Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, November 10, 2008

Job Search Tips from Experts

While the economy continues to dwindle and more jobs are lost, there is some advice experts have to offer those on a job search.

The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics states the country lost 240,000 jobs during October, while the unemployment rate increased from 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent. This means the country has lost 1.2 million jobs so far this year. According to an article by the Boston Herald, some experts are taking this time to offer advice to job seekers.

First, it's helpful to use professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. These sites can help you identify what kind of job you're looking for and what your skills are, as well as connect you with important resources, potential references and possible employers.

You also can offer to work on a temporary basis if you're not currently employed. This is a good way to gain experience, keep your current skills up-to-date and learn new skills. A move like this also can help get you in the door. Another option is to work with a recruiting firm that offers free job placement services.

"We're going to have a stronger network," Bill Driscoll, New England district president at Robert Half International, said in the article. "We're going to know what companies are hiring and the skills that are in demand."

Job seekers can volunteer for nonprofit groups, which allows them to make valuable networking contacts that can help find a new job or career while performing a valuable service. Also, nonprofits are more likely to give people looking to switch careers useful experience in jobs where they currently lack necessary skills or credentials to be hired for paid positions.

One tried and true tactic is to network through professional associations, friends and colleagues. If you know your skills, you can seek out private career coaches or institutions offering career counseling.

"If you're lucky, you might hear of something before it gets posted somewhere," Maria Stein, director of Career Services at Northeastern University in Boston, said in the article, adding job sites are a passive way of looking for work. "You post your resume and post your profile, and then you sit back and wait for someone to contact you. I wouldn't necessarily put all my eggs in that basket and assume that's the most effective way to find a job.

Job seekers should network as much as possible, which will increase the odds of your resume being read. It's also important to be flexible.

"It's a good time to be more flexible," Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University, said in the article. "In a tough economy, you may not be able to get your dream job at your dream company. But there are jobs, and so it's finding an opportunity that helps you develop skills and experience that will better-qualify you for that dream job down the road.

"The other caveat that I give to students is flawless execution," Sarikas added. "There's absolutely no tolerance in this economy for mistakes on your resume, mistakes on your cover letter and not following up after an interview."

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