The art of finding work

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Finding work is a full-time job in itself. If you are really serious about finding work, a set schedule will help you to retain a positive, professional state of mind. As the morning coffee brews, open your email first thing as you would do at a regular job, bleary-eyed or not. You want to be ready for opportunity when it knocks. This may come in the form of a phone call screening, an invitation to an interview, or being informed you have been hired. Some time will have to be spent following up on previous submissions. Anything that is no longer in the running can be dropped so that you regain the energy to move forward.

The anatomy of applying for a job begins with selecting a position you like. Depending on the job, targeting a resume and writing a cover letter can take up to a couple of days. Researching the company is an important step. This will help you to determine if the job is right for you. Go through the list of skills and requirements in the job description, and use keywords to target the resume to the position you are applying for. Keywords are important. If your resume does not include them, it will not even make it to the pile where a human actually reads it.

Write a new cover letter

Once you are happy with the results, write a new cover letter. A final edit on the resume can be done once the cover letter is complete. A cover letter can make or break you. Employers don’t spend much time reading individual resumes and the cover letter is like a hook line to draw them in. It tells the employer why they want to hire you. Tell them what you are bringing to the table. If they like what they see here, they will want to explore your resume and find out more about you.

Create a better filter by narrowing down the choices. Focus on the places where you realistically can envision yourself working. This way, valuable unpaid time isn’t wasted on trying to convince an employer you are the person for the job when clearly it is not a fit. Some employers don’t have a clear idea of who they want to hire until what they don’t want shows up in front of them. Be persuasive if you really believe it is right for you.

Use your resume to secure an interview

It’s like auditioning for a role in a play or a movie when you get called to the interview. You want to give a good impression and find a way to let them know you really want the job without being desperate. Dress the part, carry extra copies of your resume, and arrive fifteen minutes early. Set the intention before you go that you are a perfect fit for the job. Take a few deep breaths.

Appear confident: though you may be reeling from previous rejections, approach every interview as if it was your first one. Though you may be bursting at the seams to be hired, the smell of desperation will repel anything good that you are trying to attract. Many employers are looking for any signs of what they don’t want, so be sure to maintain an energetic self-assured demeanor.

Following up can feel like a cold call, but it doesn’t have to. It may be a call to find out if they received your application or a thank you note for an interview. Think of demonstrating your communication skills and work on creating an impression by showing you have the chutzpah to follow through.

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