Tip #2: Improving Your Odds

If you are wondering how position yourself more effectively in today’s competitive job market, you are not alone. As I travel around the country, I get more questions on this subject than any other. The good news is that there are a few strategic practices that will put you ahead of the pack, and help you find that next great job. Here they are:

Set Goals
Set daily goals and stick to them. Researchers at the University of Missouri studied 327 job seekers, ages 20 to 40 and found that starting a job search with plan (such as sending out three resumes per day, networking with three people each day, making five phone calls each day, etc.) led to greater success.

Narrow Your Search
It may be counterintuitive, but think about it: in the end, you only need one job. Most job hunters try to send out as many resumes as they can. This is a big mistake. Instead, spend more time on pursuing those few job openings represent a great fit with your skills, interests, and experience.

Google Yourself
Pay attention to your Google “resume.” Do you know what shows up when someone types in your name and city, or your name and job title or former employer? Research commissioned by Microsoft found that while only 7% of jobseekers thought that information about them online hurt them, 79% of hiring managers actually looked up online information on job applicants. Most said that what they found affected their decisions and 70% said they had actually rejected candidates because of what they found.
Quick tip: You can save time in keeping track of your Google resume by setting up a Google Alert. Every time a new source includes your name, Google will send you and email with a link. To set up Google Alerts, go to http://www.google.com/alerts.

Stay Positive
A Georgia Institute of Technology study found that certain behaviors increase the chances of finding a job, even during economic hard times. This study found that people worked harder at their search and had more success if they were: 1. Optimistic (even to the point of being able to view their job loss as an opportunity to improve their position); 2. Confident in their job search skills; 3. Extroverted; and 4. Organized. They also found that people who changed their daily routine – adding more exercise or church activities, for example – were more successful in finding new jobs.

I hope that these strategies will be as helpful to you as they have been for other jobseekers – and I wish you all the best in finding that next great job!