An extension to my recent post on job skills and the value of a college degree, I want to share this great advice from Teresa Crane. She provides a helpful outlook for job seekers (new grads and experienced pros), including tips, resources, and strategies to build yourself as a professional and land that next job. Her full article “Career Skills you Won’t Learn in School” can be found on BestCollegesOnlineBlog, but we’ll just highlight a few thoughts to get started…
1 – Identify Potential Employers
Teresa suggests you create a list of specific companies and organizations that are currently seeking people with your job skills. You should also explore your industry/field before you begin sending out applications and resumes. The list should include key details such as company name, website, location, HR contact, hire announcements and how you found out about them (i.e. through friend, social media, news article, alumni).
Even if you are not keeping a record of potential companies, these are important details to know about any company for which you are applying. It is impressive to potential employers to know some history of the company you are interviewing with, especially if you can note how you heard of them or a recent accolade from the local newspaper or industry awards.
Also consider using these tactics for starting your list.
Venues and special events – Meet employers in your local area and online through career and employment events. (try National Career Fairs or Jo-Hunt.org)
Online services – Check job databases, online application and resume referral systems. General search sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com include a wide variety of jobs and industries.
Alumni directories – Work with your school to locate lists of alumni from your program. Where are other graduates working? Are their organizations hiring?
Recruiters – Many companies use in-house and contracted recruiters or staffing firms. Teresa says, “EmploymentDigest.net provides guidance on working with recruiters that includes researching the companies to find out where they make placements and being truthful in presenting your experience and job interests.”
2- Establish Your Online Presence
A positive and professional online presence is key in today’s job market. Teresa says, “Having an online presence allows you to not only participate in social networking activities related to your career field, but also present your experience, interests, and skills to potential employers in an arena where they are already active – the Internet.”
I’ve written before about the importance of a good LinkedIn profile and online resume. Take the time to thoughtfully complete your online profile, with a job position in mind, edit your resume to demonstrate how your skills will meet a potential employers needs.
3- Develop a Job Search Strategy
Focus your efforts by outlining how often you will search for a job (weekly, daily), how you will reach out to the employer and where you will search for position announcements. By detailing a strategy, you will more efficiently solicit potential employers without wasting your time on ineffective activities. Keeping a record of your efforts and reviewing it periodically will also help you figure out which tactics are working well, and which ones are not, then adjust your strategy accordingly.
If you want more great advice on writing your resume and cover letter, or how to prepare for the job interview, read more from Teresa Crane online:
Good Luck Job Hunting!