Chad Hummel, the branch manager of Elwood Staffing in Goshen, shared his top 10 tips for searching for and landing a job.
If you have any questions for Hummel about job searching, leave them in the comments below – he has agreed to answer them after 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28.
1. Stay on top of the news
Be aware of the latest business news in your community or the city where you want to work. Read local business journals to find out who's on top in your industry. Review the business section of your local newspaper as well. These resources will give you a sense of which employers are "hot" as well as contact information to send in your resume.
2. Use job search engines
Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations and other sites with job postings for you. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step. This is going to be able to get your the most updated job postings the fastest.
3. Go to job fairs
Search newspapers and your local unemployment office to find out where the current job fairs are being held. Periodically attend these events, even when you are not necessarily looking for a job to see what opportunities are out there and gain perspective on where you fit into the marketplace. Attending these events will, most of the time, get you in contact with the exact person that is going to be hiring for the jobs you are searching for.
4. Get social
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies that are increasingly using social media for recruiting.
5. Use staffing assistance services
There are many misconceptions about using staffing services. Many people believe that using staffing services are just going to get them temporary job placements, when in reality a lot of jobs being presented to staffing services are good jobs that have long-term placement intentions. It needs to be understood, in a tough job market, that staffing services like Elwood Staffing already have their foot in the door of most of the companies that you are looking to be employed by, so why not take advantage of their hard work to find a job? They also have more jobs than just factory work. More and more companies are using staffing services for professional jobs and higher paying jobs.
6. Write your resume until it's right
Write it until it's right. Think, write, think some more, rewrite, proofread, get feedback and rewrite. You can never tweak your resume too much! Make sure that you are customizing your resume to fit the job you are applying for. Nothing is more unprofessional than sending a resume that doesn't fit the job you're applying for.
7. Be on time for interviews
Once you have landed that interview, be on time for it. On time means five to 10 minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the office ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there.
8. Make that first impression count
With everyone you meet at the employer, but especially with the interviewer, you want to make your first impression count. Stand up straight. Look the interviewer in the eye. Smile, and extend you hand for a firm, but not knuckle-crushing, handshake. It is so important to make sure you are acting in a way that will stand out, in a good way, with the employer you are interviewing with.
9. Don't treat an interview as an interrogation
If you are fortunate enough to land an interview, treat it as an opportunity to establish a professional relationship with the interviewer. Know the employer, and be prepared to ask intelligent questions. Engage with the interviewer, and do not be shy in letting the interviewer know how much you know about the employer and how much you want to work there. Be enthusiastic, not desperate. If you are showing the employer that you are prepared, then you are going to instill confidence that you are a person that really wants this job.
10. Don't give up
Last, but not least, don't give up. Job searching is never easy, and it's even harder when the job market is difficult. Keep plugging away at your job search and eventually, though it may take more time than you expected, the right position will come along.
Do you have a question about job searching? Leave it in the comments below and Hummel will answer it for you after 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28.