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11 Tips to Get You Employed

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11 Tips to Get You Employed

    Many people now find themselves looking for employment. It is not easy. The job market is highly competitive with many applicants for each vacancy. How can you maximize your chances of getting a being employed? Try this 11 point plan.

    1. Identify your transferable skills

    List your main areas of expertise. How many of your skills are transferable to other lines of work? This list constitutes much of what you will be selling.

    2. Write and practice saying your TMAY – “Tell Me About Yourself.”

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    Prepare a short sales pitch for the product you are selling: you. In one minute or less you should be able to explain your key skills (see Item 1 above), your main achievements (with the names of some employers or customers) and a description of the sort of work you are looking for. Your TMAY will be invaluable in networking situations and when interviewers say, “Tell me about yourself.”

    3. Set objectives for yourself

    Getting a job is a job. It takes many hours of hard work. You have to be your own boss and set goals. If you want to get, say 3 interviews per month, then you might have to apply for 12 positions per week. Set objectives for networking, applications, interviews, skill development, research etc.

    4. Polish your résumé

    Your résumé (or CV) is the critical document that will determine whether or not you are called to interview. Ideally your résumé should be no longer than 2 pages. It should list your key skills, achievements and recent responsibilities. Have some experts read your résumé and listen carefully to their feedback.

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    5. Network like crazy

    Many of the best jobs are not advertised. How can you possibly hear about them? Your best chance is by networking. Contact everyone you know and tell them about the kinds of opportunities you are looking for. Ask them to let you know if they hear of anything. Go to meetings of local business people or in your specialist field. Meet other people and link to them (see below). Have a business card printed with your name and contact details and give it out to those you meet.

    6. Use LinkedIn

    There are many internet social networking sites that you can use including Twitter and Facebook. However, by the far the most important for job-seekers is LinkedIn. Register, load your résumé and key skills then link to everyone you can think of – friends, colleagues, customers etc. See if you can get some former bosses, colleagues or customers to recommend you. Join some relevant groups. Use linkedin extensively for research and job hunting. Read up on how to get the most from it.

    7. Apply, apply, apply

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    You need to kiss a lot of frogs to get one prince. Don’t wait for the ideal position to be advertised and invest all your hopes in that. It is better to apply for lots of jobs that you could do. Tailor your cover letter (and if necessary your résumé) to suit the position and its stated requirements. Get into the habit of making your target number of applications every week. Search all the jobsites and use RSS feeds and alerts to find out about suitable new opportunities.

    8. Do your research

    When you get called for interview try to prepare. Research the company, the position and the interviewer if you can. Use the internet and use contacts to find out all that you can. Anticipate any likely questions and prepare your answers – especially for the tricky questions that point to weaker areas in your application. Prepare some intelligent questions of your own.

    9. Sparkle at interview

    If you have done your research then you are already in good shape. Remember that the interviewer already thinks you have the necessary skills or they would not have called you so the key thing they are looking for is your attitude. Show your drive and enthusiasm without appearing desperate. Ask some good questions.

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    10. Stay focused

    Don’t let rejection get you down. Be persistent. Keep working your plan even though you hear nothing from many applications and get rejected before or after interview. This is normal. Don’t get angry or resentful. Keep going. There is a great job for you out there – you just haven’t applied for it yet.

    11. Have a plan B

    If all else fails you should have a plan B. Consider starting your own business, working as a contractor or moving into a very different field. Many people look back on their change of career as the best thing that ever happened to them – though it seemed terrifying at the time.

    Good luck with your job hunt this new year.

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    (Photo credit: Business deal via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 25, 2021

    Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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    Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

    As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

    Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

    According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

    “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

    A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

    What Is Your Personal Brand?

    “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

    Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

    Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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    I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

    A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

    Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

    Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

    Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

    In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

    According to Castrillon,[2]

    “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

    The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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    As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

    In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

    “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

    When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

    The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

    Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

    The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

    5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

    These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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    1. Set Your Personal Goals

    What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

    2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

    Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

    1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
    2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
    3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
    4. What makes you different from others like you?

    The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

    3. Write Your Professional Story

    Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

    4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

    Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

    5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

    A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

    The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

    Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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    As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

    Other People’s Stories

    Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

    Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

    Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

    “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

    So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

    Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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