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The Secrets of a Successful Job Search

Looking for a new job is usually not easy. Even in prosperous times, it can be stressful to find the right employment but in a recession it can seem like a nightmare. Many employers are laying off workers, others are cutting hours for existing employees, fewer and fewer are taking on staff.

People do find jobs, though. Sometimes, it's just pure luck but according to research in the UK's Guardian newspaper published January 2009 and conducted in the summer of 2008, it seems that some people have more successful strategies than others and it is these that find a new job.

Successful stategies for finding a job

It would seem obvious that the harder you look for work, the more likely you are to be successful. Of course, it's not always that easy. You have to do the right things and you also have to be in a positive frame of mind.

Job seekers, whether facing redundancy or already unemployed, can suffer from depression and get into a fatalistic frame of mind so that they have no hope of success. Unfortunately, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The less hope you have of finding work, the more this will communicate through your resumé and at interviews.

There are seven key factors that were present for successful job seekers, which are:
  1. A positive, optimistic attitude
  2. Constant and effective action
  3. Using contacts
  4. Contacting companies
  5. Effective decisions
  6. Going the extra mile
  7. Using online resources

Although the research does indicate that a job seeker's attitude and state of mind is important, it's really about making the search for employment a full-time occupation and leaving no stone unturned.

Power Job Search Tips With Google

It's understandable that job seekers, especially older ones, can allow themselves to become downcast and pessimistic. Older people are especially vulnerable to feeling depressed and hopeless. Many older job hunters feel they have little chance as many employers are looking for younger, less experienced workers, usually because they can pay them lower salaries.
Even so, no matter what your reason for feeling negative about your chances of a successful job hunt, you must maintain a positive attitude. If you don't believe in yourself, why should anybody else, including a prospective employer?

Make sure that your CV (Curriculum Vitae) or resume shows you off to best advantage. Your experience should be presented positively, even it isn't extensive. If this is the case, look at voluntary or leisure activities that could contribute to your experience.

If you get an interview, coming over as a positive person with an optimistic attitude is more likely to impress employers than if you are apologetic or negative. When challenged on some aspect of your experience or employment history, present your case in a positive way. For example, if the interviewer suggests that your experience as an office manager in an advertising agency doesn't equip you for the same position in an accountancy practice. You point out the similarities in the duties regardless of the sector of commerce of the company.

When I was in my 20s, I spent a year working in a London theatre box office selling tickets and doing the back office work involved as did all box office staff at that time. It was terrific fun but long hours and poorly paid. There was no way I wanted to spend my life doing this so I decided to look for another job. Because of the administrative work involved and the attention to detail needed, I found a new job in admin in a London office within a week.

The Guardian survey shows that those with a positive attitude to their job search were over 60% more likely to be successful than those without it.

Ten ways to look for a job

There are many ways to find a new job and many places to look. Here are ten of them.

  1. Look in newspapers or at their websites.
  2. Look in specialist magazines for your field of employment, again look at their websites particularly as some specialist publications are not readily available.
  3. Search online job sites.
  4. Register with employment agencies.
  5. Look at websites belonging to companies likely to have the kind of job you want. Some companies, particularly the large ones, post vacancies online.
  6. Talk to friends and family - they might know of suitable vacancies and you might hear of one before it is advertised.
  7. Get friends and family to ask their own friends to let them know if a suitableposition becomes available where they work. 
  8. You could let friends and followers on sites like Facebook and Twitter know you are job hunting and the kind of position you are looking for. I could understand that many people won't want to do this - I'm not sure if I would!
  9. If you are being very methodical in your search and keeping records, you could write a blog about your job hunting experiences although you probably should be wary of naming companies or individuals within them. Promote your blog and your methodical approach to looking for work might impress somebody enough to for them to contact you for an interview - caution recommended, of course.
  10. Send speculative letters and your resume to companies likely to employ somebody with your kind of qualifications and experience.

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