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:
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- 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
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.