that are germane to your career goals. Also consider having a web portfolio. The bigger your digital footprint, the better.

7 – Manage your reputation, particularly online. Google your name and see what comes up on page one. It should only be links that you would want a potential employer to view and not an old newspaper link to some questionable activity that someone who might also have the same name potentially engaged in. If you find negative information, consult with a professional who can help you diffuse the negativity. www.reputation.com is one such site.

8 – Maintain balance in your life. I am a huge advocate of work/life balance and while looking for a new job is a job, don’t neglect family, friends, your exercise or hobbies. By having diversity in your life, you can avoid burn out.

9 – Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, as the cliché goes. There are countless ways to look for a job, too numerous to list here, but try to have fun with it!

10 – If you are overwhelmed or feel like you need the help of a professional, consider hiring one. Organizations such as Career Directors International, www.careerdirectors.com can be quite valuable. You can find certified career coaches and resume writers. If funds are tight, look to your local career centers or libraries for free workshops and assistance.

Good luck and stay focused on your goals. You can make it happen!