Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4 Tips for Job Seekers

As a result of the downturn of the economy, many people are struggling to find a job.  While I was in school at Tuskegee University, I was fully dedicated into finding jobs and learned a lot throughout the process.  I worked diligently in obtaining this goal and managed to attain several internships and receive several job offers upon graduation.  The techniques I used can be used by anyone.  If they chose to follow them, I guarantee that they can have the same success as me - if not better.   I made a list of the top four techniques that helped me throughout my job seeking process.
1.  Staying Positive
Staying positive is essential in getting the job you are seeking.  When someone has a positive personality, that person looks better, feels better, performs better, and gets better results!  One of my main selling points during my interviews was my enthusiasm.  Whenever an interviewer asked me a question, I answered it with so much excitement and confidence that my positive energy rubbed off on the interviewer.  Even if you stumble on the questions, your lack of quality in your answer can be made up by your enthusiasm.  These large companies are not necessarily looking at how smart someone is on a specific subject, but more so how much potential they have to excel working for their company.  If you show the interviewer that you have a good attitude, employers will be willing to work with you in the technical areas you are lacking because they see that you are willing to learn.  Now if you go in the interview with a negative attitude, how do you think you will be able to use this technique?  It’s impossible! 
You may have chased several leads that led you nowhere or been on plenty interviews that didn’t lead you to anything, but keep going!  If you are filling out an application after being turned down numerous times, still complete the application like it is your first.  Don’t ever become lazy when filling out an application.  For your next interview, walk in with a smile that will light up a room.  Shake the interviewer hand with great confidence.  Answer the questions like President Obama would.  As the interview concludes, thank the interviewer for the opportunity for even meeting with you.  People who are thankful get better results and that is a proven fact.  Throughout your job seeking process three words should be going on in your head at all times…POSTIVE, POSITIVE, POSTIVE!
2.  Utilize every resource
This is a tip that I see very few people use.   Utilizing every resource that you possibly can will increase your exposure by far. While I was in college, I was in the career placement center at least twice a week.  Many of my peers haven’t even heard of the career placement center.  If you are in college, I highly suggest that you utilize this center and get to know the coordinator because it increases your chances of getting a job.  The career placement center’s sole purpose is to help students get jobs; it is a shame how so many students miss out on these opportunities.  Every student should participate in the career fair and the different workshops the school offers to educate students on job hunting.
If you already graduated, use the World Wide Web as your learning center and career fair.  There is tons of information on advice for getting a job.  Utilize every job seeking website possible.  Many people think that their name is just a drop in the bucket if they use these websites, but if you submit your resume to numerous websites think how much exposure your resume will be getting!   If you know somebody working for a company that you want to work for, ask them for a lead.  Call your professors back in college and see if they know of any job openings.  Think about anyone in your network that can assist you in getting a job and call them. 
If you are looking for a job that doesn’t involve having a college degree, think outside the box.  Go apply for jobs having a professional persona.  For a job that requires that you to wear a uniform to work, show up for your interview in business casual.  Make yourself a resume.  Just because you didn’t graduate from college doesn’t mean that you can’t have a resume.  There are plenty of places on the internet that can help you make one.  Having a resume will put you above your competition.  If you took some time to brainstorm, you will be amazed of how many resources you can come up with that can help you get a job.  Stop thinking about how much the job markets sucks right now, but come up with ways that will put you above the competition, so that you will have a surplus of job offers.
3.  Self Confidence
What is the purpose of an interview?  My definition is to sell yourself to a potential employer.   I always tell my friends and family before they go on an interview that no one knows them better than themselves.  If you truly believe that statement, your confidence should be out the roof!   I get excited when I go on an interview because it gives me the chance to brag about myself.  How many times do you get this opportunity without looking like a snob?  You may be saying…”Dre, I don’t have anything to brag about?”  I love to hear people make this excuse because after brainstorming we ALWAYS find something that they can highlight that makes them look like a superstar. Prior to my first internship, my only job experience was working at a fast food restaurant.   At the end of my interviews, you would think I was CEO of that company because I talked about that job with so much pride and confidence.    I never fabricated false stories to make myself look good, but I talked about the SMALL task that I done and explained them in a LARGE way that highlighted my skills.  Don’t be intimated if you don’t have any job experience in the specific discipline you are applying for.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  If you present yourself with great confidence during the interview, this will show the employer that you can accomplish any task that they assign you.  If you have a low GPA, don’t get down about it.  GPA is only a number.  Your GPA doesn’t represent your burning desire to achieve in you specific discipline.  If you don’t have this burning desire, I highly suggest you get it.   Every excuse that you can think of for you not getting a job can be solved.   You just have to stop making them and create solutions that will get you the job of your choice.
4.  Stay Persistent
Staying persistent is important in any task that you are striving for.  I got a good buddy of mine that is searching for a job and has been rejected numerous times.   Even though he hasn’t had any success in getting a job, he is staying positive throughout the whole process.  Every lead someone gives him he chases it.  He attends many career fairs.  Through all the unsuccessful interviews he had, he finds ways to improve his interviewing skills so next time he can be better.  By my friend being so persistent, he is following the rules of success.  His job opportunity is coming if he continues to stay persistent.  Matter fact, I truly believe that his new job will exceed any of his current expectations he has for his ideal job.  Right now God is testing his faith and it seems that he is passing because he hasn’t given up.  If you can get an A on God’s test of faith, imagine the rewards you will reap.  I gave you this short story to explain how important it is to stay persistent.  Even if the future doesn’t look too bright, still keep your lights shining bright.  Don’t quit now or never.  If you give up, you take the loser route and no one likes to be a loser.  Be a WINNER and never give up.
I hope these tips help you out in your search for getting a job.  If you are already applying these techniques, keep applying them.  If you have your own techniques, keep applying them.  If you already have a job, teach others what techniques you used to get your job.
“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
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