| This article describes the critical path of a job search. You will learn the strategies, tools and resources you must employ to be effective in your job search efforts and successfully land your next job.|
Do you want to continue your costly, time-consuming and exhausting struggle in a frustrating job search using weak, ineffective tools that are getting you nowhere? The job market today is fiercely competitive with few high-paying or desirable jobs available. With repeated downsizings, companies have learned to survive with less.
Mediocrity has no place in your job search process. To be a player among the huge number of job seekers, you need an edge, a unique compelling advantage.
To be successful, you must differentiate yourself from the crowd. You must use search strategies that put you head and shoulders above your competition. You must possess knowledge and skill in your area of expertise, and know how to demonstrate that to the world. You may be the best candidate for a position, but someone better skilled at interviewing gets the offer.
Here are the strategies you need to use to run a successful job search:
1. Determine your best-suited career
You need to sit down and assess your talents, strengths and core competencies, as well as what it is you truly want to do. It may not be enough that you have a skill set in a particular area if you lack the desire to move forward in that direction. To be a successful career builder and have a fulfilling career, find your passion and do what you love. If you donít, no amount of money will satisfy you.
2. Leverage your skills to the highest possible level
You may be a design engineering guru, a top marketing specialist or a graphics design genius, but unless you know how to present your talents -- in your resume and during your interviews -- your expertise will go unnoticed. You must also present your skills to the right person. A candidate weaker than you will ease you out of an opportunity just because they spoke directly to the hiring manager while you discussed your candidacy with someone in human resources. It's not always the best candidate who receives the offer.
3. Set yourself apart from your competition
With up to nine hundred candidates responding to one advertised job opening, it is easy to lose oneself in the vast sea of job seekers. You must learn how to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Creating an attention-grabbing resume is a good start. You must also learn how to prepare for and succeed at interviews. Tapping the hidden job market and networking are by far the most effective strategies for finding the right opportunities and getting ahead of your competition.
4. Create an attention-grabbing resume
One of the best ways to achieve this is to clearly state your value proposition, your strengths and several uniquely defined differentiators that set you apart from your competition. Add to that a set of well-crafted accomplishments that incorporate three critical factors -- the extraordinary task you fulfilled, how you achieved it, and the results -- and you have the basis for a winning resume.
5. Write a captivating cover letter
Your cover letter is critical to your success. It sets the tone. It is read before your resume and includes vital information about you that every potential employer needs. If you donít have a cover letter, or if you have one that is poorly written, youíre setting yourself up for failure. Knowing the crucial elements of a cover letter is imperative to moving your candidacy forward.
6. Tap the hidden job market
Job ads account for only a small percentage of all job openings available. Seventy-five percent of positions are in the hidden, or unadvertised, job market. Unless youíre tapping this hidden sector of the market, you will not be truly successful. Networking is one activity which will lead you to uncharted opportunities. Posting your resume to the top job sites is another. It will expose you to the employers and recruiters who are searching for candidates at these sites to fill their unadvertised positions.
7. Network your way to your next job
Networking takes communication to a whole new level. It is more about who knows you than who you know. Rather than specifically asking someone you know for a job, you must communicate your unique qualities to them. Networking produces results that are quite amazing. Roughly 80% of jobs are filled through networking. Untold opportunities are out there; itís through a concerted and committed networking effort that jobs are found.
8. Establish appropriate recruiter relationships
Recruiters do not work for you; their allegiance is to their client, the employer who has hired them to search for the best candidate to fill an unadvertised position. Recruiters are in business to help companies find people, not the other way around. You can nonetheless formulate an approach for working with them. A good strategy is to gain visibility by posting your resume to the top career sites where recruiters go in search of candidates for unadvertised positions. You can also use referrals as a way to meet with, and receive preferential treatment from, a recruiter.
9. Prepare for and have successful interviews
You must be prepared to talk about your worth and accomplishments. You need to understand the fundamental responsibilities of the position. Thoroughly research the company. Find out as much as you can so you can ask the right questions and have a successful interview. Take your time in answering the interviewerís questions, and be concise. Personality is ninety percent of the battle, so be sure to establish a rapport with your interviewer. Ask for the offer before the interview is over. After the interview, send a thank you letter.
10. Learn the art of offer negotiations
Offer negotiations are an integral part of your job search process. Negotiating is an opportunity to get what you truly want and deserve. It is a way to significantly raise your standard of living and sense of self, simply by taking stock of what you have to offer and then capitalizing on it to negotiate a higher starting point. Thousands of dollars can be added to your compensation along with signing bonuses, added vacations, profit sharing and more. What you receive now becomes your benchmark for future positions. Go for what you are worth -- your life will never be the same!
You can put time back on your side by following my suggestions for your success, which encompass all the tools and resources you will ever need for an enriching journey and a successful career. Treat yourself to the job of your dreams and write your unique ticket to the next phase of your career life!
Copyright © 2005 TopDog Group All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Richter is a recognized authority in career coaching. His extensive knowledge and experience gained from many years in recruitment, outplacement and career management has allowed David to formulate powerful strategies anyone can use to secure interviews and receive offers. David holds Masters in both Engineering and Counseling Psychology. Visit: http://www.procareercoach.com
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