Tips for Job Hunters: Make employers want you

If you are one of the 9% of the population who is unemployed and feel stuck because you just cannot get a job, then I can relate. The “thanks for applying, we will get back to you soon,” phrase ends up leading to nothing over and over again, but do not give up. It will get you nowhere.

The first step you must take in order to embark on your job hunting journey is to network, network, and network! A company would rather hire you if they know that you already have a connection to the business. Notify friends, family, and anyone you know that you are looking for a job, and ask them if they know of any places that are hiring.

Prior to applying, put together a list of both personal and professional references with professional references having more importance. If this will be your first real job, then ask the parents you babysat for, the organization you volunteered with, or the neighbors you did yard work for if they can be your reference. You will need to ask them for a phone number they feel comfortable with having someone contact them at in the event the employer is interested in hiring you. No professional references may hinder your ability to apply at some places, but often workplaces will just ask for general references and will require you to provide your relation to your reference. Though this may seem like common sense, make sure your reference will have nothing but good things to say about you.

Resumes are a must. Put together a resume if you are lacking one. Include any work history, volunteering, skills, awards, activities, contact information, or anything the employer may want to see from potential candidates. Show them why they need you.

Next, be prepared and stand out. You may be searching online for a job and find an opening you are interested in. Guess what? Several other people have probably found the same opening and have applied too. Competition can be tough, but try going above and beyond. If a company asks for you to send them your resume, do not simply attach a resume and say “I’m applying.” Include a brief personal message to show you care and that you want this position.

Dress to impress. Finding a “Now Hiring” sign and entering dressed like you just crawled out of bed could make an employee hesitant to give you an application. Though there’s no harm in handing out an application, dressing to impress is an essential when it comes to an interview. No cleavage, no baggy pants and no street shoes. Just represent yourself well. You are immediately judged, and what you are wearing plays a huge role in the opinion your interviewer will have.

When it comes to interviews, be prepared. Research the company you are being interviewed for. Show what you know. Role play an interview with a friend to get in the right mood of answering questions. When a question is asked, do not give the shortest possible answer or blab on and on. Show the interviewer that you qualify.

Let’s pretend you’re applying as a waitress at a busy restaurant. The person interviewing you may ask, “Are you good at multitasking?” Although saying “yes” would answer the question, give them more than that. Respond by showing your care. Mention your skills and any relevant experience. Say something like, “Absolutely! I have multitasked at my previous job. Sometimes multitasking can become challenging, but I never let that affect my performance. I believe in providing an exceptional experience to the guests while working quickly and efficiently.” Don’t forget to smile and show your enthusiasm!

Job hunting can be tough, but a ton of businesses are hiring seasonally. Apply to every possible place you are interested in working in. The more places you apply, the better chances you have of getting a job in general. If you are hired, work hard, stay focused and dedicated, and you could end up becoming a permanent employee.