Consider the following tips to help you land a new job this year: 1. Do a little soul searching. One of the most overlooked parts of a job search is self-discovery. It gets lost in a list of more practical concerns about how to apply for positions, but skipping this step can be detrimental. Do you know what you're really good at doing? What do you offer that makes you stand out from a crowd of applicants? What are your very best skills? Are there accomplishments that you'd be proud to share with your target employers? If you don't know the answers to these questions, focus on what you'd really like to do in your next job and connect the dots between what you want to do and what you have done well in the past.
2. Identify what your target employer wants. This step assumes that you've selected places where you'd like to work. Once you know what you want in a job, find several employers who need someone with your skills. Successful job seekers spend time researching what employers want from them. It's so much easier to create focused application materials when you've spent time learning about the organizations where you want to work. Instead of scouring the Internet for job descriptions, identify several companies that you know would be a good fit for you and learn everything you can about them.
Read their online profiles on all the big networks, including their website, LinkedIn and Facebook, and check YouTube and Twitter for details that could help you identify how to create materials that will put you ahead of the crowd.
3. Ramp up your networking. Keep in mind: networking doesn't mean asking everyone you know for help; it's about presenting a professional persona and meeting people who share a common interest. Make a point to go where people in your field tend to socialize and engage in conversations that don't have anything to do with your job search. Get to know people on a personal level: Learn about their hobbies, their families and what they enjoy doing. Be a good listener and follow up by offering useful resources and information. When people see you as someone who cares about them, they're more likely to want to help you.
When you approach networking as an opportunity to be generous and to share your expertise, you're more likely to benefit from job search assistance that comes as a result of your generosity.
4. Demonstrate your expertise. Use social media to show what you know. It's never been easier to get the word out about you, and you can highlight your expertise via simple social media updates on your favorite network, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. You'll never know powerful it is to be able to show what you know instead of expecting someone to believe you when you say it on your resume until you try social media. This technique is especially helpful to help get a job when you're unemployed.
When you make an effort to serve as an online resource and connect with others in your field, you grow the number of people who know, like and trust you and increase the potential for referrals to opportunities that may interest you.
Take a chance and give yourself the latitude to focus on you, target some employers and ramp up your networking, both in person and online, and you may find the results very satisfying.
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