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How to Land the Perfect Job

By Leigh Goessl, DegreeMatch.com
Staff Writer

You may have your dream job picked out, but getting it is a another story.




In a competitive job environment, it is not always easy to find employment. In June 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. unemployment rate remained at 9.2 percent, equating to a total of 141 million people unemployed. Due to these factors, many people are competing for the same jobs, which might pose challenges in finding targeted employment.

While competition for positions may be steep, the good news is you can increase your chances of not only finding employment, but landing the job you want by taking a few steps. Writing a strong cover letter and resume is a given, but by putting a little extra with other efforts, you can gain a competitive edge in the application pool.

• Additional education and training

In today's job market, credentials and certifications can offer the competitive edge needed to land the job you want. If your skills could use updating, or if your college education is limited, consider going back to school or attending training courses. Adding knowledge to your professional toolbox can help successfully lead you to get a job in the career field you want.

• Social media/networking

Social media is an area people increasingly turn to in order to build their professional networks. Job seekers create profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as a means to market their skills and meet new connections.

Mashable.com reports "In today's fast paced and competitive business market, companies are learning that using social media allows them to cast a wide net. And recruiting is no exception. So, if job seekers want new opportunities, they will eventually have to learn where companies are posting positions. Then follow."

Based on current trends, social media can play a large role in landing your dream job. However, you shouldn't rule out more traditional networking avenues by attending job fairs, industry seminars and conferences. Volunteering in the community is another way to grow your professional network.

• Volunteer or intern

Volunteering or interning in the field you want can help you land the job you want. This path is an opportunity to not only get more acquainted with your desired field, but also get your foot in the proverbial door. The Career Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates employers tend to hire candidates that have a history of experience beyond the classroom. Interning and volunteering also help you determine if "what you think you want to do is really what you want to do." Additionally, the agency states you get the opportunity to build professional competencies, obtain references and add value to your resume.

• Research organizations

One of the most important things you can do when trying to land that job, is to brush up on your knowledge about the organization. In the modern world, job candidates that don't possess background information on the company lose a competitive edge right off the bat.

• Be open-minded

With a saturated job applicant pool, finding your ideal job isn't always easy. This being the case, it might be worth your while to be flexible with job opportunities and explore other options. Instead of falling into the mindset of a 'must have' job, think outside the box, you might be surprised what you find.

• Thank you note/follow-up

After any communications or interviews, send a thank you note. Then follow up after an appropriate amount of time (which may vary depending upon the search period the organization has decided upon). It is appropriate to ask the question of when a decision would be made.

Landing a dream job may not be an easy task, but with planning and persistence, your efforts can pay off.



Last edited: October 31, 2011, 5:46 pm EST
   
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