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Part 1 - Career Moves: How To Land The Job You Want

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Strategies for finding a job and keeping it are just as important as “working it” so that your talents will be noticed and you will glide swiftly up the company ladder.

With millions unemployed worldwide and literally legions of (well-educated) graduates entering (or even re-entering) the employment market, the workforce has become over saturated and even an advanced degree does not offer the guarantee of finding a job, especially in your chosen profession.

According to experts, gone are the days when you could rely on a craft, skill or knowledge to land you a profitable position, one in which you stay and (potentially) advance in over the course of 20-30+ years. Today’s job market is much more competitive and transient. It is not uncommon these days for even the most savvy scholars to work in fields totally unrelated to their areas of expertise, interest and study. Nor is it uncommon for individuals to change, not only jobs, but careers several times during their lifetime (and that does not include positions held temporarily or while working towards obtaining a degree).

Ironically, professionals point out, that in today’s emulous economy, landing a job demands more than just “technical” skills. In fact, they note that they most “coveted” jobs go to those with the “least” “specialized” or vocational qualifications, but rather to those who’ve mastered the interpersonal skills necessary for the job.

Business basics begin not with A degree but instead rely heavily on THE degree that you are able or at least perceived to be an “invaluable” asset to the company, organization or business. Experts suggest that much like there are life rules, social rules (otherwise known as etiquette), there are also business rules, and they make the following suggestions for talking the work out of finding a job.

Have a Plan: Before you can go out and LOOK for what you want you have to KNOW what you want and then you have to investigate on the best way to “get” it. Industry leaders say inspiration and motivation, at this stage are key. They recommend developing an “agenda” and a daily “work” schedule or routine. Set the alarm for going to work, shower and get dressed for the job (the one you hope to obtain). Experts suggest that looking and “playing” the part helps boost confidence and also puts you in the proper frame of mind for working toward your goal. Additionally, experts advise making finding work your primary priority, and it’s also a good idea to keep notes and log your progress. Remember, as long as you are unemployed, finding a job IS your job.

Extend Your Scope and Reach: Go beyond the conventional and tap into esoteric sources. Think outside the box or, in this case, the want ads and help wanted section. Experts emphasize that most (sought after)jobs are NOT advertised. Savvy job seekers realize this and make a concerted effort to uncover hidden treasures. Besides local newspapers, trade papers, business magazines and the internet, consider asking friends and family for assistance, recommendations or potential connections. Puruse the phone book even magazines and make some calls to companies, stores, or organizations you think you’d be interested, would have a position you’d be interested in and excel at, and those you feel may serve as beneficial to additional “training” and growth. You may even consider taking it to the streets and going door to door.

Add Flexibility to Your Resume: Think about modifying your approach. Rome was not built in a day, so why should you be able to find the perfect job in one? As Bill Gates once noted, “No one graduates college and starts out at the top making a six figure salary”. (yes, I’m paraphrasing)…..and you are no different. Remember, in today’s tight economy even the most accomplished executives often don’t always receive a salary commensurate with experience or cost of living. You may simply have to learn to be content, even satisfied with a less than ideal job or situation, at least initially. Instead of focusing on the negative, approach your situation positively and with a focus on the potential and the positive. Understand that every situation has some opportunity if you stay open-minded and optimistic. Professionals point out that accepting work in a department you are not necessarily familiar with or excited about, temporarily “settling” for a lower salary, doing “menial” tasks, do not undermine you, your worth or your abilities, not do they put you in a disadvantageous position. They note that by broadening your horizons, you are also increasing your chance of employment. You are also working toward enhancing your marketability. The more you are able to do, the more positions you’ll be suited to and for, and the higher the salary you will warrant and can demand.

Market Yourself: Remember, it pays to advertise. If employers do it, why shouldn’t YOU? While help wanted ads are an employers most valuable tool for going public, your best tool is in your resume. Make sure that you not only have one, and that it’s professional, but that it is tailored and suitable to the industry and type of company you are targeting. A resume is your business profile giving potential employers an overview of your wants, needs, abilities and accomplishments. It also allows them to see on paper what you’re worth. The best way to compile and effective resume, according to industry experts is as follows:

Phone Number
Email Address

State Your Objective

List The Education You’ve Received

List Previous Employment Including Goals, Accomplishments and How Your Beneficially Served The Company

Highlight Your Skills, Training, Etc., Including Hobbies or Projects That Pertain To The Job or Industry

Include Personal Information That Emphasizes Your Qualities, Interests, Etc.

Remember that even within the same industry, each employer and company is different and varies in how they operate and what they are looking for. Be prepared to revise or customize your resume to a particular industry or employer.

Sample Resume For Those Without Previous Work History

Your Name:
Your Address:
Your Phone Number and Email Address:

Objective: To obtain an entry level position in manufacturing.

Eduction: Graduated from local university in 2005

Courses: General Academic, including language skills, math, computers, and woodworking.

Skills and Abilities: Proficient in manual labor. Regularly work on family vehicle. Designed and crafted wooden chairs and table in woodshop. Enjoy using math skills to craft furniture. Insltalled roofing material on a volunteer building project. Computer literate in most programs with an ability to learn quickly.

Personal Information: Reliable: Never tardy and only missed one day of school throughout senior year. Or during the course of training. Honest, returned a lost wallet containing money. Friendly, regularly involved in community volunteer work and programs including feeding the homeless and visiting and assisting the homebound. Athletics, enjoy playing hockey. Hobbies, automobile repair and woodworking.

References: Available upon request.

(References should include someone such as a schoolteacher who knows you well or a family friend who heads up a business. Be sure to gain consent from those you are using or intend to use as references.)

Consider also designing some personal business cards for yourself. Besides sending out resumes, think about small, four by six inch cards with your pertinent information, including name, address, phone number and email address (perhaps even a photo of yourself on the back or in a corner), and a brief summary of your skills. Hand the card out to anyone you can potentially help you find work and encourage them to pass it along

Do Your Homework: Before getting all excited about going on your interview you should know what you are getting all excited about and should be prepared to give your employer something to get excited over. Looking your best will help make your first impression (made by employers in the first 3 seconds) but you can sharpen your image by polishing not only shoes and your appearnce but your knowledge. Find out as much as you can about the company. Determind whether you’d want to work there, and during your interview dazzle them with your brillance. Experts also suggest showing up 15 minutes early. Unless there are severe, justifiable, extenuating circumstances you should NEVER be late for an interview, and they note that showing up too early may not be wise either.

Even iyou are not impressed during the interview, always stay positive and poised. Shake the interviewers hand and , concentrate on how your present yourself, give enough
Informaiton without saying too much, maintain eye contact, use natural gestures, speak clearly and eloquently, and convey confidence.

Possible Interview Questions

1. Why do you want this job.

2. Why do you want to work for this company

3. What have you heard or do you know about us.

4. Have you ever done this type of work before

5. What types of machines can you operate

6. What experience have you had in this field or area of work

7. What skills can you bring to this job?

8. What five words would you use to describe yourself.

9. How well do you work under pressure

10. Why did you leave you last job.

11. Why have you remained unemployed?

12. How would your last employer describe you?

13. How many times did you miss work at your last job?

14. Where do you see yourself in the future

15. When are you available to start work?

16. What are your greatest assets?

Once you’ve gotten your foot in the door, you’ll want to keep it there…especially if you plan on climbing the corporate ladder. Some expert advice for taking the appropriate steps in the right direction.

Next: Part 2 - Job Security >>

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Part 1 - Career Moves: How To Land The Job You Want

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