Is your job search taking longer than expected? Most are right now. Certainly the difficult job market is making things harder. However, a great number of people could speed up the process by asking themselves five critical questions.
Take time, think them through, be honest, and your job search may improve dramatically!
- What makes me unique? Companies are seeing dozens or hundreds of resumes for each opening. They interview several people as well. It doesn’t take long for things to seem like everyone is the same. If you can’t communicate in your resume and in your interview what makes you different, and more valuable to the company than every other candidate they see, you will be an ‘also ran’. Take assessment tests, ask friends, family and previous co-workers, and do a self-evaluation to figure out what you offer that others don’t. EVERYONE has assets and ‘uniqueness’. Discover yours and learn how to communicate it well.
- What am I looking for? Many job seekers are too wishy-washy in their objectives. They only know that they need a new job, but aren’t clear on exactly what it is they are seeking. Using the same process to discover what makes you unique, narrow down your search to the type of job or career you want. When you are networking, people can’t help if they don’t know what you want. Have a clear target, and learn to communicate it effectively. You can find more help here.
- How am I spending my time? Nearly everyone has heard the cliche’ that “Looking for a job is a full-time job in itself.” However, most people don’t put nearly the time or effort into their job search that is required. It’s difficult sometimes to know what to do. However, if you diligently plan your work each week, and work your plan, you will be far more productive than all of a sudden trying to figure out what to do next on a Tuesday afternoon. You can get additional guidance here, here, here, and here.
- What’s my attitude like? Your attitude is one of the most critical aspects of your job search. If you are sincerely optimistic, and upbeat, you are a much more attractive candidate and you will approach your search in a positive way. If you are bitter, discouraged, defeated, or just crabby, your ability to land that next job drops dramatically. Attitude is critical! Be sure to read: The ONE Best Thing You Can Do For Your Job Search.
- How well do I present myself? The way you present yourself to networking contacts, recruiters, and potential hiring managers is critical to your success in landing a job. That presentation is a composite of professional appearance, effective communication, attitude, and being prepared. You have to be qualified to do the work, but they are most likely talking to several people that are qualified. Presentation makes the difference between who gets hired and who doesn’t. Spend time to work on your presentation and you will see better results. You can find pointers here, and here.
Do the self evaluation, and make the effort to make changes where necessary. You will find they will make difference in your search and give you a great deal more confidence as well!