If there’s one flaw common among people looking for work, it’s a failure to simply prepare for meetings with prospective employers. Individuals should not only be prepared for interviews but also for career fairs, networking events, and walk-ins.
A simple rule to remember is a good first impression makes a lasting impression. Of course, looking professional is only part of preparing for a job opportunity. It’s also a matter having a marketing profile, and being able to clearly answer a direct “Why should I hire you” question. You also need to know as much labor market information as possible. I’ve often asked job seekers who attend my seminars if they know about labor market information, and they look at me as if I’m from outer space!
“What is labor market information?” they ask. I tell them it’s the info that gives you all the details about where workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers. So, why are they still staring at me as if I’m still speaking a foreign language? Labor market information is not complicated and not hard to find (type in “labor market information” on any online search site), and it brings you up to speed on knowing where the jobs are, where the wages are good, what skills are in demand, and other knowledge to show any employer that you are a well-informed and serious job candidate.
One simple but significant fact to note: job searching is truly about action. Avoid the “wait and see” mindset. Your job search deserves all the time you can possibly give it. Most people place applications here and there, fax resumes and wait for a phone call. Stay aggressive. When you’re not actually applying for something, try to seek out any chance to interact with anyone who can help you find a worthwhile networking or job fair opportunity.
Stay committed and consistent. Devote at least a couple of hours per day in job search, because looking for a job really is a full-time job in itself. If you’re really trying to find a job, you’ll know the daily job search has to go beyond simply completing the online or paper applications or sending resumes. Keep looking for leads and asking for help or advice from the right people.
LaTonya Rogers is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions conducting job search skills seminars throughout the Houston – Galveston area. She brings ten years of experience in the workforce industry along with over twenty years in the fields of customer service and education.