My biggest hope for 2012 is that the employment picture brightens and those who are unemployed or underemployed are able to identify new opportunities and approach them with renewed confidence and a positive outlook.
Perhaps you know someone who is planning to use the Christmas break to revamp their resume, boost their LinkedIn profile and add a new interviewing suit to their wardrobe in anticipation of a more robust hiring season. If so, please share with them the following eight dos and don'ts.
Do keep a positive attitude. Enthusiasm during this gloomy time is a must.Think about the word PASS the next time you're introduced to someone: Posture, Attitude, Smile and (hand) Shake. And remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.
Do network like crazy. Make the most of every opportunity to meet others and see what you can do for them. What goes around comes around, and if you approach people with a generous spirit and genuine desire to help, it will come back to you.
Do knock on lots of doors. I tell coaching clients that every "no" gets you closer to a "yes." Often a job hunt is a numbers game, so thank people and move on when you hear the word no, because that yes is right around the corner.
Do convey your professionalsim with good follow-up. Follow up positive encounters with handwritten thank-you notes. Email is second best - a written note makes a much stronger impression on people.
Do dress the part. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so be prepared for any "chance" meeting by dressing like you planned it all along. This is not the time to put comfort ahead of common sense. By dressing for the job you want, you'll subconciously convince others you're ready, willing and able to rise to its challenges.
Don't expect anyone to do more for your job search than you're willing to do yourself. You alone are responsible for making things happen, so don't simply email your resume to everyone in your contacts database and hope for the best. Ask friends for specific help, perhaps an introduction, a referral or a critique of your resume, but you've got to do the heavy lifting.
Don't appear desperate. People can smell desperation a mile away and it's never attractive. Crank up the enthusiasm, positivity and confidence, and others will see you as an enthusiastic, positive and confident professional - just the sort of person they may be looking for.
Don't miss opportunities. Many people decide too quickly not to pursue things that might get them out of their comfort zone. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore areas you might not have considered previously. Tough times call for new thinking.
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