Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Searching for a job in a sluggish economy

Each person's situation is different, but the basic rules of the job hunt are still the same, whether you're out of work, looking to return to the workforce, or trying to change your career. Over at Work It, Mom!, I'm offering up quick tips on how to hunt for a job in a sluggish economy. You can click through for all the nitty-gritty, or read on for the quick list:

Evaluate your current situation. What are your skills? What do you most want to do? What is most important to you, and what will you settle for?

Take a look at what's out there. Chances are, a lot has changed since your last job search. What do other people earn for doing similar work? If you can, talk to people who are already doing your dream job, so you can get an inside look at what it's really like.

Network, network, network. Now, more than ever, who you know is just as important as what you know.

Revamp your resume. Don't just update it with information about your current (or most recent) job, tailor your resume to fit the new job for which you are applying. (Need ideas? Check out my tips on revamping your resume.)

Craft your elevator speech. Here's a great Work It, mom! article on what it is and how to do it.

Learn from other people's mistakes. WomenCo offers up a great list of nine interview mistakes -- and how to avoid them. They also have a great article with the 15 toughest interview questions and how to answer them well -- check it out.

Be prepared. You're online right now -- put the internet to good use. Before your interview, find out everything you can, not only about the company, but about the person who will be interviewing you.

Interview your interviewer. Use the chance to glean as much information as you can about the job, of course, but also about what they're looking for in a candidate -- then put that information to use in your cover letter, proposals, resume, and conversation.

Stay positive, and don't take rejection personally. No matter how good you are at what you do, or how long you have been doing it, you are not your job. A rejection isn't a personal attack. Salvage the moment and search for the positive by asking for feedback: What do you need to work on in order to be considered a good candidate in the future?

Don't burn bridges. A thank you note is in order, even if you didn't get the job. Why? Because if you establish a good rapport with the interviewer, then you may have created a valuable networking contact.

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