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Jumpstart Your Job Search

by Robin Ryan

When you are in Human Resources, everyone thinks you know everything there is to know about getting hired. Truth is, most HR folks stumble when implementing their own self-marketing efforts. Having coached numerous HR professionals, I have often been told that many are introverted and find resume writing difficult and networking intimidating. So, if you think you are alone in finding job hunting a challenging task, think again.

Job search techniques have changed over the years. In today's job market, you must learn to define and promote your personal brand in order to distinguish yourself in the workplace. Through personal branding you define your career identity and set yourself apart by emphasizing your personal talents in a way that showcases what is distinctive about you. You develop a mark of excellence that reflects your own unique talents and abilities in the tasks or activities you do best. People who display a great personal brand find it relatively easy to land great jobs and earn promotions. And, they often get paid more, and receive better benefits, than their counterparts. 

To increase your opportunities to move ahead try implementing these success strategies:

  • Define your personal brand. Identify your key strengths, your passions and personality traits, and define which talents you've turned into core competencies that are recognized and respected by your peers and employers. (Read more details on personal branding.) http://soaringon.com/brandyourself.htm  Once you are clear on your strengths, be sure to incorporate your accomplishments and the results you have achieved into your resume. General, boring job descriptions are ineffective. Defining how you have saved time, increased productivity, cut costs and added to the bottomline capture attention. Make sure your resume screams, ''I'm a get-the-job-done kind of person.'' Use the actions = results formula, hitting only your major accomplishments and noting the experience you have that is necessary to do the job.  Action verbs like directed, created, implemented are powerful so start each sentence with one. (Take the resume assessment to see how your resume stands out.)  http://robinryan.com/resumeQuiz.htm

  • Network!!!  63% of all jobs last year were found through contacts according to the Department of Labor. Others can pass on leads and introductions, even forward your resume on to a hiring manager, to insure your resumes get a look.  Join and attend professional meetings, making an effort to meet two people to add to your network. If you have a favorite company you wish to get into, search your network and their's to find someone inside to help you.

  • Hit the interview running.  Start the interview in the best possible way: when the interviewer asks the, ''Tell me about yourself,'' question, forget an autobiography. Use the 60 Second Sell.  This technique has you analyze the job duties the employer wants accomplished, then select your top five selling points  your strongest abilities, experience and skills (AKA your personal brand), that demonstrate that you can do the job.  Link these five points together in a few sentences and you have created a ''verbal business card'' that is the most effective way to begin and to close the interview.  Keep the momentum going with good, prepared answers to questions and practice before you ever face the interviewer. Pre-determine some specific examples of your past performance for any situational questions that come up. AND DRESS UP!  Too casual is unprofessional, but this is a mistake many people are making. You need to ''look'' like a role-model of the company who would fit in nicely with the image the company wants to portray. A big smile on your face is your most important asset; use it often.  (Take the interactive interview quiz to see if you are ready to face an employer and succeed.) http://robinryan.com/quiz.htm

  • Negotiate the salary. The biggest salary increases are the result of negotiating with the new employer.  Know exactly what your skills are worth in the marketplace so you do not undersell yourself. Never mention money until the position is offered and the interviewer has mentioned salary first. This preserves your negotiation power.  Many clients have followed this advice and found themselves $20,000 richer, so work to become skillful at negotiations so you don't leave any money that the employer was willing to pay on the table.


© Copyright 2009 Robin Ryan. All rights reserved.

Need more assistance?  Robin is available to help you achieve your goals and dreams with individual career counseling. Click here to learn more.

Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah and Dr. Phil is considered America’s top career coach. Robin has a busy career counseling practice providing individual career coaching, resume writing services, interview preparation, salary negotiations, and outplacement, to clients nationwide. She is the best-selling author of: " 60 Seconds & You're Hired!", " Soaring On Your Strengths", " What to Do with the Rest of Your Life", " Winning Resumes" and, "Winning Cover Letters". A dynamic national speaker, Robin has spoken to over 1200 audiences sharing her insights on how to improve their lives and obtain greater success. Contact Robin at: 425.226.0414, or email: robin@robinryan.com, or visit her website: http://www.robinryan.com

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