Once we know what we want in a career, the next step is figuring out how to get it. This includes job applications, job market navigation, career research, developing our resume, and developing our skills, knowledge, and experience.
The most important rule to remember with a job application is to follow the directions. For instance, if the employer asks you to apply in person, do not call instead; if they ask you to mail your application in, don’t email it. If you do apply in person, make sure to bring all information with you that you’ll need to fill out the application, such as job history, reference contact numbers, and educational background information. Definitely know what days and hours you are available to work. And, of course, make sure your appearance is neat and tidy when it comes time to talk with the employer.
A key factor to in-person job applying is first impressions. Employers tend to remember what they initially saw in you, so without putting too much pressure on yourself, make sure that you get a running start. From there, be a salesperson and sell yourself. Just as an advertiser wants to persuade the consumer to use their product by highlighting the product’s best features, you don’t want to sell yourself short in the interview. Make sure the employer is aware of what you bring to the table.
Navigating through the Job Market
When navigating the job market, a great thing to do is practice networking. The more people you meet, the more aware you are of what jobs are available. Job fairs are a good place to do this, because you’ve got both potential employers and people in the same boat as you to interact with. Contacts can also come straight from your backyard: friends, family members, even your doctor can know a good contact, especially if they know lots of people.
Make sure you follow up with all contacts you make; an initial meeting alone is not good enough and doesn’t convey genuine interest in what they have to offer. And if they do help you get a job, a thank you note is in order. Also, use the Internet to navigate the job market. Web sites on internet contain a wide array of jobs available in most fields, so it gives you a good idea of what’s out there.
Whether it’s your first career or time to change careers, it’s important to conduct research into various careers that interest you. Just think, the more research you do, the more likely a career path will show itself to you. Again, hit the Internet. The only problem with researching your career on the Web is that there’s too much information, so it’s important to narrow down what you’re looking for and hit a certain target. Once you’ve done thorough research of a certain industry, you’ll be that much more prepared in the interview setting when it comes time to get a job, increasing your confidence and giving yourself a stronger showing to the employer.
The Importance of Your Resume
Your resume is your most important tool, outside of yourself, in getting a job. Don’t take your resume lightly when creating it. This is a chance to make up for all the times you thought you were underappreciated at a job by letting the potential employer know everything you did at your former workplaces. Nothing is trivial when it comes to job experience, so make sure to let the employer know what all your major duties were. Resumes should follow the rule of no rules; in other words, your resume should be one-of-a-kind and allow you to stand out. Chances are your resume is being read along with many others, so rather than just having it get a quick glimpse, give the employer reason to read it line-by-line.
Just as an actor can never be in too many plays when building his acting resume, you can never gain too much experience in a certain field when it comes to making yourself more qualified for a certain job. A great way to improve your skills without even getting a job is to take offered classes. For instance, if you are looking for work in the administrative field, sign up for a class in the different computer programs required for use in the office setting, such as Power-point or Excel.
Also, if you have the time, take a low-pay job in your field of interest, which should be easy to get because of the low income involved, or even volunteer. For instance, if you are looking for a job in psychology, you can volunteer at a college professor’s laboratory to get your feet wet.