In this economy, its difficult enough to find a job. Competition is fierce and employers have their pick of the best and brightest to fill a position. It makes it pretty tough for someone without a business degree from Harvard to find a good job. However, there are some approaches to help maximize your chances of getting a job. This is, of course, assuming you are a competent individual who will be able to perform your job to expectations.
Most importantly, treat your job search with the determination that you reserve for the most important things in your life. I don’t want to call it “life or death,” that you find a job because that would encourage you to get nervous during the interview. But if you want to find a job, you will need to make it your ultimate focus. Will power can go a long way, and it is possible to almost “will” yourself into work.
Next, set a goal for yourself. Perhaps you would like to apply to at least one opening per day. This will force you to do the work until you find a job. You can find job openings by the traditional ways (Careerbuilder, Craigslist, classifieds, etc.) or you can use additional resources (friends, employment agencies, company websites). Do not rest until you exhaust every resource.
After this, practice your “elevator speech.” This is your quick speech that will make the first impression with the person in charge of the job opening. Essentially, you want to provide them with all of your qualifications while sounding interesting in a 30 second speech. Most people you first meet wont have the time to listen to you ramble or explain your shortcomings. You have only 30 seconds to capture their attention and imagination. It is crucial that you do so. There are many websites on Google search pages that can help you perfect your elevator speech.
The next step to find a job is to follow up with your applications. If you haven’t heard from a company in two weeks, you can give them a call just to check on the status of your application. A lot of times, the person in charge can get sidetracked with a lot of other tasks for the company, and wont really look into the new applicants. By speaking to them in person (or over the phone) and reminding them that you are talented and willing to work for them, they sometimes will set up an interview on the spot. Working at Best Buy as a college student, I came to realize that the managers rarely looked at the applications that came in. If someone from work put in a good word for an applicant, or if that applicant came into the store and talked to the manager after applying, then they usually got an interview instantly. It definitely doesn’t hurt to try face to face contact.
Remember to keep yourself organized when looking to find a job. You would hate to get a call back from a company, only to have no idea who it is your talking to, or why you applied there in the first place. You want to be prepared when someone calls to set up an interview. This also allows you to spend some time thinking outside the box for where to find job openings. Once you exhaust all of your resources, think creatively about where to look to find openings. People can get jobs in pretty interesting ways.
Lastly, always stay positive. Once you get discouraged, it will show in your work. A prospective employer wont want to hire someone who is mopey and discouraged. They want a go-getter who can innovate and solve problems in a creative manner. You need to convey that attitude in your job search.