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Get ready for the job market, so that you can land your dream job

Prepare yourself for the job market, so that you can land your dream job

Preparing yourself for the job market can be a difficult task, especially with the ever-changing atmosphere of social media like LinkedIn and FaceBook, resumes, and interviews. Knowing what to do and how to go about doing it is essential in solidifying yourself a position at your next (or first) place of work. Keep this advice in mind as you look towards the future, and ready yourself for the best job that you can get.


Do

Do create a winning resume

Whether you write it yourself or get expert help, having a resume that clearly defines your skills and experience and positions you as valuable candidate is essential to success in today’s job market. Remember that recruiters are pouring over hundreds of resumes so make sure that your resume clearly and convincingly shows your skills, experience (workplace and volunteer), and any unique qualities or talents that align with the job you are pursuing. Make sure the resume is free of errors, attractive, and no more than two pages.

Do make sure you have a lasting first impression

“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success”, says Christopher Lasch. Piece by piece, assemble a business-wise wardrobe of essential clothing items and accessories that project credibility and competence. Complement your attire with impeccable grooming and poise for an overall polished look that sends the message of “I would be a great asset to your team.” Be sure that clothes are always laundered, pressed, and free of any signs of wear and tear or store tags. The goal is to be presentable, likeable, and memorable by creating a positive impression about your professionalism and workplace readiness.

Do your homework

There is no excuse for lack of knowledge about any company or organization you are pursuing in today’s job market. Learn everything you can about the company brand and how they do business. Check the internet for news stories and announcements. Having that knowledge and appropriately applying it during your interview can help give you the edge by making you appear connected and informed. Most companies have an internet presence, which means there is ample and free opportunity to find out the who, what when, where and why about them. Use this information to help you clarify and fine tune your job search and prepare for an interview.

Do practice your pitch

At one point or another in life, the message ‘practice makes perfect’ was given to us by a coach, parent or teacher. Whether you are a seasoned interviewer or not, take time to practice selling yourself (out loud) by telling your story and answering the standard, anticipated, and sometimes difficult questions that can be part of a job interview. Be prepared to comfortably and convincingly answer questions such as “Tell us about your self” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. Other typical questions are “Where do you see yourself in five years?’ or “Why should we hire you for this job?” Be sure to enrich your pitch with the relevant and illustrative stories of your business and/or volunteer experience. Use social media like YouTube to review interview scenarios to learn valuable tips and strategies.

Do nurture a network that builds respect and trust

Being part of a network, both face-to-face and in social media is an essential part of preparing for the job market. Think of a network as a group of like-minded people who support each other with resources and information and a place to build relationships and your reputation. Stay connected and engaged and find ways to bring value to the group that helps you earn trust and respect. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Klout allow you to give and receive recommendations, endorsements and “likes” that speak to the quality of your relationships and status online.

Not only do job recruiters search the internet to find qualified candidates, they also look at your profile, messaging, connections, what others are saying about you and what you say about them. Aim to be respectful, respected, and recommended by your followers and fans. Your face-to-face networking is equally important. Nurture your network by staying engaged and using a ‘what can I bring to the group’ approach.


Don't

Do not fear

In today’s highly competitive job market, being resourceful is essential to your success. Think about who you know that can help you reach your job search goals and don’t be afraid to ask for their help. Make a list and organize by relevant categories. Avoid waiting for the last minute. A request that is timely, respectful, and solidified by workplace or volunteer experience and a reputation based on trust and respect is sure to receive a positive response. The result can bolster your job search and help you make valuable connections.

Do not overlook the details

When you want to stand out in a crowded, paying attention can pay off. It is said that the devil is in the details. Don’t overlook even the smallest detail that can help you stand out and shine. Forgetting to include important work experience or achievement awards on your resume, giving a warm greeting to the receptionist when you arrive for an interview, or creating business-wise email address, profile photo or telephone voice mail message can be the difference between being screened out or the offer of an interview.

Do not misrepresent yourself - it is self-destruction

There is no better way to ruin your reputation and chances for getting a job or promotion than misrepresenting your credentials or experience on a resume of falsifying related documentation.The fall from grace in such situations can be hard to repair and not worth the trouble. Work with what you have to offer and work even harder to achieve what you don’t.

Do not miss an opportunity to show your appreciation

Never forget to say thank you for even the smallest opportunities or acts of kindness. Whether it is a friend or consultant who helped you write your resume or a letter of recommendation, an interview or a compliment in Social Media, showing your appreciation makes the other person feel great about themselves and builds respect.

Do not forget there is value in the valley

Even when there appear to be no opportunities on the horizon and the future looks bleak, don’t overlook the power of positivity. Do not rain on your own parade or crash your dreams. Remain motivated, engaged, connected, educated and focused on your goals. Go back and carefully mine the valley of rejection, self doubt, deception or condemnation for missed opportunities and other gems waiting to be discovered.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

There is no doubt that being well prepared for the job market can make a big difference in how you stand out among your competition. Armed with the necessary personal and online tools to build a strong presence that is respected and trusted you can project the confidence and credibility that brings value to any organization. Position yourself with a strong resume and a reputation that speaks to your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses. Remain motivated and look for missed opportunities even in the most unlikely places.


More expert advice about Finding a New Job

Photo Credits: 01 (278) by Flickr: Victor1558; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Yasmin Anderson-SmithPresident

Yasmin Anderson-Smith is a certified image management and personal branding coach, trainer and author. Combining experience, passion, inspiration and a focus on civility, Yasmin empowers business women, young professionals and college students t...

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