Although the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.3% in July 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down 0.9% point or 1.4 million respectively. Although there are many more factors to be considered when analyzing the health of the U.S. job market, it’s safe to say that based on this very small data set, things are getting marginally better.
But what if you are still unemployed? How do you position yourself to finally find gainful employment? Although it depends on your specific set of circumstances, there are some proven tactics to get you where you want to go.
Change Your Mind Set. You are your own brand. And it’s your job to sell that brand. You have a specific skill set to offer, and it’s wrapped up in your unique personality. It’s time to put some sincere time and energy into determining what it is that makes you different from everyone else. This exercise will help you to articulate who you are and where you want to go. You are selling a product or brand, and that brand is you!
Your Resume. Make sure that your resume is current and free of irrelevant information, as well as grammatical and typographical errors. It’s those little things that we often over look.
Give your resume to a third-party and ask him/her for rigorously honest feedback. Are you representing yourself in the best possible light? Are you missing something? Are you being too wordy? Now is the time to perfect your presence.
Make sure you always have a clean and updated resume on hand. You never know when you’re going to need it. The same can be said for a business card. You may also want to research new forms of resume styles and pick what’s right for you.
Social Media. If you don’t already have professional networking social media sites set up, do not delay. Employers are consistently reviewing candidates’ digital foot prints, before they bring them in for interviews.
LinkedIn is an excellent place to start. Make sure to include a professional photo and aim to create more than just an online resume.This is your opportunity to showcase your work and highlight your achievements by using video or SlideShare, etc.
Website. Now that you’ve branded yourself, completed your resume and updated your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to put it all together by launching your own website.There are plenty of free website templates out there that you can use if you are on a budget. You can also splurge and spend the money on a website developer. Just like with LinkedIn, this is your chance to show them who you are! Get creative and develop a visually exciting virtual space. It will do wonders for your personal brand!
Network. It goes without saying that one of the best ways to get a job is through someone you know. But did you know that you are more likely to get a job referral from a casual acquaintance than from someone you know quite well? The reason? It turns out that the closer you are to someone the less likely they are to endorse you, because it’s their reputation that ends up on the line. If you drop the ball, they could be viewed as someone who lacks good judgement. After all, they recommended and endorsed you. This rule certainly isn’t hard and fast, so it’s best to examine every networking opportunity no matter what their relationship to you.
Volunteer. Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to network and build your resume at the same time. If you are trying to boost your resume or reenter the workforce, look for volunteering opportunities where you can nurture and showcase your skill set. Forward thinking employers recognize the value of someone who is willing to essentially work for free, in order to springboard into a new job or career. And you never know who you’re going to meet along the way.
Temporary Work. Call a CPI recruiter. Finding temporary work is a perfect way to get your foot in the door at your “dream company.” You will demonstrate initiative, fill in gaps in your resume and potentially put yourself on a path to permanent employment.
Finding employment is never easy. But if you make finding a job your full time endeavor than you will get there… in time.