If you find yourself with a sudden pink slip, you’re not alone. There are currently 12.1 million unemployed Americans, which works out as approximately 3.4 unemployed people for each open position. This fierce competition means employers’ inboxes are filling up with hundreds of resumes.
If you’ve suddenly been dropped into the deep end of the unemployment pool, it can be easy to feel discouraged. With a little preparation, however, you can be sure not to drown under the stress of the job search.
Follow these tips and you’ll be swimming your way into a great job soon:
Decide what you really want to do: Were you devastated by your pink slip or secretly relieved? With a down economy and tough job market, it’s easy to become complacent in a job you don’t actually like. Now is your opportunity to really assess your career path and make an informed decision about the next step. Maybe you’d like to switch roles in your industry or maybe you’d like to change career paths entirely. Put aside some time to think about your career before you start applying for open positions.
Know what skills are in demand: If you want to compete with all the other talented candidates, you’ll need relevant skills to back you up. Research your industry and find out the top skills employers are looking for in the ideal candidate. You might need to invest some time and money to acquire additional education or certifications, but it’ll pay off in a big way when you land your dream job.
Apply creatively: Competition is fierce, and the easiest way to get lost in the pack is to be just like everyone else. Creative candidates are likely to become creative employees and bring that outside-the-box problem solving to organizations. Link your work portfolios, record a video resume, or even make an infographic resume. Whatever you do, make sure you stand out from the pack and show how passionate you really are about the job.
Update and tailor your resume: If you’ve been in the same job for a number of years, it might be time to give your resume a bit of a polish. Find a career coach or resume expert to help you slap a fresh coat of paint on your credentials. Make sure you don’t ignore your video resume and your online social media profiles as well. Ninety-two percent of employers are using social networks to find candidates, so make sure your profiles are professional and represent your skills.
Network, network, network: Sometimes finding the best hidden job opportunities is all about knowing the right people. Get out there and network, both online and in-person. Join an online group, hashtag away in a Twitter chat, and go to a networking event. The larger your network, the better your chances are of hearing about a great opportunity.
It might feel like the end of the world, but being laid off is only the beginning of your job search. If you follow these steps, you can be ready for the hunt and prepared to land your dream job.
What are some other ways to improve your job search? Share in the comments!
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