1. Create a solid job search strategy.
Employers do not like getting applications from candidates who are under qualified for the job, so it may be a good idea not to use the “shotgun approach” when searching for your next job. You'll be wasting your time as well as the employers’ time and their first impression of you will not be a good one. Carefully read job postings to determine whether you may be a good fit to perform most of the tasks that are required for the position. And it will be important to learn how to tailor your existing skills to a specific job's requirements and spend time preparing a better resume and cover letter that is customized for the job type you’re seeking.
2. Define your specific goals. Ask yourself what you really want to get out of the job. Is it just income or are you interested in benefits, quality of life, experience etc. Your career should be focused on more than just money and by defining what you ultimately want out of a job as well as what you offer as a job seeker, you become better at applying for jobs that are aligned with your overall career goals. By taking the time to define what you want as a job seeker, you can determine what your best selling points are and what value you bring to a potential employer.
3. Diversify your job search. While employers still use many of the major job search sites, many are seeking new ways to connect with job seekers. Social media and local networking events are effective ways to expand your reach. You really need to hustle to find new and creative ways to get noticed, and the more methods you use to search for a job, the more you will separate yourself from all of the other job seekers out there. It’s also important to understand the industry of the employer and any trends that may be impacting their business.
4. Evaluate your skills & continue to improve. Maybe your skill set isn’t refined and aligned with most of the jobs in the market, or perhaps you’re just a little behind the curve. Be sure to brush up on your skills with appropriate online courses local college classes to keep up to date. You could also consider going back to school full time or seek government subsidized programs designed to help people improve their knowledge and make them more attractive to potential employers.
5. Be yourself – be unique. You already aware that defining your specific goals and skill set can help set you apart from the competition. When an employer asks you the common question, "Why should we hire you?" you’ll be prepared to respond effectively. Also try to do something that will set yourself apart from all of the other candidates so that your discussion is memorable. Do some research prior to the interview to find our as much as you can about the hiring manager. You can use websites like LinkedIn to learn about the person you’re interviewing with. Be sure to contact them by email or phone before your interview and provide a brief introduction and share your enthusiasm about the opportunity to meet with him/her.
6. Listen. Interviewing for a job can be stressful to the point where you forget to listen and truly comprehend what’s being discussed. Be sure to take detailed notes which can itself be important to the potential employer. Have questions written down and ready to go as well and be sure to write down answers so that you can refer back later.
7. Set goals. Obviously the overall goal is to get the job but when you break down the main goal into smaller ones, you set yourself up for success and minimize frustration. If you look only and the big goal (landing the job), it can be discouraging when the process is slow and there doesn’t seem to be much movement. Be realistic when determining what these goals should be and try to remember that the employer is meeting with several candidates. Not to mention they have their normal job to do which in most cases takes priority
8. Prepare for everything & anything. You can't always predict when you may receive a call or email for an interview over the phone or in person, therefore, you should always be ready. Be prepared with at least five examples that demonstrate your best qualities when you go into an interview. Try to be prepared for when the interviewer wants examples of your successes or things you would do differently. You can role play scenarios ahead of time with a family member of friend.
9. Think positive. Think of your jobs search experiences as learning opportunities knowing that any job search will have times of frustration and anxiety. Never ever give up on yourself or on the belief that the perfect job is out there. Use this time to evaluate your career path & determine if a course change is appropriate and beneficial.
10. Stay balanced. Searching for a job and going on interviews can be exhausting. Get plenty of rest, talk to friends and family, stay active and allow yourself time to do things you enjoy. Finding the right job is possible but you have to put in the time, work & effort and most importantly, stay focused & positive.