Ok…here is my best shot at the most important tips on how to find a job in 2012:
1. Know Thyself – understand what you are looking for in your next job BEFORE you start searching. You don’t have to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Pick one direction, plan it out and stick with it.
2. Don’t get bogged down by social media stuff – I hear a lot of buzz around should I use Twitter or Facebook to find a job? What is LinkedIn and how can I find a job with it? If you don’t understand these tools don’t waste your time on them until you do. Don’t let them be a distraction to your job search thinking they are the “magic bullet”. They can help but they are not for everyone. A successful job search means you connect with hiring managers and they want you. Social media tools can help these interactions get started but I have also seen people spend so much time trying to make it work for them they miss great opportunities. Don’t go down this “rabbit hole” if you get easily distracted.
3. Be genuine. Be yourself – whether you are meeting someone to help you with your job search or a potential employer, don’t oversell yourself and your accomplishments. You are who you are. We like you as you are. Don’t be someone or something you are not. You have gifts and talents just like everyone else and you deserve what you are looking for. Focus your efforts on who you are not who you want others to think you are.
4. Be a dream seeker - it is ok to be looking for the dream job or the right situation for your next job. Dreaming and seeing those dreams become reality is such a wonderful experience, everyone should be striving for it. I am a big proponent of you trying to find an opportunity that is over your head or out of your comfort zone. “Stretch jobs” can be one of the most exciting times in your working life. There are so many companies and so many types of hiring manager. Look for the ones who believe in your and willing to give you a shot at your dream. They are out there. You just need to find one.
5. Your attitude is everything – I can’t tell you how important your attitude is. Be happy, optimistic and positive no matter what is going on around you. It will seep into your conversations and make your presentations most fruitful. A bad attitude will do the same but sour your chances.
6. Don’t be too proud – being too proud is actually a form of fear. Pride forces you to not let others into your life. Pride puts up walls that might not be able to be seen by the other person but are felt at a deeper level. Try “humbleness” on for size and see how it feels. It is actually very comfortable and opens more doors.
7. Don’t give “canned” ANYTHING – no canned responses, no canned resumes, no canned cover letters, and no canned tuna (jk on the tuna). If you look or act or sound like everyone else you are going to be perceived to be like everyone else…B-O-R-I-N-G. Don’t be boring. Instead be bold in order to stand out in someone’s mind. Don’t be cocky but be bold and look for ways to make an impression.
8. The details will kill you – if you have never heard the old saying about the “devil in the details” you might want to think about this one. Spending your time on making sure your resume doesn’t have errors or your “elevator pitch” sounds comfortable or whatever you are doing is done well, is very important. Employers don’t want people who can churn out calls or data, they want people who take pride in their work (and maybe churn out the calls and data). Make sure you are taking the necessary time to proof your work.
9. Slow down – if you are always feeling like you are rushing to get that resume to that lady or hurry up and push out that blog post or trying to hurry through coffee with a friend because your “schedule” is waiting, then slow down. Slowing down allows you to focus on one project at a time and pour your whole self into it. That means being a little flexible with your schedule and not putting so many deadlines on your time. Have a plan but give it room to breath and take shape.
10. Have fun – now this one can be taken the wrong way if I am not careful. I don’t want you to think of your job search as a party, necessarily. I do want you to be excited about what direction your next job is going to take you in. Thinking about the excitement for what is next in your working life can really get you pumped up. Finding a job is no easy task most of the time, you might as well try to find ways to make it fun. Adding a little fun to the work can make the work not seem so difficult.
I love the 10 tips here and hope you do too.
Let’s Get Started!