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Job Hunting in the New Economy
chillibreeze writer — Hema Gopalakrishnan
In the recent years, the global economy has seen as many twists and turns as the plot of a murder mystery. Job-hunting too has undergone a transformation to keep pace with the dynamic changes.
Job seekers today have to understand that the new economy is competitive, focuses on results and requires one's best efforts. The jobs and careers of today are unstable, temporary and unpredictable, unlike in the past where jobs were secure and permanent. People with successful careers adapt to these changes, understand the demands of the market and know how to present their skills and talents well. Consequently, companies understand how their talents can be utilised and want to hire them.
The old rules of job-hunting no longer hold good. Finding a job in the new economy requires a different ballgame. To succeed, you need to adopt new strategies, take smart risks and play by the altered rules. Some trends in the new scenario are:
Knowledge of these trends will help you plan your job hunt better. The first important thing is to know the skills and talents you can offer and how well they are suited to the current demands in your field. This will help you present it in the right way to the employer.
Presentation is very important in a job hunt; this includes your resume, cover letter and other supporting information. Ideally, they should focus on the specific skills, knowledge and experience you can bring to the job. As Alexandra Levit, author of ‘They Don't Teach Corporate in College’ suggests, "In developing a resume and other promotions materials, think about how your current skills and talents apply directly to the responsibilities you'll hold in the new job."
Your resume should be precise, easy to read and properly presented. Your cover letter should focus on what you can do for the organisation. Highlight your skills and talents which can meet the demands of the job. Basing your cover letter on these key areas demonstrates your creativity, strategic thinking and interest.
Posting your resume on the net requires that you use the appropriate keywords. Keywords are basically search engine terms that companies use when browsing the net to hunt for candidates. For instance, terms like 'sales manager', 'accountant' or 'content writer' are used by employers to search for resumes based on keywords. This is being increasingly used by employers and taking this cue, you should use keywords in resumes that you post on the web.
Looking at job ads in your field can give you a better idea. Look for repeated nouns, adjectives, verbs that describe the qualifications or ideal candidate and incorporate them in your resume, provided you have these qualities. This will make your resume show up in results for keyword based searches.
Social networking sites have also become an important part of the job hunting strategy. Sites like Linked In help you post your profile and skills where employers can find them provided you do it effectively. You need to include relevant job experience and education, create an attractive resume, get the right referrals and express your intentions of looking for better opportunities. Such sites help you get in touch with people who can help you professionally and lead you to contacts who can give you a job. It is important to increase your network of contacts while presenting yourself well and creating the right personal brand. And take care to keep your online presence clean.
If you are successful at getting an interview, put in your best efforts to create the right impression. Do your homework and research the company, and if possible, the interview team on the net. This will make you more knowledgeable and give you an edge over other candidates. This research will help you understand the business challenges related to the position that you applied for and equip you to field questions at the interview.
Dress appropriately and be at the venue on time. Your responses and presentation including your elevator pitch (a 30 second summary of your professional achievements) should be polished, brief and easy to understand. This will lead the interviewer to appreciate your strengths and abilities. Be polite and focus on the topic of discussion.
It helps if you can demonstrate your flexibility in the interview, be open to options like when, where and how the work can be done. In the new economy, options like telecommuting and portfolio careers have made it possible to employ people at lower costs and opened new options to job seekers. Study the trends in your field and lead the discussion to solutions that can suit both you and the employer. Your focus here should be to objectively depict that you are the best person for the job. Remember to send a thank you note after the interview where you can add one or two queries related to the job.
Treat rejection as a learning experience to find out your shortcomings and then devise ways to overcome them. Revamp your resume if it failed to create the right impression or polish your verbal skills for better interviews in the future. A rejection need not be a personal setback; it should motivate you to sharpen your job hunting strategies.
A job hunt requires an all out effort. Explore all possible sources from job boards, company job postings, social networking sites, trade journals, local newspapers to cold calling, attending job fairs and calling recruiters to find about job openings. Do not make the mistake of assuming that only certain sources will bring you results; you never know where that dream job might be! Besides, sending your resume to more places will only increase your visibility.
The best way to succeed at job-hunting is to treat it like a job. This means putting as much time, concentration and efforts into it as you would in a job. Create daily goals for yourself like tracking job leads, following up on an interview, emailing a new contact, sending some applications, adding to your network or attending a job fair. Your job search will progress and you will see positive responses to your efforts.
Clichéd as it may sound, the more effort you put in, the more the job opportunities and rewards that await you. So, get ready for the hunt!
Editor's note: Most articles submitted to Chillibreeze go through a selection process. Only 30 percent of submitted articles are accepted for publication on the Chillibreeze.com featured article list. All accepted articles are edited and proofread for glaring errors of punctuation and grammar. Sentence structure is changed in certain cases and sometimes, entire sections are rewritten. If you notice any errors that have slipped through the cracks, do let us know! (Email us at info at chillibreeze dot com).
Chillibreeze's disclaimer: This is a contributed article and was published on Chillibreeze in July, 2010. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of Chillibreeze as a company. Chillibreeze has a strict anti-plagiarism policy. Please contact us to report any copyright issues related to this article. The relevance of the facts and figures cited (if any) could change after a period of time.
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