Create your online career brand. The job market is slowly evolving from a paradigm of job-seekers and employers using job boards to find each other to one in which employers find job-seekers online — whether through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the job-seeker’s personal Website. Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web could find it — and removing any unsavory — digital dirt — you can find.
Get organized. Before you start applying for jobs, going to job fairs, or interviewing with employers, take a moment to develop a system that works for you in organizing your job-search. A simple spreadsheet works best for many — and some online sites can even help keep your job-search organized.
Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of contacts. For the vast majority of job-seekers, a large and strong network of contacts — of people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking — in person and online — is essential to your job-search success. Continually seek out new people to add to your network.
Attempt to complete several job-related goals daily. It’s a bit of a cliche now, but in all cliches there is truth — and that truth is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job-search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.
Develop anecdotes and stories that showcase your skills. People remember stories over bullet points, so your goal should be developing a set of anecdotes you can use in networking and interviewing situations that clearly demonstrate your skills, accomplishments, and passion for your work. Using stories may also help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself.
Excel in the job interview. Research the employer and interviewers, know your route for getting to the interview, dress appropriately, arrive about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greet everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), use positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently respond to interview questions, show enthusiasm, ask questions of the interviewer(s), and close the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.
Write thank-you notes after interviews to all interviewers. A quick note (by email and/or postal mail) of thanks that emphasizes your interest and fit with the job and employer will not get you the job offer, but it will help make you stand out from the majority of job-seekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy.
Continue following up with hiring managers. Your work is not done once the interview is complete or the thank-you note sent. Following up with the hiring manager regularly shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The key is doing so in a way that is professional while not making you sound pesky or needy.