Tough times are here and tougher times may be coming. If you find yourself without a job during the current economic downturn, you must become as confident as you feel comfortable with (and maybe more than that) if you are ever going to gain the attention of a possible future employer.
Look, just going to job fairs and sending your resume out over Internet probably isn’t going to be enough. You may have already discovered that hasn’t worked for you. So, what’s next?
I have spent many years developing a brand for myself and that has helped me develop my business and myself. There are a variety of ways to do this – some easy and some very difficult and expensive. You should start by creating a personal “commercial” that describes you and your skill sets. By commercial, I mean write a rundown of who you are, what you do, and how you can help any potential employer. It’s that easy but be brief and only state facts and specifics.
For instance, if you are a career sales professional be very specific about past employment and how you helped previous companies attain success. Tell them about how you increased sales 52 percent in your first year on the job. Mention how many individuals you supervised and how you were a mentor to the sales staff, which helped them develop their skills, thus adding to the company’s bottom line three years in a row. That’s about 30 seconds. And if you present yourself confidently, they’ll have no choice but listen to you.
Now that you’ve developed a personal brand, start building up your networking opportunities. Think about all the people you already know, do some homework, and find networking opportunities through business organizations or in your city’s chamber of commerce. You may even want to expand your job search to areas outside your town or your state. I know that leaving your current location may be a hardship, but it’s also important to find your next professional position. These are different times and you may have to do different things to find what you’re looking for. I always tell people that if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. Believe me, it’s true. I’ve done it more times than I can count.
Don’t be shy about asking business associates and friends for personal recommendations for your online social networking sites or letters that you can use for reference purposes. The more people that know you and your current situation, the faster your current situation will change. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Ask…all they can say is no but most people will be glad to help you.
Back up your personal branding with an accurate resume and cover letter. The importance of your personal documents cannot be understated. Many companies today will not accept “walk-ins” and solely use your resume to make their hiring decisions; that includes private industry and government agencies.
I understand that you are going through an extremely difficult time right now. Emotions are running high and it’s probably difficult to maintain a positive attitude from day-to-day. But it has never been more important to do so. Do your homework everyday and remember that your job right now is finding a job. Get up every morning and get busy locating your next position. It will come but in the end, it’s all up to you. Remember, be aggressive and be positive. Today is the day to start making yourself the top candidate. Once you do that, the next job is sure to come.