Finding a job has never been easy. Walking into a fast food joint or picking up a paper route is one thing, but actually landing a position that could mean a long-term career, one that opens doors and leads to significant career advancement, has stymied many a college graduate. There are so many schools of thought, so many conflicting and contrasting ideas on how to write the best resume, the perfect cover letter and pull off a legendary job interview, that sifting through the jungle of job advice is almost impossible. Here, then, are three important pieces of advice for job seekers.
1. Do Your Homework/Practice
Every company is different, and human resources can smell a disinterested candidate a mile away. When you find a job you like, look up everything you can about the position. Don’t just submit a basic cover that lists your achievements – tailor the cover letter to the exact specifics of what the job posting asks for, eschewing accomplishments that aren’t relevant to the requirements. Don’t seal the first draft of the cover letter you write. Let it rest for a day or so, then approach it again with new eyes and a new perspective.
Once you’ve gotten that down, practice your job interview. Talk with career counselors and advisors, role play with friends, rehearse in front of a mirror wearing the clothes you’ll likely wear on the interview. Find the line between being honest and saying only what needs to be said, not divulging your life story as a response to an innocuous question. When you’re done practicing your job interview, practice it all over again until it feels natural.
2. Talk To People
With so much of business and communication done online, it’s important to make yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd who are content to simply click ‘Send’ and wait for something to happen. Go to job fairs, request meetings with hiring managers, get your name out in the real world. Memorize names and faces, get everyone’s business cards, and make a good impression in person.
The further you go in your life and career, the more important connections and networking will become. A lot of what you achieve will depend on your skills, qualifications and experience, but there is a lot to be said for who knows you and who remembers your name. Making the effort of getting yourself out there will go much further than another candidate who is content to merely camp out behind a computer while opportunities slip by.
3. Pick Your Industry Wisely
Some industries are performing better than others, and some markets will continue to grow while others shrink. It’s important that job seekers keep an eye on that, and reassess their career plan if they need to. For example, job seekers in, or dreaming of, Hawaii would want to If you want to take a look at this infographic made by Hawaii Job Engine – see it here.