- Be Confident. Before you begin your job search, be sure that you are confident in what you are able to do right now. That is, with no additional training or education. If you are not prepared, get prepared! Get a coach or career counselor and get assistance to remove any barriers to employment.
- Do your research. Research the company in which you want to work. REALLY. Don’t just visit their Website and look at the “ABOUT US” Page. You need to dig deeper. If you can set up a meeting to speak with personnel before you apply, do so! DO NOT use this meeting as an opportunity to ask for employment. Get as close to your potential employer as possible. If you really want to work there, you will find a way!
- Don’t Be Stuck. Don’t get stuck on the employer in Item 2 above. There are plenty “fishes in the sea,” so-to-speak. People who are stuck on one occupational area end up wasting a lot of time. Broaden the scope of your search by matching relevant skills to positions in manufacturing, production, retail, sales, etc.
- Work a Temporary Job. Since temporary work is easier to come by than full time, take advantage of the opportunity when a temp job is offered. Don’t worry about how it looks on your resume. It is easier to get a job when you already have one. Upload a functional resume to apply for jobs; however, keep a chronological resume on hand just in case you are asked for it.
- If You Can’t Go to Work, Get to Work! Start using those skills that you have to create a hobby that pays, or volunteer at an agency that will enhance your current skills. No one wants to hire someone who hasn’t been doing anything. It’s like a disaster about to happen. Get connected with the small business community in your local area.
- Be Nice! You have been through a lot of rejection. I get that. However, no one can go into your past and change the events that occurred. Learn how to move on. Seek counsel if necessary. It is better to seek counsel than to bury the bitterness of your past that can spring up at the wrong time (like with the receptionist of the company in which you want to work!) Sew happy seeds into your future by thinking happy thoughts today! Happiness and confidence help others to believe about you what you believe about yourself.
- Gain a supportive network. No man is an island. We all need each other. If you don’t have friends and family to support you, join a networking group, a social meetup group or your local church. Support is a huge part of your journey towards your new career. Be patient and allow others to support you. Don’t be afraid to let go of things that are on their way out of your life anyway. What’s meant to be will return!
- Get Internal Referrals. Here’s how we can help! All that talk about registering in NCWorks Online comes in handy. A resume that is frequently updated online fares best when it is time for internal referrals. If you are not registered with NCWorks Online, get registered. Use the virtual recruiter to customize your job search. Keeping Items 1-7 in mind, consult an NCWorks Career Center* team member for an internal referral.
- Nail your interview! If you do Items, 1-7 above, you are ready to nail your interview: Go 15 minutes early. It helps to have time to calm down and gather thoughts. Have copies of your resume with you – you should pull out a copy of your resume so that you see what the interviewer sees. Bring a portfolio if applicable – don’t just have it sitting there. Be ready to address those temporary positions positively. Use your question/comment time to briefly showcase relevant skills. Take a note pad for note-taking. Dress comfortably – dress in accordance with the position for which you have applied (If professional, dress professionally. If casual, dress a step up and go with business casual, etc.)
- Send the “Thank You” Note. You should send a professionally written Thank You Note to the hiring manager. Include any remarks that you may have forgotten to say during the interview that may increase your chances of being hired. Say, “Thank You” for: (1) Being considered for the position (2) The hiring manager taking time out to speak with you (3) The hiring manager taking time to read the note (not a common gesture).
After the interview, continue with Items 1-8 until you are hired – because you will be hired. Remember, what’s meant to be most certainly will be!
*(See our “About” page for NCWorks Career Center locations)
Written by: Joan Tucker, CWDP