Because the job market seems to be improving, at least somewhat, it's probably time to dust off some advice about how to get a job. Here are some tried and true and practical tips from Robert Half International, a recruiting firm. These are particularly aimed at recent grads trying for their first jobs.
- Put on your best “face”: Don’t publicly post anything that would appear unprofessional to a hiring manager or recruiter on sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Use your privacy settings when posting personal information.
- Think big: Spread the word about your job hunt to everyone you know. Take advantage of professional networking websites such as LinkedIn, and work with staffing firms that specialize in your field.
- Start now: Don’t postpone your job search. Instead, start looking for work as soon as possible. Also, spend your time productively during the search: Employers will ask what you have been doing while unemployed. Seeking out additional training, temporary work and pro bono projects shows initiative.
- Tailor to the opportunity: Customize each resume and cover letter to the particular job opening, and obtain the name of the hiring manager so you can personalize your cover letter.
- Sweat the small stuff: Make sure your resume and cover letter, and any additional communications during the job search, are error-free. Be vigilant about spelling, grammar and punctuation in all written communication, including thank-you notes.
- Make the first impression a good one: Keep voice-mail greetings clear, professional and succinct. Also, avoid using off-color or overly cute e-mail addresses.
- Ask for the job: If an interview has gone well, consider proposing that you assume the position on a trial basis. Cautious employers may be more inclined to hire you if you both can test the waters before a full-time offer is extended.