This post was inspired by a friend, who asked me about what I’ve done that helped me get jobs in the past, and ultimately, how I’ve created ample opportunity in the world of digital marketing. His specific question was. “If you were to give three tips to someone unemployed right now, what would it be?”
One goal any ace professional should always have is to stay sharp within their industry, even if they aren’t currently employed in the industry they want to be in. In fact, it’s when you’re not actually getting “hands on work experience” you need to stay current on your latest industry trends.
Being unemployed is tough. I know firsthand. But what I also know, is how critical it is to have a strong personal brand. Having a personal brand, and a desire to use my personal brand to create professional opportunities, has gotten me great jobs against elite competition in a crazy competitive Denver job market.
Here are three ways I recommend to anyone who wants to better themselves and advance their career. Whether you are unemployed or just unhappy.
Push yourself to learn
Ask yourself. Are you always pushing yourself to learn? Are you continually sharping the tools in your toolbox? This is critical to anyone who is looking for career advancement. You have to be a self-starter and have a passion to learn. If you’re unemployed, you have ample free-time and opportunity to get involved with some great, inexpensive, online tools that allows you to professionally develop.
Join Lynda.com – Lynda.com is a simple online education company that offers thousands of video courses that enhances your business skills. Its base prices is only $25 a month, with a no contract basis. You can’t beat that. Not only is it cheap, but the classes are taught by real industry thought leaders. This will not only allow you to grow in skill, but also confidence.
Send More than Just Your Resume
A nice clean looking resume is great. But let’s all be honest. In today’s world, you need to standout, and resumes are slowly taking a backdoor when it comes to job applicants. Gone are the days when a nice resume and a good recommendation would get you a decent job. You have to do more.
Instead of sending in just your resume, put together a Power Point presentation that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for and send that in as well. Have your presentation talk about how you will “add major value” to not just your new job position, but the company as a whole.
Or, create a list of 10 ideas that will truly push the company (specifically your future boss), to think. If you can come up with a list of 10 quality ideas that would add instant value, before you even interview for the job, and it forces your future employer to actually stop and say “Hey that might be a good idea?” – Then mission accomplished. You have proven your worth already. In today’s world, it’s all about adding value. If you can do this in a gratifying simple way, you already have a foot in the door to your next job.
Have a Personal Website.
It’s almost uncommon today, when I look over resumes of people I’m hiring or about to work with and they don’t have their personal website listed on top of their website.
Having a personal website is so powerful. It’s also easy to have. Look into a simple WordPress or Square Space site. Having a personal website plays as your digital portfolio and puts you in a different tier of candidates when applying for a job.
I can tell you first hand, my personal website, and having a consistent blog, has created more opportunities for me than I could have ever imagined when I first started it.
Bottom line is this- If you’re looking for a job, or even looking to make a career change, you have to take action. There is no secret formula. You have to go out and create opportunity. My dad used to say “You have to knock on your employer’s door.”
I’ve knocked on a few doors that opportunity lurked behind, and nothing happened. So I started kicking doors in. I created opportunity. And it all starts with one simple thing… Starting.