4 Things to Consider Before You Apply for a New Job

Self-Help

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Hire meIn light of today’s economy, looking for a new job is a daunting, intimidating task. With unemployment continuing to stay at an uncomfortably high rate nationwide, the availability of good paying jobs for most people is low. In spite of the poor job market though, it’s still possible to find and land a good job. Most people are well aware of the basic tools required to successfully venture into the job hunting market; however, many people are unaware of some newer tactics used by many companies to gather information about a potential candidate to fill a position in their company.

The following are a few important tips to consider when you’re pursuing a new career or contemplating a job change. These tips range from what not to include on your resume to carefully monitoring the information you put out on the Internet about yourself.

1. Carefully Edit Your Social Media Footprint

The advent of social media websites such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter has changed the way companies investigate potential employees. Regardless of whether we like it or not, most companies will check what you’re saying, what you’re involved in and try to glean a general idea of what type of person you are by looking through the sites and viewing your participation there. The profiles you have built on these various sites reflect your character. Companies will check these sites and determine if what they see about you is compatible with their business philosophy. They will also do a general search for you via the search engines to see what type of information appears about you. Again, what is on the Internet about you readily serves as a character reference to a potential employer. Be sure that what they find when they search speaks well of you and supports your efforts in your job hunting rather than serves as a detriment.

2. Be Able to Quickly Articulate Your Abilities and the Value You Bring to the Table

Create and refine your personal elevator pitch. It’s a two minute or less synopsis about yourself and your skills that you have rehearsed, that you have tucked away, and is ready to roll off your tongue whenever you ‘happen’ to be caught in the elevator with that CEO or important person with whom you have earnestly desired to meet. Whether or not you’re actually in an elevator is irrelevant; the point is that you ought to have a concise statement to deliver (when asked and the timing is appropriate) about your abilities and the value you will bring to the organization.

3. Include Only Appropriate Information on Your Resume

There are many items that should definitely be included on your resume. Some good tips on what to include can be found at HowToWriteAResume.org. There are also just as many items that should NOT be included on your resume. Many people feel compelled to share deep information about themselves on their resume or cover letter. Beyond the simple irrelevance of a lot of the information that job hunters provide, that information may also harm their efforts. HRWorld.com has a great list of 25 Things You Should Never Include on a Resume. There are many good tips here and it’s probably a good idea to review your resume to ensure that you aren’t including some of these items on it.

4. Carefully Craft Your Cover Letter

Double check your cover letter. It’s just as important as your resume. Many people don’t realize that how your cover letter is written, what’s included there, and how you project yourself in that letter says a great deal about you. Again, HRWorld.com has a great article about cover letters entitled, “Cover Letter Train Wrecks: 18 Real World Examples.”  Be sure your cover letter doesn’t include any similar mistakes.

These are a few ways to better prepare yourself — and the information you present — to potential employers as you begin your new career search. Do you have other good, relevant tips for people who are looking for a new job? If so, please let us know by leaving a comment. We always enjoy hearing from our readers and we welcome your input.

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