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As the economy finally makes some attempts to shift in a positive direction, the hiring landscape is becoming more favorable, both for unemployed professionals and for those seeking to make a career change. More and more companies are transitioning from survival mode to a growth phase. This is good news, but you are not the only one looking for a job. Do you have what it takes to stand out from the crowd of job seekers and get hired?
Here’s what you need to know to get hired fast in today’s job market:
- Build your network. The old adage is still true in many cases: when you are trying to get hired it’s not always what you know, but who you know. Consistently network with other professionals in your industry to become more visible in your field. The majority of new hires, particularly at higher levels, come from referrals rather than a standard employment ad. You want to be the first person a hiring manager thinks of when a new position opens in your area of expertise.
- Invest in continuing education. It is more important than ever to stay current in your field, even if you are unemployed. Even in relatively static industries, there are always new, complementary skills you can learn to help you get hired faster. In addition to maintaining the practical and technical expertise you need to do your job well, think about new skills that can add value to your position.
- Stay dedicated and committed. The past several years have not been ideal for changing careers, but even if you find yourself in a position you no longer enjoy, it’s important to continually demonstrate your commitment to your job. This dedication will be noticed, especially if you are actively building your professional network.
- Become a leader. Cultivating leadership skills is imperative for career growth. You may not be CEO material, but making efforts to actively develop your leadership skills will provide you with more opportunities, perhaps even within your existing company.
- Grow your personal brand. Self branding is not just for the self-employed; it can also help you get hired faster. A prospective employer will review your resume, but the next step these days is typically an Internet search. If you have built a solid professional reputation through social media, blogs or a website, you’ll bring more value to the company that hires you. Hiring managers have a large pool from which to choose; make yourself appear to be the biggest fish.
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Hiring is on the rise, but the job market is more crowded than ever. If you want to get hired fast you need to go beyond just doing your job well. Of course, a good resume and cover letter are still as important as ever. These are the first materials a hiring manager sees; if your resume doesn’t make the cut, all your extra efforts will be fruitless.