1. Define your personal brand. Your personal brand is what differentiates you and makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s the reputation and image that you carry with you, and the unique edge that you’ll need to compete for jobs in today’s marketplace. Figure out your strengths and be prepared to play them up to potential employers. You need to think carefully about where and how you add value and what makes you stand out from others in your class. You should develop your unique brand with all of your contacts and within your network.
2. Cast a wider and wider net. If you are struggling to find a job in your chosen field, think creatively about the kind of industries and organizations where you might be able to apply your skills. Consider start-ups, nonprofits, government jobs, small companies, medium-sized companies, local businesses and organizations in different cities, states or even countries. Explore every industry or job function that appeals to you. The broader your search, the better your chances.
3. Network…the right way. The Internet is great, but 70 to 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. The best place to start networking is with the people who know you best: your family, friends and other close contacts. Call, email and set up informal chats with everyone you know who might have some advice or job leads to offer—including your parents, grandparents and older siblings or cousins. The more people you talk to, the more eyes will be on the lookout for openings that fit your criteria. And you may just find out that your mom’s college roommate’s daughter is a VIP at the company of your dreams.
4. Become an industry insider. One of the biggest complaints from recruiters is that job candidates don’t know enough about the companies to which they’re applying. It’s crucial to be extremely knowledgeable about any company you want to work for. This shows that you’re genuinely interested in the organization and that you’re ready to hit the ground running on day one. Set up news alerts for any companies on your target list, read blogs by industry leaders, read or watch the national and business news every single day and follow influential people on Twitter.
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