GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- In order for Santa to be successful each Christmas, he makes an extensive and detailed list to help accomplish his task.
If you have been frustrated in your efforts of finding a new job during the past year, or are now contemplating changing jobs to take advantage of the increased hiring levels, here is your basic checklist to position yourself for finding the right job in 2012:
1. Take an inventory of your skills and enhance those that will attract employers.
There are several "hot" skill areas that employers are hiring and for which the demand will increase over the coming year. These include bi-lingual language and writing skills, software skills that are job specific and tech tool skills (iPad, iPhone etc.).
2. Get a Job Coach.
Find a third party expert to help create and critique your resume' and help with your marketing strategy. There is no reason to go down this road alone. There are several free sources available for job hunters to help with your search. Several studies show that by involving an expert or coach in your search, decreases the amount of time in finding a new job by 50% or more.
3. Your Online Branding Strategy is CRITICAL.
Its one thing to have a strong resume', its another to make sure your credentials are online where employers can find you. A solid, up-to-date profile on LinkedIn is a must for any skill category, from the production floor to the corner office. This is where most employers and recruiters start their searches now, for both active and passive job candidates. Be aware that they also research you on various search engines and social networking sites. Keep this information current and professional.
4. Target companies, not positions.
More job searchers are finding success in approaching companies whose goals are in line with their strengths and interests, versus trying to tailor their resume' to each job they apply for. LinkedIn can be a valuable tool to help research a company and make connections to managers that are hiring for the specific skills you have to offer. In many cases, once a connection has been made, not only will they make the time to meet with you, but many people have been hired on the spot because a strong bond was created due to common interests and goals.
5. Attitude over aptitude.
In today's market, employers certainly look for specific hard skills, but the hiring decision is ultimately based on attitude and personal chemistry. A Harvard study found that a majority of employers believe mind-set exceeds skill-set. Everything about your profile and presentation should communicate positivity and a willingness to do whatever it takes. The attitude you present during your job search contained online, in writing and in one-to-one conversations, will determine the "altitude" of the offer and position you attain.
Like Santa, employers know how to find which job candidates are "naughty or nice" to hire. If you properly prepare your job search checklist and follow it, you'll end up with a nice new job offer under your tree.
Job of the month:
Bi-lingual Call Center Representative - with English and Spanish language and written skills, working in a busy, professional call center environment. Working with specific, assigned accounts on questions concerning insurance claims and benefits. Temp-to-hire, paying $13-$14 per hour.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)