In a tough economy, where good jobs are scarce, it stands to reason that employers become a bit more selective in the hiring process. Below are five tips that will help you stand out and secure the job you want:
1. Clarify What You Want
2. Sell Yourself
3. What Are You Good At?
4. The Resume: Get Noticed
5. Be Bold
Clarify What You Want
What do you like to do? Asking yourself this simple question is perhaps the most crucial step when searching for employment.
Each day millions of people worldwide set out for jobs they hate, trading misery for a paycheck. Work is nothing more than that part of their lives that much be suffered to make the rest of their lives possible. As a result, these workers seldom reach their potential, which is unfair both to themselves and their employers. Conversely, people content in their jobs, are much more productive and thus more likely to create value for the company or organization.
The first step when planning your career should be defining the type of work you find rewarding and satisfying. Work is where you will spend the bulk of your waking hours, so choosing a job you enjoy will naturally make your life more fulfilling. This passion will be evident to employers as well, who are searching for candidates that bring the most overall value. One employee, who will perform tasks willingly and enthusiastically, is often better than many who will not.
So before you begin your employment search, have a clear written description of what you really want to do. It will show.
What makes you so special? During tough times, when jobs are scarce, it’s important to spend some time preparing an answer to that question. Naturally, employers want to hire the top candidate for the job, and what you’ve accomplished in the past is all they really have to rely upon. Take some time and write the story you want employers to see.
Create a short autobiography which lists your accomplishments. Include goals you’ve set and reached, praise from past employers and awards you’ve received. Make it effortless for prospective employers to uncover who you are and determine what you can offer. Remember, if you neglect to write your own story, employers will be obligated to construct their own.
What Are You Good At?
Remember, in step one, you answered the question, “What do you like to do?” This next question, “What are you good at?” is equally significant when deciding upon a career path. Why? Consider this:
Regardless of my zeal for working on cars, I recognize that a certain amount of skill is essential in executing these tasks. Regrettably, these are skills I do not and, in all probability, never will possess. This impasse between what people enjoy and what they do well is one that many will encounter, and it can cause them a great deal of unnecessary anguish. But instead of allowing this conflict to serve as a justification for surrender, use it instead as a valuable learning tool. Remember, this is just one skill you don’t possess among the many that you do.
Be candid with yourself and select a career involving the skills and abilities you already have. Build upon and perfect those skills, and strive to become the very best at what you do well.
The Resume: Get Noticed
In certain scenarios, your resume may be the only tool you have to ensure getting noticed by potential employers. When prized positions become open, especially during a recession, the demand for them is exceedingly high. Often employers will receive hundreds of resumes for a sole position, and from them they will select only a few. So how do you ensure your resume will get noticed? These three small tips may help:
- Create a resume that looks professional. Present what you want employers to see on a single page which is clear and easy to understand. Check it thoroughly for spelling and punctuation and make certain that all your information is current.
- Present information that is relevant to the position for which you are applying. Shape your resume to highlight the education and experience employers are looking for and eliminate the unnecessary filler.
- Follow up. There’s a fine line between professional courtesy and harassment. Walk it. Contact potential employers once to confirm that your resume was received, and thank them for their consideration. This small step may help get your resume to the top of the pile.
When jobs are scarce, the ability to stand out in a crowd becomes enormously important. Try and invent a creative, yet appropriate strategy, designed to set you apart from the masses. Here are three examples of what others have tried:
· One woman sent one of her baby shoes to the hiring manager along with her resume with a note that said “let me get my foot in the door.” She got the interview and the job.
· Show up to the interview with a strong piece of work you’ve created which illuminates your abilities. When the interview is completed, ask the employer if you can leave this behind for their review.
· On the cover letter you will send with your resume, instead of using the phrase, I look forward to hearing from you, as many do, be a bit more definitive. Try this instead; I will call you on Thursday, November 23, to answer any questions you may have.
Apply these simple tips to your job search as soon as you can. It’s simple, yet it may make all the difference. The amount of time you spend in preparation could pay huge dividends down the road.
The previous blog post discussed 3 tips to help you thrive and not just survive when it comes to school. Here are the remaining 4 tips, keep these in mind and you’ll be sure to experience an absolutely amazing school year.
School is a time to discover new things including yourself. Learning new things gives you the opportunity to change and grow with new information. Have you recognized your own growth over the past few years? In what ways have you grown and matured? What do you classes to you enjoy? What subjects are you good at? What new courses or projects will excite you to take on this year?
It may seem selfish to spend time thinking about yourself but if you don’t do it, nobody else will! Therefore, you might as well start to get to know yourself because no matter where you go, there you’ll be. You can never lose yourself. The sooner you start inquiring into these questions the sooner you can start to receive answers for creating more fun, joy and results in your life.
If you discover only one thing this year, discover the values in which you stand for. Why is it important to know what you stand for in school? Because if you do not know what you stand for, you simply may just fall for anything.
What should you stand for? Keep it simple and real by always standing for what you believe in your heart.
You are a powerful being that is constantly unfolding a new person from within. School provides the perfect opportunity to stretch yourself. Nature also grows based upon this principal, for example picture the development of a tree. The tree doesn’t get bigger because the bark grows from the exterior, the tree grows from the inside out. You do too!
Don’t buy into the pressure to seek “material” success. The fanciest pencil case, cool shoes or most expensive jeans, etc. These are all exterior representations of yourself, and we all know what matters and counts is what’s on the inside. No matter what the appearances are on the outside, the real question you need to be concerned about is: “Are you happy with the person who is inside?”
Are you unfolding into a fair, joyful, giving, kind and loving person? Or.. are you continuing to practice being a person who is jealous, angry, vindictive, revengeful and full of fear? In life, the fruits of your labour will depend on what type of tree you are. The good news is, this decision is solely yours to make.
Use your Imagination to explore the following ‘Power Questions’:
“What kind of tree am I becoming?”, “What fruits do I wish to bear this year?”, “What keeps me firmly rooted during bad weather?”
One of the biggest investments you can make in your future right now is to learn to be comfortable when you are uncomfortable. More specifically, you must learn how to view failure in a healthy way in order to learn and grow from the experience. To avoid being paralyzed in fear you must adopt a perspective along the lines that says: “Experience is what occurs when I fall short of my goals.”
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt
The secret that smart and successful people have realized is that they will never be completely comfortable when doing something new, so they just practice doing it anyway. In fact, the only difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people in life make a habit of doing the things that the unsuccessful people are too uncomfortable doing.
When you practice being comfortable when doing new things you are building your ability to respond, or your response-ability. If you resist the feeling of experiencing the uncomfortable feeling, you will never be able to practice being comfortable in new situations because you will be too busy “being” uncomfortable.
It is delusional to think that feeling good about doing something will come before the practice. Feelings always lag behind action. Get familiar to the proper order of things by practicing doing something new without judgement or reservation. You goal is to practice doing something you are not very good at and experience whatever feelings arise.
Before, during, and after you try something new, say the following power affirmation(s) out loud to yourself:
Personal Power Affirmations: “I am a winner”, ” “I can win”, “I will do prevail!”
What activities do you want to participate in? What ‘good’ are you going to contribute too this year?
Are you a good team player? Can people count on you? Can you rely on other people? Do other people benefit in a positive way from having you around? The only way to be an effective person is to start practicing. Volunteer work and team sports are two great environments to practice your participation muscle.
Joining a team or becoming a member of a group can help you foster the social dynamic skills necessary to compete in today’s “real world”. Remember, when you graduate out of school you will still have to deal with other people and work in groups, so the sooner you start preparing to be an effective team player the better.
Begin by researching places you would like to volunteer. Do you want to rescue animals? How about being a Big Sister or Big Brother? Feed the homeless? You could even volunteer to babysit for neighbors so that they can enjoy a romantic night out. Volunteering is also great for connecting with people who believe in the same cause. If you cannot give your time then find a cause you can afford to support financially.
Another way you could get active is by joining a team, club or association. Teamwork teaches you social dynamics, accountability and discipline. Working with people can teach you a lot about your self and your emotions. The sooner you learn how to manage your emotional state the better. Learning discipline is also easier with the guidance of a school coach and the support of teammates.
What are some sports that appeal to you that will get your heart racing and exercise the mind? Not athletic at all? Try running or jogging because doing 10 minutes or more of aerobic exercise will help dose those grumpy feelings and help to moderate your mood.
Keep this list in mind the next time you want to craft up an amazing school year. Some of these exercises and questions may seem difficult at first but the sooner you start exploring your values and answering some of these tough questions the easier your year will be. You can not change what you are not aware of. The sooner you discover your unsupportive habits of thinking, feeling and doing, the faster you can get onto things you really enjoy.