As I sit here on this dreary Sunday afternoon, I reflect on the past year I have spent in Southeast Ohio. Though I have experienced great challenges, I have persevered and pushed myself to become better than I once was. Now, as I reenter the job market with new skills and abilities, I have developed strategies for finding work in an otherwise dreary job market. The points below identify steps to help anyone looking for work. While this list is not exhaustive, it does contain some strategies that can be used by any potential job seeker. Enjoy!
- Define Your Value – What can you do? How can you do it? And will it benefit others? Most job interviews consist of these three questions in one form or another. Having an explicitly defined value statement of statement of purpose will allow employers to clearly understand how your employment will benefit the organization.
- Create a Personal Brand – As mentioned in the Social Media Series presented by the Voinovich School blog, crafting a personal brand is critical to future employment. Your value statement should be reflected in your personal brand and employers should have easy access to your online portfolio. Think of your personal brand as the story of your professional and personal life. How do you want people to read this story?
- Utilize Job Search Agents – Though some people may seek out flesh and blood job agents, this is an expensive endeavor that may or may not yield results. Therefore, all job seekers should set up online job search agents at their favorite job sites. This is an easy process that is typically free to registered users.
- Leverage Personal Networks – This should be second nature, but for many it isn’t. Take a look at your LinkedIn account and determine which connections have an established career in the field you would like to work. Contact these people and let them know you are looking for positions. Remember to be sincere! We live in a competitive society and you need to utilize every asset at your disposal to find work. Just because Aunt Jackie worked hard and is willing to help you find a job doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from her success.
- Contact Potential Employers – You have a value statement, check. You have developed a personal brand, check. You have set up job search agents and contacted Aunt Jackie, check. Now, all that is left is contacting potential employers. Instead of submitting your resume to the “black box” hiring websites, contact the organization and request an informational interview. By positioning yourself as an inquirer and not an applicant, your gain a competitive advantage. You have defined value right?! Then you should be selective with your potential employment. This may be hard to swallow, but as the economy rebounds and more jobs are created, potential employers will want more specialized and experienced candidates. It is the future, deal with it.