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3 Simple Things

3 Simple Things

Forget everything you’ve been told about job hunting. I am sure I am insulting someone: parents, friends, career counselors and countless web sites but just three things need to happen for you to get a job:

  • Someone needs to have something done that you can do.
  • The people looking to have this thing done need to know that you exist.
  • You need to convince these people that you are the best choice.

What can you do?

Don’t underestimate yourself. If you are articulate, on time, have a positive attitude and are energetic you are probably already a cut above the average job seeker. Now that you are above average, you need to set yourself apart. I cannot count the number of resumes I have seen that tout “good communications skills, problem solver, excellent analytical skills, critical thinking skills, MS Office proficiency.”. Today, these “basics” are the minimum requirements. Now, demonstrate your expertise — if you are a marketing expert, put your ideas and portfolio on the web. If you are a great communicator, write a blog. Just please don’t tell me you are a social media expert if you have an @klout score of 20!

Tell people you exist!

If no one knows about you or that you can solve their problem, then they won’t hire you. Network, network, network. That means networking using all media at your disposal: friends, familiy, face to face, Facebook, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, email, mail (Yes, the postal service) and more. There is currently a LinkedIn discussion group with around 2,000 posts on the pros and cons of responding to online job boards. Spare me! Use all of today’s media to expand your network.

Are you the best choice?

Getting selected for a job is an immensely inefficient and inexact process involving personalities, 7 second impressions, dress codes and, yes, actual technical requirements. You may be able to do a given job at many companies but you probably are a “fit” at only a few.

You can communicate that you are the best choice by making sure you match the culture of the company where you want to work. Do your research. Whether you are an accountant, programmer or designer, demonstrate your skills and what you are about in your portfolio — on paper, online and via your network.

The 3 steps again: 1) Develop a skill that someone needs 2) Tell them that you have the skill 3) Prove that you are the best option to solve their problem.

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