If you are entering or re-entering the job market, it’s easy to get scared by the constant “there are no jobs” complaints. But trust me, there’s no need to panic. No matter what you hear, the situation is never as bad as you have been led to believe.
According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey of the Department of Labor, there were 5 million job openings in the U.S. on the last day of March 2015. Over the last year, many industries including professional and business services, healthcare and social assistance, and accommodation and food services reported a substantial increase in job openings.
Clearly, there are more jobs up for grabs than we think.
But while the job market is robust, there’s no place for over-confidence in it. Just because you know there are many jobs in the offing doesn’t mean you enter the market underprepared. Every job seeker has his or her work cut out if they hope to land a desired job in a desired industry.
They say you need to “sell” yourself as a “brand” in order to get what you want. The ploy here is to get your target audience (employers) to stand up and take notice of your credentials, and ensure you leave an unforgettable (positive) mark on your communication with them.
Here are five often-overlooked-but-highly-effective assets that you must have to boost yourself as a brand:
- Email Signature
Since most of our communication now happens digitally, it’s imperative for every job seeker to have an email signature. While a smart subject line and a well-articulated email are obviously important, a prominent email signature will give you another opportunity to let your brand shine. Consider adding the essential information – your contact details, personal website, and expertise – in your email signature. But you should resist the temptation of adding too much info. Keep it professional, concise, and interesting by using an unconventional sign-off.
To make things easier for you, consider using one of these popular email signature creation apps: Wise Stamp, Vizify, and vCard Maker.
- LinkedIn Profile
The professional networking site had 364 million members in the first quarter of 2015. It was also the most successful social network for hiring in 2011 with almost 95 percent recruiters reporting successful hiring through the site. Is that not reason enough to create a LinkedIn profile? Remember, though, that just creating a profile and building connections on LinkedIn is not enough. Get involved in discussions, share interesting articles, and join groups to make sure you are an active member.
Take these tips from the Business Insider and create a powerful LinkedIn profile today.
- Multi-Platform Resume
Different employers have different preferences and ways of accessing resumes. You’ll definitely need a resume that can be adapted to multiple platforms — ranging from your social media profiles to your own website, job portals, and personal portfolio pages — because you never know where they’re hunting for prospects!
About.me, Resume Star, Resume Designer Pro, and Resume Builder Pro are some of the coolest cross-platform resume-building apps you can use.
- Business Cards
Ever heard of the phrase “old is gold?” Well, the business card is one of the oldest tools to network and market yourself that still retains its worth in gold. Whether you are a fresh out of school job seeker or a career changer, having a business card is a must. Make sure your business card is clean and crisp and includes only the pertinent contact information. Remember to carry a bunch everywhere — to interviews, networking events, job fairs, professional meetings, and even social gatherings.
You can get your business cards printed at a local print shop or use one of the printing sites on this list.
- A Pitch
Just like you prepare and prepare for that pickup line to ensure you get an affirmative response from that guy/girl you want to talk to, to make a lasting impression on your potential employer, make sure you have a killer sales pitch ready. You need to let people know what you bring to the table and how they will benefit from hiring you. Your pitch should give them a sense of who the person behind the candidate is. But remember, there’s a difference between sounding confident and sounding cocky. Your pitch should always be the former rather than the latter.
Here’s a simple guide to successfully pitch for a potential job:
Entering the job market can seem like a scary proposition, especially if it’s your first outing. Being well-prepared is half the job done.
And if you think your credentials do not match up to the job requirements out there, a simple way to get job-ready is by pursuing vocational training in the field of your choice. Schools like Career Step are known to equip students with all the prerequisites for the job in a short span of time.
Industries like Healthcare, Management, IT and Criminal Justice are growing at a jaw-dropping pace, thus providing several employment opportunities to young, skilled professionals (with regular jobs as well as offbeat ones like Medical Transcription, Computer Technology, Nursing, Forensic Science, Business Development, etc.) — go get ‘em by making use of the aforementioned tips!
And if you have anything to add to the five assets, go ahead and mention it in the comments section below.