Five Holistic Tips to Job Searching
Competition in the job market is fierce for anyone who is not equipped with the right tools.
What most people put in their tool box are the basics: resume, cover letter, professional branding statement, skills, experience and education.
The truth is that those things are just the starting point, because you also need a positive attitude, fresh approach and solid strategy.
Here are five practical and holistic tips to help you take a new approach, adopt a new attitude and firm up your job hunt strategy:
1. Stay Open to Opportunity — Consider transitional careers and transitional skills. Look into industries that have on-going growth, such as health care, education and government or quasi-governmental agencies. Start exploring the “green” industry, or consider partnering with a colleague to start your own creative venture. Every company, regardless of whether they are the producers of cutting edge technology or sell homemade widgets, needs back office or operational help (someone has to keep the books, manage the website, sell the product, hire the staff, order supplies…you get it) Don’t limit your skills to one industry.
Holistic Approach: Practice removing personal barriers and negative thoughts to shift your thinking. This will help you create more enriching experiences and opportunities for yourself. Try some form of meditation.
2. Highlight Skills — Transition into a new career by updating your resume. Focus on accomplishments, successes and skills valuable in other careers. For example, if you have experience in customer service and have increased customer satisfaction at a previous job, say so. Then look for other people-centered jobs where quality service is the utmost priority. The possibilities are endless.
Holistic Approach: Learn to embrace your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. The better you know yourself the more that will be possible. Explore your spiritual side at a retreat or personal development class.
3. Send Out Fewer Resumes — Yes, that’s right, FEWER resumes. More resumes do not equal more opportunity if you are targeting the wrong job for your skills and abilities. Create resumes that target particular jobs, industries or skills to get employers’ attention.
Holistic Approach: When you squander your energies, you block the path to real purpose. Learn to focus your energies on specific goals and take actions that directly promote that goal and purpose.
4. Leave No Stone Unturned — Tap into all your personal and professional resources such as college alumni associations, professional trade groups, church or social organizations, friends and family. Use social media for more than posting cute pics of your dog and kids; use it as an opportunity to really connect with people and share your talents. Job opportunities often arise just by letting people know you are available. Talk about what you do and what you’re looking for in an opportunity.
Holistic Approach: Learn that people thrive when they are connected by common interest, experiences and circumstances. Connect with people in ways that have meaning and show some vulnerability to life’s challenges but resilience to overcome and triumph. Many of my clients report going months without telling anyone they were unemployed. Think like a sports figure, you cannot be signed a new team if no one knows you’re a free agent.
5. Volunteer — When you’re not pounding the pavement or surfing the job boards for that next job, offer your services to a local organization. This builds skill, shows commitment and allows you to make connections for employment opportunities. Skilled volunteering allows you to use your knowledge and experience for good, and is just as noble a contribution as running a coat drive or working the soup kitchen.
Holistic Approach: Disconnect yourself from the idea that giving is monetary. Connect to giving that has value to others and creates purpose and satisfaction for you. Once you have found that thing you will find paths to careers which bring you both fulfillment and money.
Professional development consultant Crystal Cotton owns Crystal Clear Connextions, which helps job seekers improve their communication skills.