Keep On Keeping On: A Guide for Today’s Job Market
Guest Post from DeAnn Baxter, APR
Job seekers should take heed from guest post. DeAnn Baxter knows from personal experience in this recession the trials and tribulations of job seeking. Her story has a happy ending as she landed HER dream job. So will you, by following her advice:
We all know seeking a job is tough, especially these days. While things are improving on the job front, you still need to be patient. Your search may take weeks or months, but if you approach it the way you would a public relations campaign, your strategies and tactics will help you. The key is to stay focused and keep at it!
Target your search.
Understanding that link between what you want and what the employer needs is the way to secure employment. Don’t grasp at straws, applying for every job out there, hoping something will eventually stick. What interests you? What do you like about public relations? What kind of work environment do you find stimulating? That area where the Venn diagram overlaps is your sweet spot; apply for jobs in that space and don’t stray, or you’ll be looking again in six months.
Prove your worth.
Provide helpful tips in social media spaces. Start a blog to share your knowledge and demonstrate what you’re learning about a specific industry. Comment on industry blogs or answer questions on LinkedIn. Read industry newsletters to stay on top of trends and educate yourself on areas where you’re weakest. Whatever you do, don’t waste your time!
Watch your online profile.
When you post on Twitter, it’s there for the world to see. When you announce each job you’ve applied for, and follow-up with “…and it’s my dream job!!!!” people will not take you seriously. Instead, link to articles about public relations or your target industry to position yourself as an expert.
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Be persistent, but don’t overdo it.
When you’re in front of a potential employer, ask questions like “When will I hear from you again?” or “Would next Tuesday afternoon be a good time to follow-up with you?” Put your mind at ease knowing that you have a firm date as to when you and your potential employer will be in touch again. If you don’t hear from them by that time, you know you can call without being annoying.
Don’t take no for an answer.
So, you didn’t get the job. Ask what you could’ve done better. Some HR folks are unable to give that kind of feedback, while others are willing to give you pointers. Listen carefully, take their advice to heart, and press Keep the faith.
Don’t get discouraged. Find others in the same boat, or find a mentor willing to help. A second set of eyes on your resume can go a long way, as can a word of advice, a positive message, or a note of support.
When the call for an interview does come, be ready! Until that day comes, practice at least one interview question every day, update and have copies of your resume, get your portfolio in order, and dry clean your best suit. The last thing you want to do is scramble for an interview when your nerves are already kicking in for an impending interview.
What do you think? How can unemployment help focus a job search? What tips do you have to stay upbeat and persistent in this economy?
DeAnn Baxter, APR, works in corporate public relations. She holds bachelor’s degrees in public relations and speech communication from Penn State and a master’s in PR from Johns Hopkins University. Connect with DeAnn on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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