Five Tips to Help You Land a New Job

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The numbers for February unemployment are in, and they show the lowest jobless numbers in two years. The national unemployment rate has fallen to 8.9%, and there are signs that companies are ready to begin hiring again. If you have been looking for a new job, you might be able to land one more easily right now.

However, even with the improvements in the job market, there is still some pretty stiff competition. You need to stand out if you are serious about getting a new job — especially since some predict that the employment rate will not return to pre-recession levels for years. Here are five tips that can help you land a new job:

1. Target Your Efforts

Instead of just mass emailing a bunch of hiring mangers, be a little more targeted in your approach. Look for jobs where your skills are translatable. Then, take the time to tweak your cover letter and resume/vitae. Make sure that these documents are tailored to the job so that you seem to be a good candidate. Once you have a base cover letter and resume/vitae, it really doesn’t take too long to adjust it to fit the job you are applying for right now.

2. Improve Your Online Presence

Check over your online profiles. Is your Linked-In profile reflecting your skills and the kind of job you want? Do your Facebook and Twitter profiles match what your Linked-In profile is telling the world? Clean things up and make sure you are sending a consistent message. Also, double check your blog postings (if you have them) to make sure that you aren’t ruining your chances at a company.

3. Use Your Network

Let your network know that you are on the job hunt. Members of your network can keep their ears open and let you know what they hear. Additionally, if a member of your network knows someone at one of the companies you are applying to, perhaps that person can help you find an “in.” Or at least recommend you to the people making the decisions.

4. Look Online

The Internet is a great place to make connections and find jobs. You can look on the mega sites like CareerBuilder and Monster, of course, but there are also job listings on Craigslist. You can also look at sites like TweetMyJOBS to help you find work. Another option is to check with niche sites. You can find a niche job site for almost every career field. Google the job title you want, and see what comes up. You  might be surprised at the opportunities available to you if you are willing to move.

5. Follow Up

Follow up when you have sent resumes to companies, or after an interview. After sending a resume, you can follow up with an email or phone call after a week or so. Send a thank-you note (this can be done via email as well as with hard copy) to your interviewers. You can also follow up to find out about a hiring decision in seven to 10 days of an interview. Following up reiterates your enthusiasm for the job, and it provides a reminder to the prospective employer.

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “Five Tips to Help You Land a New Job”

  1. Zach says:

    It’s amazing how much online mediums have invaded the job world. Ten years ago it would have been considered unprofessional and now, you can hardly make a move without a blog, facebook, twitter, or some other type.

  2. zapeta says:

    I think #3 is huge. You have to develop and maintain a network. It can be a lot of work but definitely pays off when you are looking for a job.

  3. MoneyNing says:

    I would also Google yourself, and see if anything negative comes up. If it does, try to get the content removed by speaking with the site owners and if not, then at least have an explanation ready just in case they look and still decide to give you an interview.

    • Strebkr says:

      That sounds good in theory, but its very hard. My roommate made a website in college 10 years ago. It was on Yahoo’s Geocities. That platform isnt even around anymore and somehow he still finds bits and pieces of it. Once its on the net, I would say its safe to say it will be there forever.

      Make smart choices in life!

  4. I’ve found that following up has definitely been a deciding factor on whether I get a position over someone else several times. It’s very important to let your interviewer know that you’re still very interested in the position.

    • Shirley says:

      I have watched several hirings where the position was held open for up to two weeks to see which of two or more equally qualified applicants would follow up. The first to follow up got the job.

  5. Networking is huge! I think it’s something like 80% of new hires were through a personal recommendation. If you do not have a network, chances are, you won’t get the job.

    Make sure that you research the company you are interviewing with as well. Most likely, they want to know if you are truly interested in them, or if you just need some job, any job… Most companies want you for your skills AND enthusiasm. If you are missing one of these, you may be jobless for a while.

    • Strebkr says:

      Its amazing what a decent network of friends, family, others in your field can do for you.

    • John says:

      Not saying I don’t agree that a good network is important, but you can’t completely rely on it. I can say on a few occasions people who were in my network that I gave my resume to, when they passed it on for a job they knew was qualified for, they always ended up hiring a person from within. Every job that I’ve had since college I’ve either applied to myself or was found by the employer. My point is, use your network but don’t become lax and not search and apply on your own.

  6. Great article. Everyone can use some good info on getting a good job. Many people focus on spending less and saving more, but the most powerful way to get to financial success and freedom is by increasing your earnings. One way to do this is by getting a higher paying job (another is by getting more education and improving yourself).

  7. skylog says:

    location. loca…wait, network. network. network. while i agree with what some have said about not being lazy and relying only on your network, there is no doubt in my mind that this can be such an important factor.

    every job i have had up to this point in my life has been a result of my network.

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