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About this Blog

Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write, provides expert insight to the job search process that puts your career in gear with tips for interviewing, networking, job search strategies and how to create a winning résumé and cover letter.

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3:00PM

4 Summer Strategies to Step Up Your Job Search 

This article is written as part of the Career Collective, a group of career professionals who blog monthly on a specific topic. 

If you are one of the many professionals who has been searching for a new job during the first half of 2011, the recent news of stagnant job growth and the layoffs at CISCO, may be a bit disheartening, to say the least. As someone on the front lines, I can tell you first hand that it is not all dismal this year. As we approach the second half of 2011, there is still movement in the job market, and many of my clients have recently acquired new positions. What differentiates these clients from others is that they have learned the secrets to conducting a proactive job search.

Job search is not what it used to be. Many candidates who have struggled over the past few years to find their footing, realize that the landscape has changed and are doing what it takes to improve their odds. If you are job seeking, here are a few suggestions for the remainder of 2011: 

  1. Determine your specific road blocks; identify those things within your control and make changes. If you lack certain skills, don’t procrastinate a minute longer. Get the training you need ASAP. It is estimated that many of the jobs of the future will be in technology, so look into practical training that will help you get skills that are marketable both now and in the future.
  2. Perhaps you have a good résumé and are getting your foot in the door, but then blowing the interview. Take a serious look at what you might be doing to cause this problem.  Ask friends and colleagues for brutally honest feedback.  Consider improvements to your interview wardrobe and appearance, assess your responses to standard interview questions, and try to identify as many ways as you can to improve your interview performance.  Ever thought about working with a coach? Now might be the time to step up your ‘A game’.
  3. Step beyond your comfort zone and reach out to potential hiring managers, whether there is an advertised opening or not. Pound the pavement, so to speak. If you wait for postings to appear online, you are not likely to meet with as much success. A very small percentage of the jobs out there are ever advertised. This is why it is critical to uncover hidden job opportunities.
  4. Consider beefing up your personal branding efforts. Determine the attributes that make you valuable to employers and develop a strategy to convey your assets by using social media and local networking.  Be sure to polish your career documents to reflect your new and improved image.

While finding a new job in a sluggish economy is difficult, the key thing to remember is that it is not impossible. Even if the first half of the year got off to a rough start, there is still hope. Searching for a new job requires more effort on your part than in the past, but dismal job news is not an excuse to sit on your… laurels. It is an opportunity to sharpen your job search skills and move forward to become a stronger candidate. 

To read other blog article about Job Search in 2011, click on the many links below to articles written by my esteemed colleagues and members of the Career Collective. 

Putting Your Job Search Up On The Rack For Inspection, @dawnrasmussen, #careercollective

Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: Are you wasting your time? @GayleHoward, #careercollective

What is your unique value proposition? @keppie_careers, #careercollective

It is Time for Your Check-up Ms/Mr Jobseeker, @careersherpa, #careercollective

Mid-Year Career Checkup: Are You "On Your Game?" @KatCareerGal, #careercollective

How to Perform a Mid-Year Job Search Checkup, @heatherhuhman, #careercollective

Reposition your job search for success, @LaurieBerenson, #careercollective

Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: What's working and What's not? @erinkennedycprw, #careercollective

Mid-Year Job Search Check-Up: Getting Un-Stuck, @JobHuntOrg, #careercollective

Mid-Year Check Up: The Full 360, @WalterAkana, #careercollective

5 Tips for Fighting Summer Job Search Blues, @KCCareerCoach, #CareerCollective

Are you positive about your job search? @DawnBugni, #CareerCollective

Where Are The Jobs? @MartinBuckland, @EliteResumes, #CareerCollective

Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing, @ValueIntoWords, #CareerCollective

Reader Comments (4)

Excellent post Debra. You're right! Despite a sluggish economy, people are still submitting resumes, jobs are still being advertised and people are still getting jobs. Remaining optimistic and taking your advice are good first steps in a successful outcome!

July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGayle Howard

Excellent post Debra!

I especially echo your sentiment about taking steps to acquire the learning and skills necessary to be competitive in today's marketplace.

Many have cited lifelong learning as a key to long term career success - I'm definitely a believer in it.

Thanks for those wise words!
Megan

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Fitzgerald

Excellent guidance Debra.

I especially like "get the training you need ASAP." In general, it's easier to "keep up than to catch up" and in this competitive job search market, remaining current is imperative.

You are so right; people ARE getting hired; in spite of what news outlets would have you believe. Training, attitude, presentation, tenacity are all integral to a success search.

Great info on stepping up job search game. Thank you.

July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Bugni

Personal branding is huge. I recommend that every serious job seeker buy their own name as a domain (www.yourname.com). Maintain a professional blog under that name.

Even you update it once a month, if a potential employer Google's your name (which they will), that will show up first. First impressions are lasting impressions. It's best to first present a professional, authoritative profile.

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Targill

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