On the hunt for your dream job.. or any job, for that matter? This can feel like a total process without any reward. Resume after resume being sent out and not a response in sight. However there is a light at the end of the tunnel eventually, so check out these five tips to minimise your time in the unemployment line.
#1 Focus Your Job Search
Job searching runs on a touch of caffeine and tons of ambition. Set a time each day where you will apply for jobs, no matter how you feel. Use an agenda or spreadsheet to keep track of application closing dates. Keep an updated Linked In profile and sign up for daily e-mails from Indeed.com.
As you’re applying, consider your deal breakers. Are you willing to relocate? What’s the minimum salary you’ll accept? Just like dating, knowing your boundaries beforehand will help you stay focused on what you want.
Lastly, consider expanding (or refining) your search depending on your personal style. If you’re timid in your search and only apply to jobs for which you have every qualification, you may miss out on good opportunities. Likewise, if you overexert yourself by applying for too many jobs, you will waste valuable time. Stay focused, but don’t be afraid to push yourself if the situation warrants.
#2 Create A Portfolio
Portfolios are for more than just artists and writers. Best of all, you can “casually” drop a link to your portfolio in any cover letter. Just keep samples of your best work in a Google Drive folder and share the link as needed.
Consider including some items not commonly associated with portfolios. Branding strategies, graphic design or content layout projects, and business / financial models can all be included in a portfolio. But as handy as they can be, portfolios must be handled with caution. You don’t want to be plagiarised. Just make sure the company is legitimate before handing over access to your precious work.
#3 Boost Your Skills
New tricks never hurt. Keep an eye out for skill-building conferences and workshops. Local Unis often host professional conferences, as do different Facebook pages and Meetup groups.
Online tutorials are another great way to increase your marketable skills. In our modern world, understanding technology pays off in pretty much any career choice. Taking a tutorial in Adobe, Microsoft Office, or web development software like WordPress or Drupal can only boost your resume.
You can also try some pro bono or volunteer work. Doing unpaid work may seem counterproductive to landing a paid gig, but don’t be fooled. Unpaid gigs often provide great opportunities to build skills in your field of interest.
#4 Practice Communicating
Your new job may not come with the best boss or co-workers. Even if it does, you will need to be able to communicate effectively in order to keep things moving.
Try out some of these self-help books for improving your communication style. See if your local professional groups are offering workshops in leadership or conflict resolution. Knowing how to maturely navigate the work place will place you miles ahead of the competition.
# 5 See A Career Coach
Tried all these tips and still at a loss? It may be worthwhile to see a career coach. Career coaches can help you take practical steps toward getting the best job. They can also help you refine or expand your job search as needed.
At times, you may need to be your own coach. Try different mood-boosters to keep yourself encouraged. Keep positive notes around your desk or on your mirror. Set inspirational quotes as your Facebook cover photo or desktop background. Above all, never underestimate the basic law of attraction: if you believe success is yours, you will succeed.