Monday, March 3, 2008

Landing a job in tough times

Today's MSNBC site has an article about how to get a leg up in today's job market. Given that a colleague of mine was recently let go and doesn't really understand the social networking world, I thought I'd give some tips for would-be job seekers. Here are 10 solid helpful hints for folks looking for their next opportunity.

1) Update your resume and then have it looked at by professional resume writer. This might seem costly at first but it is the best $500-$1000 you'll spend. These folks understand what hiring managers are looking for and will provide you with multiple versions of your resume based on the jobs you are looking for.

2) Get your profile up on Linked In! What are you waiting for? There are 19M other users out there on this site and it gives you the unique ability to get references for your past work and pass those along to recruiters who live on this site. This was one of my primary tools during my last job search and I was able to leverage my network to interface directly with my ultimate manager prior to the interview.

3) Clean up your MySpace and Facebook sites. Some of you have avoided temptation to be "friended" or post up your intimate details on these sites but those of you that have put your affinity for 80's glam bands and hot pink hair streaks should really clean it up a bit.

4) Create a 30 second sound bite for what your ideal job is. If you can't articulate it, why would anyone want to hire you? In today's fast paced, info economy, you need to say it fast, loud and clear. I would also send this to your network contacts so they can clearly describe what you're looking for to their contacts.

5) What is your personal elevator pitch? A two-minute spiel on your background, experience and history will show that you are prepared, knowledgeable and concise to any potential contacts or hiring managers.

6) Network, network, network. You can never know enough people. You never know what the person next to you on a plane, at Starbucks, in line at Target or at the playground could help with. But the ultimate rule for all networking is that you should be the first to offer assistance and your network karma will come back to you.

7) Be very careful with videos. You may think that you come across really smart looking and polished but let's face it, you're not on TV for a reason. Think twice, and three times, before sending a video to a company.

8) Research. If you don't know what the company does, how on earth would you know that you'd like to work there? Do your homework dammit. Nothing is worse than an interview candidate showing up and not knowing a thing about what my company does.

9) Did I mention networking?

10) Get a new suit. Clean yourself up and get some new interview clothes. They will not only help you feel better about yourself but they will show that you take pride in your appearance and that you are a professional. And guys, don't be afraid to go get a manicure, sans polish, before you show up. The military knows what's up with the spit and polish thing.

I hope these things help those of you that might find yourself in the lurch. I've got a lot more so if you're interested, drop me a line and I'll assist. Also, if you want to Link In, hit my contact button on the right.

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