Job Searching? Can You Compete? Top 11 Things You MUST Do.

By now, we all know that the easy days of a job search are gone. It’s no longer simply a waiting game; it’s all about action, energy, networking and making things happen. Here are the top 11 things you MUST be doing today to stay in the race.

11. Sign up for and cultivate your LinkedIn network (www.linkedin.com)

10. Create business cards with your job search focus, areas of expertise and contact information.

9 Attend job club meetings not only to make important contacts but also to learn how to make your job search more effective.

8. Understand how to navigate the Internet to explore companies and job boards and apply for jobs online. If you are a computer novice, GET SOME TRAINING NOW!

7. Know when to use an ASCII resume format and when the Microsoft Word or PDF files will be fine.

6. Get focused. No, any job will NOT do. Analyze the market and your skills; then choose a direction.

5. Practice interviewing. What may have worked in the past may not be adequate now. Research and understand what is expected in your answers.

4. Research the companies you’re appling to. Know their mission; know their products; know their markets.

3. Follow up. It may be uncomfortable for you, but you must follow up on your resume submissions. There might well be a long gap between the job posting and the actual interview / hire period. Let them know how enthusiastic and proactive you are.

2. Send a thank you note after the interview. This one isn’t new, but people tend to forget or avoid it. IT IS IMPORTANT. A hand-written note is best, but if not possible, an email message is acceptable.

And the #1 thing you MUST do to compete in the tight job market …

1. Get professional resume assistance! Your resume has to sell you. If you know next to nothing about what makes a good resume, get some advice — from a certified resume writer, not Aunt Alice who has been a secretary for years or your neighbor who used to work in Human Resources. You want to be sure that your resume will address the needs of the prospective employer and stand out from the competition.

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