So, it’s 2014. How’s your job search going? If you are unemployed, or are looking for a career change, you are in good company … millions of others are in the same boat. Which is all the more reason to take a hard look at your job search skills and revamp your efforts.
Your peers are often just as important to your career advancement as senior management. They are the folks that can open doors in new positions or new organizations.
Get a leg up on the competition, and most importantly, find the best opportunities to further your marketing career, with these tips, suggested by author Mary Gay Townsend in 7 Tips to Revamp your Job Search for 2014.
1. Be unique.
Finding a job isn’t a cookie-cutter proposition. Your friend might get a job through a friend of a friend. Another might spend years on online job sites. Still another might network heavily through LinkedIn and finally meet the right person who has a job. The point is, it is a personal experience, and you need to find the strategies that work for you, and try as many as you need to get yourself out there. Townsend cites an interesting tactic here. It might be a stretch, but the idea is that you don’t always have to go the traditional job search route to find your dream career.
2. Look at job titles or departments differently.
So maybe you have studied or spent years in a specific position in marketing. But have you considered being open-minded about using your skills in other departments or looking at different job titles? Your skills could actually translate well into other areas of a workforce.
“Be open-minded about your preconceived notions of job titles. Roles in compliance, human resource or administration, for example, are often perceived as being boring, career-limiting or otherwise undesirable. Such preconceptions, however, about the scope, strategic importance and long-term potential of these positions are not always true in today’s market. In many cases I’ve seen, these jobs offer exceptional opportunity for influential and attractive long-term careers,” says Townsend.
3. First online impressions are everything.
It is said so often, but we’ll say it again, with emphasis. JOB PROOF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES! A Careerbuilder.com survey found that nearly 40 percent of companies will check out your Facebook profile when they researching you for a position.
This is what they are looking for across all of your social media sites:
- To see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally – 65 percent
- To see if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture – 51 percent
- To learn more about the candidate’s qualifications – 45 percent
- To see if the candidate is well-rounded – 35 percent
- To look for reasons not to hire the candidate – 12 percent
Townsend recommends to use a professional-looking profile picture and set your privacy settings accordingly. However, don’t rely on those settings along. Scrub your profiles of content you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.
4. Network with your peers.
Your peers are often just as important to your career advancement as senior management. They are the folks that can open doors in new positions or new organizations. And they generally know you better than the higher ups, so they can give you an honest appraisal.
5. Be realistic.
While we want nothing more to grab that prestigious corner office, the worst thing you can do for your mental health and reputation is to find yourself in over your head.
“Don’t get me wrong, sometimes shooting for the stars really does pay off! However, this becomes a risky strategy when you promise more than you can reasonably deliver. Just because the perfect opportunity has come along doesn’t mean it is the perfect time to accept. Holding back from applying for this job right now will prevent you from burning bridges for a role that may be a better fit later in your career,” says Townsend.