Americans continue to grapple with a sinking economy and a job-market that is still proving next to impossible to navigate. If you’ve been out there pounding the pavement, you undoubtedly have an idea of the limitations and obstacles facing anyone seeking new employment. Who is hiring? Who isn’t? Who are they hiring? And why aren’t they hiring you? If you are plagued by questions like these then you must realize that it is more important than ever to discover new and exciting ways to help yourself stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
Here are a few tips and strategies that may help:
With the advent of social networking, casting a wide net in order to seek help from anyone and everyone is easier than ever. Facebook isn’t just for catching up with old high school boyfriends. Use your profile status update for your own good! Pride, schmide – don’t be afraid to actively ask if anyone out there in cyberland knows of a job that might suit you. (It also doesn’t hurt to make sure you don’t burn bridges. You never know when that same old high school boyfriend may be able to open a new door for you.)
Of course, good old fashioned word of mouth will help you as well. Use your online social networking tools to give you a push toward actual face-to-face contact. Be friendly and professional if you encounter anyone you think can give you a boost at, say, a church picnic or while working out at the gym.
And speaking of the Web … have you bookmarked Monster.com? You should. You can have job updates in your area sent directly to your phone as a text message on a daily basis. Tweetmyjobs.com provides this exact service.
Make finding a job a part-time job. This means spending a portion of every day actively hunting for work. Fill out job applications (even though this can be exhausting and occasionally dehumanizing: do it anyway! Think of the benefits!), email former employers, perform online searches. Being proactive about the search can only increase your self esteem.
If you have the time (and you can always make the time), volunteer. You may get your foot in the door at a place that will eventually pay you for your services. And volunteer work always looks good on your résumé. You might also pick up a few handy skills, perhaps of the technological variety, that will only benefit you when you add them to your résumé.
And speaking of which … of course you must make absolutely certain that you fine tune your résumé and check for any errors by following grammar rules (easily obtained in any number of grammar books, including such valuable texts as Grammar for College Writing: a Sentence-Composing Approach by Don and Jenny Killgallon). You will also want to be sure to use a grammar checker. There are a number of free services offered online, such as www.grammarcheck.net. (It also doesn’t hurt to have a literary-savvy friend check your work.)
Now, with these tips in mind … go forth, and good luck!