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Getting back to work in 2013!

Career Exploration The Hiring Process The Local Job Market

For this month's Ask the Employer blog, we posed the following question to the experienced professionals who serve on our Workforce Development Board:

What one thing can job seekers do RIGHT NOW to kick-start their job search in 2013?

Based upon their responses, here are the TOP TEN things you can do to expedite your job search without delay!

1. Spend weekends researching job openings and take action during the week.  Make one business contact per day.  This breaks the job search into manageable chunks, and by the end of two weeks, you've made 10 contacts.

2. Determine the geographic area(s) of interest to narrow the scope of your search.

3. Perform a personal financial inventory.  What salary and benefits will you need to support yourself (and family)?  If an employer cannot offer a compensation package you need, eliminate that employer from your job search.

4. Find a mentor and practice your interview skills.

5. Are you part of professional networks such as LinkedIn?  Find boards where you can post electronic resumes.  Remember to polish your resume with powerful descriptors that separate you from the masses in online forums. An updated resume rises to the top of searches on job boards and is more easily found by recruiters.

6. Your prospective employer will Google you, so review your own electronic profile.  Think about what you have on Facebook and Twitter.  Are there are newspaper articles, court records, etc. that may paint a less than flattering image, and if so, how can you respond when asked?

7. Read professional journals in the field you are planning to enter.  This will help you stay up-to-date. 

8. Take a course that adds to your skills or professional certifications. Explore MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) offered by reputable institutions.  These courses are often free.  While they do not lead to degrees, you could acquire skills and knowledge that you do not currently have. This also shows a commitment to continued learning and improvement during your time of unemployment.

9. Visit Frederick County Workforce Services to find out about the many resources that are available to job seekers, including computer classes, onsite recruitment events, career counseling, financial assistance for training, resume review services, and more!

10. Last, but not least, get out there! Although it can be tempting to just search the Internet for job postings all day, many positions are being filled by personal
interactions with hiring managers. Seek out opportunities with community
groups, professional organizations or any other event that may give you a
chance to meet new people. It's not always what you know, but who you know.

Thanks to the following board members for their contributions to this blog entry:

Ann Bonitatibus, COO, Frederick County Public Schools

Lisa Hefflin, Human Resources Manager, SAIC-Frederick, Inc.

Amanda Haddaway, Director, Human Resources & Marketing, Folcomer Equipment Corporation