The foundational practices of job seeking have been around for a long time. Everyone is familiar with the common advice: use your network, write a great resume, take care of your appearance during an interview, etc. However, in the modern world, success in a job search can require a few new steps. To maximize your chances of landing your dream job in today’s market, keep the following tips in mind:
– Try to build your own position. Rather than combing ads or haranguing people in your network for the perfect job, be proactive. Reach out to people at a company for which you would like to work. If you can identify some of the challenges these employees face and can offer solutions without asking for anything in return, they may decide they want more of the same and find a place for you in their organization.
– Avoid the temptation to rush to apply to a job. When you find a position you really want, take time to research both the company and the position before applying. Reach out to an employee at the company directly. Describe your skills and experience, praise his or her work, and ask if the employee has any career advice for you. Often, the employee will point you toward the current job opening, which may help you get a leg up on other applicants.
– Improve your social media profiles, particularly on networking websites. A couple hundred direct connections on a networking website like LinkedIn can turn into millions of third-degree connections. You should take time to create a professional and engaging online presence, and you should avoid making statements online that might be provocative or negatively influence an employer’s impression of you.
– Build a personal brand. By engaging in activities like blogging and becoming an active part of your professional community through social networks like Twitter, you can put yourself in a position to be noticed by employers. Writing about topics germane to your field and re-tweeting interesting information may help you catch a recruiter’s eye.