With 12.2 million Americans currently unemployed and a reported 86% of employees interested in finding a new job in 2013, landing your dream job may be more competitive than ever.
For those who may not know where to begin, the most important thing you can do is “get out there and start today rather than waiting to be totally ready,” says Carol Camerino, a certified career management coach. At a professional networking event hosted by job-search firm TheLadders, which attracted over 3,500 job seekers in New York, Camerino offered her seven-step plan for successfully rebooting your job search and getting back to work.
Define What You Want
According to Camerino, one of the most difficult questions for job seekers is also the most basic: What are you looking for? “Think of yourself as standing at the counter of the cosmic career Starbucks,” she says, “and the barista asks, ‘What do you want?’ Oftentimes, people don’t know how to answer.” She advises taking a step back and considering where you want to be. Which strengths and skills do you want to act on? What kind of people, culture and work environment do you want to invest your time in? Answering some of these foundational questions will inform your job search strategies. Moreover, people will be better able to help you if you know what to ask for.
Determine And Polish Relevant Skills
“Chances are you’re used to your old company’s way of doing things,” says Camerino. However, to be a competitive candidate it’s important to understand which skills are most relevant and in demand to advance your job search. Then, create a plan to polish those skills or gain them. She recommends seeking internships, taking strategic volunteering positions, leveraging professional associations or creating a blog to highlight the expertise necessary for the job you hope to land.
Beware The Worst Job Search Obstacles
Despite their best intentions for landing a new job, Camerino sees job seekers fall into the same traps again and again. Chief among these barriers is a narrow, negative mindset, as many people get rooted in the identity of their former job. Instead, she recommends transmitting where you’re going versus where you’ve been. Another common obstacle is clutter. She says a disorganized physical workspace or job-search system can produce mental clutter that interferes with productivity. Finally, she suggests guarding your time. “When people find out you’re free during the day, your dance card can get full,” she says. Fall back on the fail-safe response, “I’d love to, but my job is job searching, so I can’t.”
Tips 4-7 and Complete Forbes Article