Daisy Wright is a career transition coach, professional resume writer and contributing writer to several career books. She is the author of "No Canadian Experience, Eh? A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants" available December 2006. Daisy can be reached at: (905) 840-7039, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thewrightcareer.com.
Know Yourself. Make sure you have an idea of what your interests, values and skills are to enable you to begin a fruitful job search. Conduct an assessment to see what you enjoy doing and what environment allows you to be more productive.
Evaluate Your Soft Skills. The majority of new employees fail in their jobs, not because of their technical ability but because of poor interpersonal skills. You may know your job well, but that doesn't guarantee you success. Think about your soft skills - Are you coachable? Can you accept and implement constructive feedback? How about your temper? Is your attitude showing? Do you work well with coworkers? Are you motivated to work at your full potential?
Be Diligent in Your Research. Spend a great deal of your time conducting research on companies or industries which are of interest to you. Make sure you know what products or services each company provides; what position each company holds in the marketplace and make sure each company has a solid reputation within its industry. Indepth research on a select group of companies is far better than randomly sending out hundreds of resumes and not getting any responses.
Create a Professional Profile. This professional profile is your resume and will most likely be your first point of contact with the employer. Make sure it showcases your accomplishments as they relate to the job for which you are applying, and that it focuses on the employer's needs and how you can fill those needs.
Be Honest. As desperate as you may be to find a job, be truthful. Do not embellish your resume with accomplishments that are not factual. Many people have been fired, or have resigned in disgrace for such actions.
Ask for Help. It is never a weakness to ask for help. Do you need assistance in getting an introduction to someone who could assist you? Would you like to know how to arrange an informational interview to gain insights into certain companies or job functions? Do you need a job lead? Be courageous and ask for help. The worst than can happen is to get a 'No'.
Give. Do not hoard your knowledge, expertise, ideas or job leads. Be generous and share because you will reap the rewards. Keith Ferrazzi, author of the book, Never Eat Alone, says "#1 key to success is generosity. Give your talents, give your contacts and give your hard work to make others successful without ever keeping score".
Network, Network, Network. Begin to build your network of contacts by attending networking events that support your career goals, or join a professional association and become an active member. According to Ivan Misner, founder of Business Network International, it is not called "net-sit" or "net-eat," it's called "net-work". You must "work" the networking groups you belong to as it's one of the most effective ways to find answers to your questions and find job opportunities.
Do Not Be Late. Punctuality is highly valued in the workplace. Arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled meeting or interview. If possible, take a dry-run the day before your interview to give you an idea of how long it may take you to get there.
Mind Your Manners. Be courteous to everyone you meet, whether in person or on the telephone. It is well known that some frontline staff wield a lot of influence and could stand in the way of your job search success. Remember common courtesies such as "please" and "thank you".
Maintain a Positive Attitude even when things appear bleak. Tell yourself that the more No's you receive; the closer you are to 'Yes', and remember that a quitter never wins.
Get Some Rest and Relaxation. Job search is hard work, so take a break to avoid burn-out. Recharge your batteries. Get some exercise, do something with the family, or just relax. You'll be surprised to see how rejuvenated you'll feel afterwards.