Start early. Even if you're still in school, it's never too early to make that all-important first contact. The earlier you start the better your chances are of getting in and moving up!
Don't look for a job until you find a career. Before you look through the newspapers and job boards, it's important to have some idea of the kind of work you're looking for. What are your career interests? Job fairs and written career assessments are great tools to help get you going in the right direction.
Do your research. Make a list of the companies you're interested in applying for and research each company individually. Refer to their websites for company related information.
Network. Start by creating a list of the people and companies you already know. Speak to friends and family - spread the word!
Consider an internship. Taking part in an internship program will help you to gain practical work experience and marketable skills. Although many internship programs do not pay you for your time, they are great for getting your foot in the door... and it may lead to a full-time permanent position.
Write an effective résumé. Your résumé is a summary of your education, work and volunteer history and skills; its goal is to attract the employer's attention and get you that all-important interview.
Write a cover letter, not a novel. Your cover letter should highlight key points in your résumé, but it should also allow you to let your personality shine through. (Don't get too carried away!)
Stay positive. Looking for a job is hard work. Start each day on a positive note. Try to keep your spirits up by talking and thinking positively about yourself. Let go of past mistakes and stop worrying about the future! Employers want people who believe in themselves!
Keep busy. Stay involved in other activities; continue to exercise regularly; eat a healthy diet. Attend classes, workshops, seminars…keep learning.
Ask for help. Your friends and family are your strongest support group and some of them may have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. Also check in with career counselors, recruiters, job groups and employment centres.
Try a number of tactics. If it's been awhile and you haven't had any success, you may want to rethink your approach and reshape your résumé and cover letter. Talk to someone who has had success and ask for their advice.
Lower your expectations. It's more important that you
get your foot in the door. Aim high, but keep your expectations
and goals in check.
Know your interests and skills. The key to a successful job search is knowing what your skills and interests are and communicating them verbally and on paper (your résumé!).
Know where the jobs are. Where are you looking? It's great that you're checking the daily and weekly newspapers and job boards, but it's also a good idea to find out what industries are hot and which ones are not…and then take it from there.
Tap into the hidden job market. Think about it, if 15% of all jobs are advertised then that means 85% of them are hidden. Try your hand at networking, informational interviews, volunteering and participating in employment programs.
Try cold calling. Although it can be a bit nerve-wracking, the results may be worth the effort. Prepare your script in advance and your target audience…and go for it!
Be prepared for the interview. Have your résumé, cover letter and references updated, printed and good to go. If you were called in for an interview tomorrow, would you be ready?
Know your rights. It's good to know what you're entitled to with regards to wage, hours and holidays. Do you know?
Learn how to use the Internet in your job search. Even if you're an avid Net surfer, an online job search can be a daunting and difficult task.
Get experienced. Volunteering is a great way to get the experience you need to land that paying job, but it's also a great way of getting involved in your community.
*Bonus Tip: Reward yourself! Make sure you take time out for yourself.
Take in a movie, go out to dinner with friends, or just take it
easy. Tomorrow is another day!