Job Tips For The Frustrated Job Seekers
Like the man who looks under the lamp-post for his keys, rather than looking where he dropped them, maybe the perfect job has eluded you because you haven’t known where to look.
There is nothing more frustrating and depressing when you are out of work and trying to find a job and your job search is going no where. Don't feel bad, you are not alone and there is a good reason why searching for a new job can be so difficult. There is no doubt the job market has changed. 20 years ago when I applied for my first job I remember answering an ad in the paper, calling and speaking to a real person, going in for the interview, filling out a application, had the interview and was offered the $2.50 and hour shipping job. Things are not that simple today. Back then there was no voice mail, no email, you mailed in a typed resume, who had a fax at home? You called and talked to a real person. You may of filled out a application but not the dozen forms you need to today.Today if you are looking for a job how to stand out in the impersonal hiring environment that exists in most companies.
I had been self employed for 4 years but after a marriage break-up and starting life over, my self employment was no longer working. I had to bite the bullet and start looking for a job. The first mistake I realized was my resume was not working. I had updated it to reflect my self employment which was not related to my previous career. I was trying to find a position similar to my previous career in the graphics and computer support industry. By starting my work history with my self employment it made it look like I had been out of the industry even longer and my skills even more outdated. I was just shooting myself in the foot. I changed my self employment to reflect my computer skills so while I had been out of the industry for awhile I wasn't out of touch. Some employers have doubts about people who have been self employed. They think they are going to go back to their own business or worse they only want a job so they can use company resources for their own gain. In my case I was able to explain that I had an opportunity to work at home and spend time with my preschool son, it had been for family reasons. Most employers respect that.
To begin with you really need to take a hard look at your resume. If you have always worked in one area and are applying for a position similar to those you have had in the past then your resume may just need some updating and polish. There are a number of good books and websites on resume writing. If you really need help then a resume service may be money well spent.
How many resumes do you have? There is no reason you can't have several. I was applying for a variety of unrelated positions. I would of looked "over qualified" or my experience would of been too unrelated for the position if I stuck with just one standard resume. I created a "general" resume that listed a variety of skills that could fit any number of non specific jobs. You can have one that is very specific for the industry you are applying for and there is no reason you can't change it to a specific company especially if it will be scanned in and checked for "keywords" Some companies scan for keywords or buzzwords related to the position, their company or industry. Even if you are the most qualified person for that position, if your resume doesn't have those keywords, it will never get seen.
In addition to having a few different resumes you should have it in several different formats also. If you need to mail it in then a nice easy to read printed resume is in order. Same if you will be faxing it in. If you email your resume then your cover letter will be the body of your email and your resume will be attached. Most employers request it be in a word .doc format or text but you can also use a pdf format. If you have your own website why not post it online with a link in your email. That way if your attachment can't be read they can print it off the internet. You should also have a unformatted text only resume for uploading to online job sites.
Be sure to include several ways to contact you. Home phone, cell phone, email. I had the unfortunate luck of having my cell phone and my home phone cut off for non payment within a few days of each other. As luck would have it someone I sent a resume to tried to contact me and couldn't get through. They did send me a email saying they couldn't reach me. I was able to call them and get a interview. Don't leave anything to chance. And if they leave you a message get back to them ASAP while your resume is still on their desk. When you get a interview, be on time, be prepared, do your research about the company you are interviewing with. You can usually find most everything you need off their company website. Come prepared with extra resumes, helpful if you have to fill out a application. Also have copies of your updated references. It is best to have more than 3. Some companies want professional references including past employers, others want personal references of persons not related to you. Be prepared for both.
Where to find a job? Dig! And keep digging! You may never know where one will show up. In some ways the internet has made job searches easier with a variety of job sites to search. You should probably set up accounts at the large sites like hotjobs and monster which will allow you to post your resume and apply directly to postings Also take a look at sites like indeed.com. They are a search engine of sorts for jobs. They search several jobs sites at once. Saves time from going to each site. Post your resume so employers can find you. ASK! Don't be afraid to let everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Drop a email to anyone who might know someone who might have a job opening. You might be surprised how many people really do want to help you. Network your pants off! If you don't ask no one can help you. Search everyday. Try and send out at least one resume a day if not more.
Nothing better than telling someone, "I'm sorry I accepted another position" Apply for every job you are remotely interested in even if you don't think you are qualified. Every job listed always has a laundry list of qualifications and requirements. In a perfect world they would find the perfect person that would match every requirement. But employers know that person doesn't exist and they are looking for someone who closely matches and they feel will be a good fit. At the worst you will never hear from them. At the best they will offer you a job or maybe something different within their company. You can always turn it down. Even if it turns out to be something you really don't want to do, it might help you get by for awhile until a better position comes along. Never be afraid to apply to any job!
Most of all don't give up hope, the right job will happen at the right time. Remember to take care of yourself. Go for a walk, get plenty of rest, do something you enjoy just for yourself. As long as you keep moving in a forward direction, if someone asks you what you have been doing to find a job you can proudly say "this is what I have been doing" Persistence will pay off.
A cover letter
A cover letter can be the ultimate compliment to your resume. With an effective and well-written letter, you can impress future employers with details that cannot always be found in the resume. Also, a cover letter may just be the reason your resume is even read. Employers are likely to ignore resumes that are unaccompanied. A cover letter makes it stand out.
However, for a cover letter to work, it must follow certain rules and meet certain standards. Below are tips to help you meet those standards. By following these suggestions, you can perfect the necessary art of writing a cover letter.
1. Take Your Time
A cover letter is essential to your job seeking process; however, many overlook it or, worse, devote all of the energy to their resume and then throw together the cover letter as an afterthought. This is not wise: Employers read the cover letter first. Do you want their first impression of you to be a messy and obviously strewn-together letter? Of course, not! You want it to be professional; so, take your time. Allow equal proportions of time to be spent on both the resume and cover letter; they are both important and deserve equal attention.
2. Be Concise
Potential employers want to read your cover letter; they do not, however, want to read a novel. You must keep your letter simple and to the point, within a one-page limit, you have little room to maneuver. Use your space wisely. Offer important and necessary details, things that cannot be found in the resume. You have to make an impression in a short amount of time so make it count.
3. Find Your Style
Cover letters allow you to reveal your personality in a way that resumes cannot. While a resume is impersonal and factual, a cover letter can be laced with humor and style. When you write your letter, find a friendly, yet still-professional tone. Make the reader want to meet you. A cover letter is a first impression; make it an enticing one.
4. The Name person who will be interviewing you.When possible, address your letter to the person who will be interviewing you. This will accomplish two things: 1. Give a sense of familiarity between you and the reader. 2. Show that you did your research on the company. Still, remember to keep it professional. Do not address the reader as “Mary”; call her “Ms. Smith”. If it is not possible to determine who will be interviewing you, keep your titles more generic.
5. Turn The Focus On Them
Do not start all of your sentences with “I” or “My”. This creates a self-focused letter. Instead, try to begin your sentences with “You” or “Your”; this allows the employer to see that you are wanting to work for them, not yourself. With a little research to discover what the company is seeking for that position, you can focus on the needs of your employer. Explain what you can do for them; don’t ask what they can offer you.
6. Originality Counts
Show employers that you can step out of typical boundaries and create your own ideas. Try to keep away from standard formatting and see what best suits you. Include details that, while perhaps not always included in the usual letter, can showcase your strengths.
The final step in writing a cover letter is to read and reread. Check for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. While writing a cover letter gives you an advantage over those who do not, a poorly written one will make you seem worse by comparison.
Put yourself ahead of the competition by following these suggestions and create the perfect cover letter.
Wishing You Good luck.