During the Great Depression, a man walked 800 miles on his search for a job and Soviet companies with offices in the United States reported about 200 job applications per day from jobless Americans who wanted to go to work in the USSR.
Fortunately for us, 75 years later, the job finding process is much easier. However, during a recession people automatically assume that there are no jobs available because a few of their applications got rejected or were never responded to. As an applicant, you have to keep in mind that in the current economy, if you want a job that pays enough for your qualifications, there are certain things you have to remind yourself of:
- The Economy is getting worse- Fed’s expect unemployment to reach the 10% mark, meaning another 5 million people will lose their jobs by the the time the recession has bottom out.
- If you’re applying for a job, chances are another 10-20 people will apply for the same job, so the most important thing to do is to stand out.
- If you’re low on cash and jobless, you don’t have to work for a top paying job. Settle for less during the slow times. You will build up experience and ensure your funds dry out.
With that said, here are steps (in order) you can take to find a good paying job:
1) Find a Specific Niche for your Job-
In order to find a good job, you need to identify a certain job market where your skills are necessary and will give you a significant edge over your competition. For example, if you have a degree in Geology, you will be a strong candidate to teach high school chemistry, but you will be overshadowed by someone that has a degree in Biochemistry. But if you apply to teach high school physical sciences, your overall grasp of the necessary material will give a significant advantage. Think of your education, previous jobs, accomplishments, and market saturation when identifying your target job. This will then help you prepare your resume.
2) Dedicate time and effort to a successful resume
Although you can hire a professional to write you a resume, no one will be able too describe your merits the way that you can. There are tons of free resume samples available online and Microsoft Word even comes with a few free resume templates (elegant and contemporary to name a couple). The most important and often overlooked portion of the resume is the objective. In the objective, you try to tell your potential employer what your goal is as a job applicant. You also need to go over your education, previous work experience, possible references, and other qualifications that might make you a great candidate. You can (should) always edit your resume from job to job to fit the employer’s needs.
3) Always include a cover letter
The cover letter is an important way of getting attention, standing out from other applicants, and thanking your employer for the time spend reviewing your application. It gives your application a much more polished and professional look and often times is required by the hiring company. Include your name, your contact information, information that shows you have skills and have understood the requirements of the position.
4) Find your Job
Without doubt, networking is the safest and most recommended way to find a job. Friends or family that are employed at the company you want to work for or in the same industry can help you find a job because they are the first people to know about a job opening. Then, they can lend you their skills in the company/ industry by telling you certain things about the job that employers can withhold. These people might even recommend you to supervisors and hiring parties and tell you important secrets about the interview process.
–Job/ Career Fairs:
Read your local newspaper for any career fairs that might take place. In a career fair, you get to meet with employers first hand and submit a job application. If you are lucky and leave a good impression, you will get called for an interview. Job fairs are useful because the interviewers get to see you face to face and know your story rather than reading a resume (which they do tons of times).
–Use the Internet
Personally, I have found my last two jobs using the Internet. There are tons of websites available for job hunters and employers. A few of them can be found on the Jobs section of my blog on the right. Here, you can use the same resume and apply to the same job. I can tell you from experience that the bigger online application websites are much less efficient per application at finding you a job, but because its facilitates mass applications, the chances are the same.
Here is a review of my favorite job websites:
- Monster: Although there are a tons of jobs, there are also lots of appliers here. I once tried Monster and only got generic responses from several employers.
- CareerBuilder: A very large job application site.
- Yahoo Hot Jobs: Less trafficked, but still has a bunch of employers.
- Snag a Job: Great for high school or college students who want to make some cash during school or summer.
- Craigslist: My personal favorite and the most efficient method of finding a job. Write a good resume.
5) After an interview, always write a thank you letter and follow up
For the same reasons as a cover letter, thanking your interviewer will allow you to look more professional and give you a bonus over other candidates. If you haven’t heard from your interviewer in more than a few weeks, follow up. You have nothing to lose since you might not get called and a lot to gain because you show the employer that you are more interested and also bring your application to light once again.
Following these easy steps will give you a leverage over other employers who might be applying to tons of jobs just to land one and are not putting in the same effort.
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