Wednesday, 22 April 2009

7 Tips To Sharpen Your Job Hunting Skills

In the last couple of weeks I have mentored and advised a handful of people seeking advice in the job market. A woman in her 20s seeking a career change, a senior guy just made redundant, a cousin looking to rediscover a role he feels passionate about. Sure, the job market in 2009 is tough (but when was it ever easy?) but here are some tips to sharpen your job hunting skills:

1) When you’re selling yourself to a prospective employer, it’s all about telling your story so make sure you can knit your career history (however random and disparate) into a narrative. 2) Don’t try and be something you’re not - aim for a role/ company culture that is consistent with your own personality.
3) Make sure you do a good ‘sell’ both in interview and how you communicate your personal brand. Use a blog and tools like Linked In as your shop-window.
4) Don’t just look in the obvious places for jobs; make tailored speculative approaches to companies and brands you are passionate about. Use the internet to research, research, research your targets. You might get lucky.
5) Make the most of your personal contacts, friends & family, because – of course – who you know counts.
6) Be super pro-active and rapid in going for opportunities, in following-up enquiries/ interviews because success might be about who’s quickest and keenest.
7) Try and identify how you are better than the next candidate, what makes you distinctive, what insight or skills make you more valuable?

There’s more job-hunting advice from me in this feature ‘More Skill Than Luck’ in The Guardian from earlier in the year.

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