Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finding A Job For The New Year


Whether you are looking for you very first job, swittching careers, or re-entering the job market after an axtended absence, finding a job requires two main tasks: understanding yourself and  understanding the job market. Presuming you have already chosen a career and are currently serching for jobs, here are several ways to actually get a job:


1. Network. The best companies to work for tend to rely heavily ( up to 40%) on employee referalls. Make a list of all of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances, call each one and ask them if they know of any openings that they could recommend you for. Don't be too humble or apologetic. Tell them what you have been looking for, but let them know that you are flexible and that if they have any suggestions, you are open to them. This is not the time to be picky about jobs; a connection can often get your foot in the door, and you can negotiate pay or switch position later once you have gained experience and established your reputation.

2.Touch base with all of your references. The purpose of this is twofold.You can ask them for leads and you will also be refreshing their memory of you in their mind. (Hopefully their memory of you is a good one)
3.Volunteer. If you aren't already,start volunteering for an organisation that focuses on something you are passionate about.You may end up doing boring or easy work in the beginning,but as you stick around and demonstrate your commitment, you will be given more responsibilities.Not only will you will be helping others,you will also be gaining should emphasise your volunteer experience on your resume,as companies that treat their employees well tend to favour candidates who help the community.

4.Develop your personal elavator pitch. Many structured interviews,particularly those at large companies,start with a question like "tell me about yourself".The interviewer doesn't really want you to go back to primary school and talk about your childhood.This is a specific question with a specific answe.In two minutes or so,the interviewer wants to get you to relax and loosen your vocal cords,understand your background,your accomplishments,why you want to work at XYZ company and what your future goals are.

5.Prepare a behavioral interview. You might be asked to describe problems you have encountered in the past and how you handled them,or you will be given a hypothetical situation and asked what you would do.They basically want to know how you will perform when faced with obstacles in the position you are interviewing for.Be able to give honest,detailed examples from your past,even if the question is hypothetical (e.g. "I would contact the customer directly,based on my past experience).You may find yourself listing facts- if so, remember that in this kind of interview,you need to tell a story.Some questions you might be asked are:

6.Research the company. Don't just do an Internet search,memorisee their mission,and be done with it.If it is a retail company,visit a few of their stores,observe the customers,and even strike up a few conversations.Talk to existing employees- ask them what it is like working there,how long the position has been open,and what you can do to incease your chances of getting it.Become familiar with the history of the company.Who started it?Where?Who runs it now?Be creative,and do whatever you think the other candidates don't have the guts to do.

7.Make a list of work-related skills you would like to learn. Your employer will be interested in hearing about how you intend to become a better employee.Think about which skills will make you more competent in the position you are applying for.Public speaking,project management,team leading, and computer programs are usually beneficial.Find some books and upcoming conferences that would significantly improve your abilities.

From: The News Straits Times


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