Where to Begin

Mar 19th, 2009 | By admin | Category: Featured

Identify your strengths

One of the first steps to finding a job is identifying your strengths.  Are you knowledgeable about computer programming?  Do you have an artistic or creative side?  Will your past experience with landscape design give you a leg up on the competition?  To successfully market yourself, you must first define what your most valuable skills are.   Speak with past employers.  Find out what they thought your most valuable attributes were and make a list.

Narrow your job search

Now that you have identified your strengths, you must find out where they will be put to the best use.  Of course, the job hunting process can be extremely difficult, especially with today’s economy.  However, if you start with a small target area and work your way outward, it may not seem so daunting.  Start with your top choices; this will prove to potential employers that you are serious about working for them.

Have business cards printed

It’s no secret that today’s market is extremely competitive.  With employers sifting through dozens, if not hundreds of applications, applicants must do their best to stand out.  Of course, handing in a resume is standard practice, but why not hand in a business card as well?  A well crafted business card will reveal your sense of professionalism to potential employers.

Create your own business card design, or search for designs online.  Simply insert your name, phone number, e-mail address, and whatever contact information you think is necessary.  The design on the card should say something about you as a person, but also be clean and simple.  Try making a statement by printing on recycled paper or listing your best attributes on the back.

Always carry some business cards with you.  Try to get your name out there.  Distribute them at interviews and among your acquaintances.  You never know when all your networking will pay off.  Creating a business card is a small step that will make a big difference.

Perfect your resume

Before handing out dozens of resumes, it is important that each one is updated, with your most recent experience.  Also, each resume should be tailored specifically to the job you are applying for.  Of course, keep track of which resume is going where.

Be prepared for your interview

When you finally land that interview, it’s extremely important that it goes well.  Research the company ahead of time and practice some answers to any questions you may anticipate.  Also, prepare some questions of your own.  Always arrive early, and dress professionally.  When being interviewed, be friendly, confident, and focus on the positive.  And again, bring enough business cards for all of your multiple interviewers.

Follow up

Once your interview is over, that doesn’t mean that you just sit back and wait for someone to contact you.  Prepare thank you cards for everyone who interviewed you and write a short, personalized message in each.  It is also important that you restate your interest in the position.   Drop the cards in the mail the same day, while you are still fresh in your interviewer’s mind.  These cards should be clean and simple, nothing too extravagant.  Have your own thank you cards printed, that way you will always have them on hand.

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