Looking for a job can be stressful. Many candidates prepare a generic cover letter and application, search local job listings and simply show up for an interview hoping to survive the ordeal. You may not know it, but there are actually many resources available to help you in the job seeking process. Learn how to boost your resume, network effectively and consult interviewing articles to improve your chances of finding a job you’ll love.
A standard resume template includes spaces for your job history and educational background. However, you don’t have to stick to the template. If you feel you have accomplishments outside these arenas, find a way to work them into your resume. Perhaps you engage in extensive volunteer work. This can be a great way to show a potential employer that you are ambitious as well as generous, and odds are the skills you have learned through your volunteer projects can come in handy in your profession as well. And while your employer probably doesn’t care whether you enjoy roller skating in the park or long walks on the beach, if you are new to the job market and really have very little relevant experience you may be able to use certain hobbies on a resume as well, particularly if you have won awards or achieved recognition.
One great way to strengthen a resume is to learn new skills. Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned worker, going out of your way to take a class or program shows potential employers that you are proactive and interested in your professional development. You may decide to take a single class online or at a community college or technical school, or you might apply for a certification program. You might have to invest some time and even some money in learning something new, but if it increases your job opportunities it will have been worth the expense.
Networking Opportunities and Associations
Local listings and websites are not the only way to find and apply for a job. Many industries have their own professional associations, social networks or job clubs. These organizations often have meetings and conferences where you can meet other members and learn about new opportunities. If you form good relationships with people within your industry they are more likely to recommend you to others and to pass on any possible employment opportunities that come up.
Informal networking can be valuable as well. Whether you are currently involved in the industry or not, you might consider arranging an informational interview with someone who works in the field. Use this interview as an opportunity to learn more about the industry and to discuss opportunities with local companies. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the field and even if the person is not aware of any current openings they may contact you first if they hear of any.
You don’t have to go into an interview simply hoping for the best. Job seekers can look online and in trade magazines for interviewing articles that offer advice on every facet of the process. These articles can be invaluable in helping you to prepare your application, practice interview questions and complete a successful interview.
Some articles outline procedures for finding and evaluating open positions. Others offer templates for your cover letter and application. Many articles outline the interview process and offer extensive lists of questions that might be asked and offer suggestions for answering those questions in a way that highlights your most marketable qualities and skills. Some interviewing articles are generic and their suggestions apply to candidates in any field. Others are industry-specific and can give the reader more detailed advice. Readers can learn about different types of interviews, such as behavioral, case study and panel interviews, and learn tips and tricks for performing successfully at each one. Interview articles can offer advice about everything from your posture and tone of voice to the questions you should ask at the end of the interview. Finally, many articles offer templates and suggestions for the proper way to send thank-you notes after the interview.
Your educational background and relevant job experience are important when you are searching for a new job, but they are not the only factors that determine whether you’ll be successful. Boost your resume with accomplishments and added skills, use professional and personal networks and consult interviewing articles to give yourself the best chance of finding a great new job.