Take Control of Your Job Search

Are you playing the job search lottery, hoping to win big with minimal effort? Mailing your resume to 150 potential employers or signing up on Tiger Recruiting Link and just waiting for someone to bite probably won’t yield the results you are looking for or land you a great first job. With the competition for jobs stronger than ever, take the time to evaluate your marketing tools and job search approach to make a sizzling first impression and leave potential employers wanting more. Consider these three strategies for ramping up your job search:

1. Re-tool your resume
Imagine you are an employer reading your resume. What are the specific skills, education, and experience you would want an applicant to have? Does your resume accurately and effectively depict these items? If not, it may be time to re-tool your resume. Discard non-relevant information that won’t nab you the interview and focus instead on highlighting your most valuable skills. Tell the employer specifically how you can benefit their company and reference former experiences that support your claims. Recruiter Joe Turner suggests that applicants use identifiable and measurable results reminding them to not, “just tell [the employer] what you did. Move beyond that and tell the benefit of your accomplishment.”

2. Be specific about your niche
If your objective makes a vague attempt at describing the type of job you want then toss it and start fresh. Stating, “A position in business with a growth-oriented firm utilizing organization and communication skills to gain valuable industry experience” really doesn’t tell the employer where or how you fit into their company. HR veteran, Liz Ryan, suggests being as specific as possible in your objective by highlighting the particular role you can fill or how you fit the job description. For help defining and expressing your niche with an attention-getting title, consider Lisa Vaas’s of TheLadders.com tips.

3. Network online like a pro
If your idea of networking online is mostly a social venture consisting of a few casual conversations with no direct purpose, you may be selling yourself short says Peter D. Weddle. Weddle advocates employment network (e-networking) over social networking as an active approach for making meaningful connections with professionals in your field. Rather than spending valuable job search time on social sites like Facebook and MySpace, he suggests interfacing through professional association websites and school alumni organizations that may yield more realistic results.

Don’t be a bystander in your own job search. Actively pursuing the jobs you want can pay off big time in terms of career advancement and personal happiness.

By Meaghan Lee
Career Development Services Graduate Assistant

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