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Five Keys to Finding a Job

By Charles Hopkins Published 09/20/2007 | Jobs and Careers
With outsourcing, downsizing and plant shutdowns increasing, more and more people are finding themselves competing with youthful college graduates as well as their friends for the ever-shrinking supply of desirable jobs.

Who do you think gets the best job? It is not always the most qualified. How often have you heard, "I'm sorry, you're over-qualified for this position"? An employment consultant says, "The job often goes to the most effective job seeker." We have five suggestions that just might give you the edge you need to find your next job.

Be Organized

It is very important that you establish your personal 'workday' schedule so that you start your day knowing what you need to do that day in your job search. Set daily goals and record what you have done. It is amazing how satisfying it is to be able to check things off your list each day. In addition, each day must start with your getting dressed for work. Why would you need to do that? If you are dressed properly for business, it will give you added confidence, especially if you are talking on the phone with prospective employers. This is your "job" now, finding your next employer.

You can get addresses and phone numbers of prospective employers from the employment office. Respond to newspaper ads. Use the yellow pages of your phone book and make lists of companies that might have jobs that are often not advertised, and then contact them. Send a professionally prepared resume to these companies. After such systematic searching, you will be more successful at reaching your goal of finding a job.

How to find the Hidden Jobs

Your opportunities for finding a suitable job will be limited if you are looking for work only by responding to newspaper or Internet advertisements. The best jobs are often never advertised. How can you gain access to this hidden job market? Start by setting aside time each week to personally call on businesses that you think may have jobs in your area of interest or experience. They may tell you that they do not have anything now, but to check back in two or three months. Put them in your "tickler list" to follow up with in two or three months. If they say they are not hiring, ask if they know where else you might look and specifically to whom you should speak. If they suggest a company and contact, try to make an appointment with that company right away. When you call for the appointment, be sure to tell them who recommended them to you.

Ask your friends, family, and other associates to help you access the hidden job market. Let them know what your skills are and what you are looking for. Network with everyone. You never know who might know someone that knows someone that has an opening that requires just the type of skills you have. You might want to have some business cards made up with your contact information and maybe a short list of pertinent skills to leave with everyone you ask to help you in your search.

You Need an Effective Resume

If you are applying for an executive position, having a professional resume to give to your potential employers is a must. But no matter what job you are seeking, a well-prepared resume can be a great asset. A resume tells potential employers not only who you are but also what you have accomplished and why they need you.

What to include in your resume:

1. Provide your full name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail address.
2. State your work objective.
3. List the education you have received, highlighting any training and skills that relate to the job you are seeking. You may have to adapt your list of skills to the particular position you are applying for.
4. Provide details of previous work experience. Include not only what you did but also examples of the goals you reached and the benefits you brought to your previous employers.
5. Highlight aspects of your previous employment that qualifies you for the job you are currently seeking.
6. Include personal information that describes your qualities, interests, and hobbies.

How to Nail the Interview

1. Research the company. With some background knowledge, you can converse intelligently with the interviewer about how the company and your skills match.
2. Dress appropriately for the type of work you are applying for. Always be neat, clean and well groomed.
3. Arrive about 15 minutes early. This will give you a little time to relax. NEVER BE LATE.
4. Smile and give the interviewer a firm handshake if that is appropriate.
5. Avoid being negative about your former employers and work mates.
6. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and speak clearly and confidently about yourself.
7. Don't forget to ASK FOR THE JOB if you still want it at the end of the interview.

Be Adaptable

To increase your chances of finding work, you must be adaptable. It is unlikely that you will find a job that has everything you are looking for. You need to learn to be content with employment that is less than ideal. Being adaptable may mean overcoming prejudice against certain types or work. Be willing to accept any suitable work that does not compromise your values.

By using these suggestions, you will have an advantage over the majority of others who are competing with you in the job market.

Good "job" hunting.