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Tips for Increasing the Effectiveness of Your Job Search Margaret Rassinger, Coordinator of Employment Services & Programs at JobSkills

About the Author

Margaret Rassinger has been developing her skills in case management and project management for over 20 years. More recently, over the past 8 years she has expanded her knowledge and expertise within the non-profit sector. Her years of experience have provided her with a well rounded framework to serve a diverse population and assess their needs as appropriate when developing their career goals. Margaret has facilitated various employment related workshops, as well as provided individual career counseling when developing individual.s short and long term employment goals. Currently working for Job Skills in Northern York Region and is coordinating Employment Services in Georgina and East Gwillimbury.

Spring is vast approaching and now is the time to critique your resume, interviewing and networking skills. Employers are now gearing up for their hiring needs for 2011. Many companies have completed their 2011 budgets and have determined their vacant and newly created positions. Therefore, they are in a hiring mode to staff their employment needs to ensure the success of their company. If you had sent your resume to employers over the holiday season, now is the time to start following up with them. Another good strategy is to start revisiting the employer’s career sections for job postings on their company websites.

Effective Job Search Techniques

Tips on Writing a Targeted Resume

  • Look for keywords in job ads, notice the commonalities between common job titles. Usually the first couple of keywords early in a job description are the most important
  • Include credentials, certifications and training that pertain to the job.
  • Always use industry specific words, for example if you are applying for a position as an administrative assistant, use words like: compiled, coordinated, administrated and filed.
  • Include soft skills as well, for example: teambuilding, problems solving and customer service.
  • Go to company websites and identify some of the key values, look at the mission statement.
  • Don’t include phrases such as, responsible for; this takes up unnecessary space and should be avoided.

Tips on preparing for an effective interviewing

  • Get enough sleep. Be alert at all times.
  • Arrive early. If possible, try out your travel route the day before.
  • Look professional. Regardless of the job, it’s always easier to dress down than to dress up.
  • Avoid heavy perfumes/colognes. When it comes to fragrances…’less is best’!
  • Ask questions. If you don’t understand…ask. This shows interest in the position.

Tips on Creative Networking

  • Be creative and reconnect with your contacts - former co-workers, customers, clients, vendors and other business associates. Remember that the purpose of these contacts is to build relationships, not to ask for a job or share your job-hunting woes.
  • Send your business calling cards to all your contacts with whom you have recently been interviewed. Write a personal note, mentioning something you enjoyed about your last meeting with your contact.
  • Many organizations need volunteers throughout the year, especially to cover ongoing vacations. If you are interested in working for a particular organization, volunteering is a great way to get an ''inside look'' at the organization and to meet people who work there. This option will give you the opportunity to meet many business people in your community or industry.

Schedule at least one job search activity each day. You could also be able to benefit from a variety of free services available to job seekers in your community, mostly delivered by non-profit organizations, and often funded through government programs.

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