It’s time to stop the summer fun, the parties and nightlife. Summer’s over after all, and you still don’t have a full-time job. Cada mochuelo a su olivo!
If you’ve struck out looking for meaningful work over the last few months, it’s time to try again. Companies are ramping up recruiting efforts for an expected busy autumn season. The economy is on the mend and Americans are finding employment: About 4.2 million Americans were hired in June, and that’s higher than the number of jobs available on June 30 (3.9 million jobs)! Those numbers come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s recent announcement of June hiring numbers. Typically, hiring slows a bit throughout July but trends upward again in August as companies look to meet business demands in the September through December.
Read Related: Tips to Reinvent Yourself Professionally
We’re here to help you prepare. We’ve got the right techniques to find good jobs, the one-stop sites to find online job applications and the insider tricks to get you ahead of the other candidates.
PREPARING TO SEARCH
Before you start any job search, get prepared and organized:
Work your pitch. Job preparation is more than a prepared resume. It’s taking a sharp inner look at your best skills and talents and refining and rewording your 10-second work pitch. Try it; maybe it goes like this: “I’m an experienced accountant with expertise in accounting software, and I’m looking to secure a new role with a real estate firm.” Get your assets, background and aspirations all in it. And then repeat it to yourself daily.
Set goals and track leads. Like a new project, you’ll have to set goals for your job search. Use online personal assistants like Clever Careerist or job trackers like Jibberjobber to help you with this part. It’s important to note who you spent time writing, with whom you spoke in person and what follow-up emails are necessary.
Research and more research. Once your pitch, resume and goals are ready, it’s time to research companies in your area (or a new city, if you’re planning a move for work). Click to local business journals for leads, and check Indeed.com to find particular contacts within companies. Use websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find the hiring managers or someone who can lead you to them.
Take no shortcuts. Taking shortcuts with job applications can lead to your application going into the delete file. It’s better to research companies as best as you can. Read news reports, study press releases and understand the industry. Then, use this knowledge to write a blurb in your cover letter. Consider this example: “Having just acquired (say, a competitor), it’s likely there will be some operations integration decisions in the future. My background in operation management includes two instances of working through acquired companies. I’d be excited to help you through that transition period.”
Blast out applications. If you are looking for a job in a particular field—say, in food service or retail—instead of going to every single retailer or food company website to learn more and apply, visit sites like Job-Applications.com. They bring knowledge about these companies to you. Check the site to get online job applications, video interviews and tips on obtaining an interview and job offer for many of today’s hiring retailers (WalMart, Costco, Target, etc.) and food companies (Chick Fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, etc.).
Network online and offline. Make your work availability known to friends, former colleagues and industry professionals. Use social networks to share your work accomplishments and ideas. Attend local events to meet other working professionals in your area of expertise.
Work the social networks. If you’re not yet on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, make it happen. Many HR professionals may not even consider you for job opportunities without seeing your social media sites, especially LinkedIn. Social media is increasingly how the professional world networks, and if you’re not there, you’re seen as not current. If you are not current, a recruiter may be hard-pressed to see value in your skills and talents.
Job recruiting website Jobvite asked recruiters in 2012 if they use social networks to recruit. The answer was, in a nutshell, yes:
- 92 percent of those recruiters surveyed currently use social recruiting methods or plan to start.
- Nearly half (43 percent) of those recruiters surveyed who use social recruiting noticed better candidate quality.
- Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of the surveyed recruiters successfully landed a candidate via social recruiting.
If you are in job searching mode, it’s best to let people know you’re looking, where you want to work and who can help get you there.