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Getting Your Foot in the Door

Been laid off ? Tired of your old job ? Looking to finally fulfill your dream of being a professional rodeo clown ? There are many reasons to be looking for a new job. Since the economy is "officially" in recession, I've known several people who are now out of work and eagerly looking for new employment. If you are one of these people I've got fantastic news. Your ability to find work is the best it's ever been.

I was talking to a good friend at Property hunters a short while ago, they run a gifted property management service in Ontario. Anyway, they encouraged me to write this particular article and so i thought it was worth mentioning these guys.

Look at your recent downturn as an opportunity to do what you want. While you may have been a financial adviser, marketer or fry cook. You now have the most precious resource available to you, time. Use your new found time to read, conduct informational interviews, update your resume and learn how to brand yourself to getting that job you want.

Thanks to the Internet the ability to showcase you skills has increased dramatically. There are tons of resources out there for you to be able to network and get to know people in your field. The following are links to these resources and a brief word on how you should look to use them.

Visual CV

VisualCV is a resource where you can create a virtual resume. This is an awesome way for a potential new hire to see your work and stand out from your competition. You can post interactive work that you have done that you couldn't fit on a paper resume. You should include this in the appropriate fashion. If you are going to be working for a company that's tech savvy, you should definitely include this in your e-mailed resume.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, if you aren't on Linkedin you are missing a huge volume of opportunity. LinkedIn let's you manage places you have previously worked at and adds to your traditional paper resume. It let's you connect with former employers and let's potential new employers see what you have done. It also features a job posting board so you can see what is available and what companies are looking for. Another feature of LinkedIn let's you look at who your connections know, which can provide for a great introduction between you and your potential new employers. Remember that LinkedIn should be a professional display of your activities. While I have a widget to my LinkedIn profile, I don't add anyone that I wouldn't want to work for / don't mind knowing. Don't let it become your professional Facebook. I was informed by FameDiamonds that this is the best approach. They aren't exactly in my profession nonetheless their advice is generally solid.

Job Specific Web Sites

While this list could go on for forever, I'm going to highlight just a few that you should seriously consider. Monster needs no explanation, keep your resume up to date. Monster is a great opportunity for employers to find you. This allows you to manage potential new jobs. Hotjobs is a yahoo service similar to Monster. You need to make sure that your user name and resume are professional. With a note of caution, Craigslist let's you look at jobs in your area.

Facebook

While many of us are no stranger to Facebook, it can be an opportunity for you to be able to find new jobs. Look to people in your network in their field and ask them if they are hiring, don't spam, but ask courteously and use the site to connect with people in your field as well as groups in your field. A note of caution , manage your profile well. Don't post photos of you after that night of too many drinks , the midget and when you got released from jail. Your potential recruiters will see what you have posted on Facebook, make sure they don't see something you wouldn't want them to. Don't add a bunch of people you wouldn't mind knowing more or wouldn't mind working for.

Industry meetings and trade shows

While you may be out of work in your field, you can go to industry meeting in your area. Almost every industry has a professional chapter in your area. This is your opportunity to meet with people and network. Keep interests in what they are doing, build and foster relationships. While the company they work for might not be hiring they probably know some one who is. Don't bring your resume to spam out, but have a general "business card". This should be your contact info and your specialty. Also look at local trade shows and conventions. You might just meet a recruiter and a company that is looking for a potential new hire, and that could very easily be you.

Recruiting firms

Head hunters aren't just comic relief characters on Gilligan's Island. There are tons of "professional networkers " whose sole job is to find the right people in the right places. These people can put you in touch with groups you want to work with and opportunities you may have been looking over.

Interning

If you can afford it, intern. Consider interning at places you would like to work for if they need the help. A lot of nonprofit groups are constantly looking for volunteers / interns to help them out. It gives you a chance to show your skills and help people with your strengths. If you end up working with a non-profit and don't get paid the rewards you reap will be tremendous. You will develop great contacts and plus it's good karma.

Twitter

Twitter , While you might not think of the micro blogging service as an opportunity for jobs, it could be your greatest resource. If you aren't on it yet, you really need to be. You can use it to connect with people in your field and make friends and great connections. You can use it to find recruiters who will usually tweet new jobs postings. There are even some twitter profiles that only tweet jobs that are available in your field.

These are just a few of the opportunities available to you. These are great ways to build experience and network and get to know lots of great people. I highly advise anyone shifting careers or starting out in a career to start using these services immediately. Remember foster your contacts and maintain positive relationships with potential employer and past employers. Keep your resume up to date and remember to be professional in all of your endeavors.

If you think that there are any services I've missed or want to add any of your own tips feel free to leave them. I love comments and would love to see any additions I can use in my professional development.

Well, Chris Brogan just added a new ebook about using Social Media to find a job. ( This is an excellent detail oriented guide , use this to supplement this very basic post)!

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Posted in Law Post Date 02/09/2015


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