Your Job Is Getting a Job
By John Wagner, CareerCenter
Six months have gone by. You're out of work. You're discouraged, depressed, and possibly even angry. You've used every excuse in the book: "I'm too old," "too young," "overqualified," or "under qualified."
Reentering the workforce can be daunting and stressful. Job hunting creates a life of its own and becomes more like a job. So why not treat it as such? Job hunting is hard work that requires daily attention until that moment you get hired. Here are five crucial "jobs" you should commit to as parts of your serious job search:
1. Get Up and Get Moving
Shave, shower and dress - not in raggedy jeans, sweats, or t-shirts; put something on you would be proud to be seen wearing in public. This alone is a confidence builder. In addition, set up an area in your home that is dedicated to your job search. Having a quiet and organized area where you can focus on tasks related to your job search will help increase your productivity.
2. Get Out and Network
Visit your local Chamber of Commerce; they may have programs to help you in your quest. Do "exploratory interviews" with companies that appear interesting. Learn what they do and what activities they perform in the local community; offer to volunteer at those places and get to know the people you may be working with some day. Yes, 80 percent of all jobs are found through networking.
3. Develop a Targeted Resume
That dreaded resume, you know the one you send out with few replies. It's time you learn to write a customized, targeted and relevant resume for each and every company you apply; this requires research to show that you are interested in that company. Knowledge builds confidence and will help you feel more relaxed during an interview. Visit career centers; they will teach you how to write a targeted resume that will help land that dream job.
4. Customize Your Cover Letter
Have you been writing targeted resumes all along and still not getting interviews? Are you sending a cover letter? Many Human Resource (HR) personnel toss out resumes that do not have that cover letters. Cover letters must be customized, targeted and relevant to the position you're applying showing you've put extra-effort into their company.
5. Prepare For The Interview
Arrive five to 10 minutes early! A lot of effort is put into an interview: questions are created, appointments rescheduled, and calendars cleared. Be mindful the moment you arrive yes your every action may be watched. Did you fidget too much, what type of car do you drive, how did you handle the questions being asked?
You must prepare meaningful questions. Numerous HR representatives state they won't hire an applicant who is not prepared with questions. Asking questions shows you're interested and want to work for their organization. You are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.
Now that you have a clearer idea on how to conduct a job search in today's market, do a self-examination. What have you been doing for the last six months?
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John Wagner, a 26-year navy veteran, is a local veterans' employment representative with the Lewiston CareerCenter. He assists veterans with finding employment and connects businesses to veterans. Learn more at the Lewiston CareerCenter website.