With President Obama’s speech last week on his proposal for what should be done about the job crisis in the United States, jobs and careers seem to be on everyone’s mind. Are you part of the 9% of Americans who are jobless or the 8 or so percent that don’t have enough work? Job hunting is more of a hassle and challenge than it has ever been. Here are some do’s and don’ts for you to consider if you’re hunting for any sort of job.
- Always have flexibility. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is telling their potential employer that they can only work weekdays or mornings or whatever. The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to be considered. Now, if you have a religious observation, kids you need to pick up from school or another important reason, mention that, but otherwise, be flexible.
- Watch what you put online. Social networking is a double-edged sword. While it can make networking and communicating a piece of cake, it can also be what destroys you in your job hunt. Don’t have controversial statements, pictures from wild parties, or other posts that could be detrimental to a potential employer’s view of you.
- Follow up. Always do this. When you put in an application, if they don’t contact you within a week, call and see if they received your application. It shows ambition, and you’re more likely to be remembered by such an action if you come in for an interview. If you get an interview, always follow up a couple days later with an email, phone call, or postcard thanking the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. You could end up with a potential contact, and networking is vital to success in the job market.
- Don’t be shy. Your résumé and interview are your chance to shine. Don’t sound cocky, but make it so that the interviewer can recognize your confidence in your own skills. Don’t overemphasize your weaknesses (but be aware of them!), make sure to point out your strengths and how that can benefit the company as a whole.
- Never stop learning. Add credentials to your résumé! Take or audit classes, further your education, go to workshops, get certified in things that could be beneficial to your field. Don’t become overeducated, but don’t let your brain become stagnant either.
- Don’t forget to update your résumé. Always update your résumé with anything that changes. Previous jobs, references, learning opportunities you have taken, new addresses and/or phone numbers. Whatever changes are made in your life, make sure to change your résumé along with it. This will ensure that nothing important gets left out.
I’m not saying that following these will guarantee to land you your dream job, but I am saying that these will make the possibility of your employment more of a reality. Enjoy your week!