Finding Jobs: Where to Look and What you Need
Today’s conversation starts with the overall economy and funnels down into how you can become visible in today’s job market.
If you’ve ever taken an economics course before, then you’ve heard of the unemployment rate. This is a measure of all the men and women in the workforce who are unable to find a job vs. all the rest who are currently working. As of May 2016, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin sits at 4.2%. This means that for every 1,000 people that are currently working, there are 42 people who are not working.
This is an amazing fact! Our unemployment rate hasn’t been this low in approximately 15 years according to the Bureau of Labor. Only 42 people out of 1,000 can’t find work.
This means that companies are hiring. I can vouch for this, too. No matter where I turn right now I see NOW HIRING signs. Signs for both skilled and unskilled labor all throughout town. Advertisements and job postings are all over.
The QUESTIONS are:
- How do you get a company to recognize you?
- What can you do in order to make yourself visible to them?
One piece of advice that has stuck with me throughout my life was at a leadership seminar I attended in college. One person told me that in order to be successful in life, and especially in your job search, “You need to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”
At the time I heard this, it meant taking a leap of faith. It meant applying for jobs you might not “think” you have a chance at, talking to people about potential job openings you haven’t met before, and really going all in into the job hunt.
In my last post I identified some great ideas that you can use in the interview. In this post I want to talk about things you can do to become visible to hiring managers and business owners who are looking for workers.
The question that any business owner is asking when they are looking for people to join their team is, “Who will be the best fit for my organization?” The company will put together a job description of what the person will be in charge of, and then they start searching for whomever in their mind is the best fit.
Think of how advertising works. A company sends its message out to enough people and a certain amount of people with take the bait.
In this scenario, companies advertise their job openings in hopes that they can hire the best people possible for the role(s).
The first thing that you want to do is make sure that you are following as many job posting sites as possible. These sites can be extremely specific to where you want to work like UW-Stevens Point, or incredibly broad like Monster.com. They can be specific to a geographical location like the Portage County Business Council or you can use your college as leverage for job postings as well. At UW-Stevens Point, we use what we call CareerPoint. I highly recommend checking it out! Most importantly, research and find sites where jobs available. There are a lot of sites that you can subscribe to for notifications, but just remember the harder you work to initially find out what kind of jobs are available, the more that you will find. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Networking is also a huge part of finding jobs as well. Some of the best jobs out there are the ones that aren’t being broadcast to the vast majority of job seekers. Word of mouth referrals for jobs create some of the best candidates in a job pool. Make sure you are constantly connecting with people outside of your network. Simplified, Go Make New Friends. As uncomfortable as it is to make a call to a new contact or referral, remember it only takes one person to introduce you to another person that has to ability to hire you.
Make yourself visible online. Chances are that someone somewhere is going to attempt to find you. Just like using a site for dating purposes, this is a market as well. There are buyers and sellers. You are the seller and the company you are about to work for is buying you and your time. Use social media to leverage your online presence. Use your full name and utilize the most professional sites. I highly recommend LinkedIn. The UW-Stevens Point School of Business and Economics even has its own LinkedIn group you can join.
Twitter is great to have for news and current events, and I recommend having a Twitter profile for that reason. You can also follow job postings through Twitter, so you should really create a handle and start following a few people. Facebook isn’t really a site you want to use for professional purposes as it is mainly a place to communicate with friends and family and house your life events and photos.
Another thing you want to make sure to do is update your résumé and make sure you always have a few extra copies. Probably the most expensive part in getting ready to enter the workforce is the investment of proper interview attire. I highly recommend getting a few key items:
- Professional Business Dress Clothes. (Don’t ask just get them and wear them)
- Some personal business cards
- 5-10 extra résumés
- A notepad and two working pens in your padfolio at all times. You never know who you are going to run into!
There isn’t a necessarily a 100% correct way to market yourself as you start searching for jobs. You need to know where to look and you can’t ever be afraid to put yourself out there. Ask questions,research, and then start applying. You’d be amazed over the jobs you never even knew existed.
Best of luck in the search!
– Max T –