As the number of those joining the laid-off ranks increases, it can feel as if opportunities are drying up. Tune in for my appearance on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips at 2:30pm eastern (Wednesday, Jan 28th) for tips and advice that every job seeker needs to know now. You'll gain new perspective and start to see the opportunities that exist for you!
I know what job seekers are going through. Just this week I volunteered to coach in a free program sponsored by Vault.com and the New York Public Library. There were many coaches and even more coachees from various levels, backgrounds, and industries. All impacted by the downturn.
There is good news however. I was excited to help with ideas and solutions that the job seekers hadn't thought of. Here are highlights of the advice I shared and will expand on tomorrow on CNN:
--Separate your short and long-term strategy. You may need a job now to pay the bills but to provide yourself with lasting job security, you need a career. Too often I see people throwing themselves into the next hot industry or job without thought to what they'll do after the bubble bursts. Don't jump on the bandwagon. Rather focus on a career path that will keep you happy and satisfied for more than the next year or two.
--Make the transition easy on yourself. Identify the top one or two skills you already possess that an employer would find valuable even in a downturn. Are you good at bringing people together to execute on a project? Do you have great analytical skills to be able to solve problems? Forbes just announced the top companies to work for. Many are are taking advantage of the downturn to snap up top talent. You are top talent in the areas you excel in - so go after the jobs!
--Prepare your pitch. To get your foot in the door, you'll need a compelling pitch that communicates your value as a potential hire quickly and clearly. Invest the time and energy to work with a coach on your customized elevator pitch and visit sites like 15secondpitch.com. You can not only develop your pitch online but also see examples from others in your industry.
--Exude and exhibit confidence. If you don't believe you're a worthwhile hire, no one else will. Now more than ever it's essential that you maintain your self worth. Desperation will not land you a job but confidence and poise will. Testimonials are a great help as well. Ask colleagues and former bosses to recommend you on sites like LinkedIn.com. Employers use sites like these to research candidates so make sure you are putting your best image forward.
What do you need to know as a job seeker to land your next opportunity? What advice has worked for you in getting a new job during challenging times? I welcome your comments and ideas.
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