As many people can tell you, looking for a job is a job in itself. Like anything, the more experience you have, the better your success. Your options are limited only by your education, experience, and business contacts. The reality is that it pays to know people (or to have people know you).
When searching for a job, it may be easier for you to ask your friends, family, and any contacts that you may have if they know of anything available that would be suitable for you. You never know, you might wind up getting picked up for a position that you would have had no idea was available otherwise.
These days, employers look for people with qualities beyond an education, and many of the prime positions require a few years of experience. A new university graduate may complain, “I can’t get experience unless I find somewhere to work.” The reality is that few will ever actually be willing to start at the bottom. One piece of advice I can give is to approach a prospective employer with an open mind and a willingness to try new things. It will greatly increase the probability of a successful job hunt.
Approximately 80% of the job openings available at any given time are not being advertised. Most, if not all, of these positions are filled via internal staff or personal contacts. Many of the higher paying jobs are filling this way. As a job seeker, it would be wise to make a list of people you know, and contact them for assistance in finding a job. If you don’t know a lot of people, you can try networking to achieve the results that you want.
Don’t know how or where to network? Try following these suggestions:
- Attend community meetings – Many people that attend these meets are actively involved in the community. The range of attendees can be extremely diverse, from stay-at-home-mom’s to CEO’s. Attending gets your name out there.
- Volunteer – Volunteering is great for the soul, and you will meet a lot of people. A lot of employers favor applicants with volunteer experience, as it shows a desire to work hard and maintain an ethical profile.
- Join clubs and associations – Many people join clubs in hopes of meeting other like minded individuals. Try getting to know people with similar interests, as they may lead you to positions or opportunities. Toastmasters is a popular public speaking organization that is open to anyone looking to improve their speaking style.
- Apply in person – The digital age has made applying for work online incredibly easy, and many people have forgotten the value of actually physically visiting the potential place of employment. Often, setting up a meeting with a manager or supervisor in the department relevant to your skill set is a great way to get them to notice you. After all, you came to them.
Lastly, don’t forget to polish your resume. But, whatever you do, do not lie on it. Your employer will find out, be it during the application process or later on down the line. Lying on your resume is grounds for dismissal, so make sure that any responsibilities that you list are legitimate and true.
Good luck, and don’t give up!
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