Overcome Your Job Search Competition

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In today's highly competitive job search market, anything that gives you a legitimate edge is worthwhile to use in your job search.  Below are a number of items that you can use, today, in your job search to help you overcome the completion.

Research Your Target Companies: this point can't be more important in today's market. In the current environment, you have to know more than just what the position requires: you have to know people within the organization, the organization's strengths and weaknesses in their marketplace, and how you can provide solutions to those weaknesses. If you don't have this, you won't be able to effectively interview.

This is where your network comes in. Hopefully, you've been cultivating and active in your network for some period of time prior to your needing their help. No one in a network likes to be contacted only when they're needed. Networking is a two way street, and you have to give to get. 

I promise you that if you only contact your network when you need something, your network will not be responsive to your needs. Instead, stay in touch, provide useful information, care about what's going on with the people in your network, and share useful information, tips, and leads with your network. It will come back to you in a positive way.

An outstanding cover letter that succulently and clearly articulates your value as an innovative problem solver, with brief highlights that are related to the problems that the organization to which you're applying has. This will make you stand out. Are all cover letters read? No. Are some? Absolutely. Is there any harm in submitting one? No. Could it hurt you not to? Yes, for sure.

The Thank You Note. Over the last 15 years or so, this has become a lost art. What better way to tell the prospective employer how professional you are than with a timely thank you note, thanking them for their time, reiterating how you are great for the position (and if you're not, that you have a great referral for them), and helping you to further brand yourself in the hiring manager's eyes. It's fast, cheap, and simple. And, it goes a long, long way.

Follow-up: Most people don't follow-up. If you've invested the time and energy to research the organization, custom write a great cover letter, tailor your resume to the specific position, follow-up with an excellent thank you note, why wouldn't you follow-up? It's perfectly appropriate to follow-up in a reasonable amount of time (depends on the type of position) without being overly persistent. Professional, but persistent is the rule.

If you follow these tips, your search for a new position should be more successful.

Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR-CA is a Career Strategist, and president of Michael Trust & Associates, www.MichaelTrustAssociates.com, a Career & Business Coaching firm.  His Coaching, Business, and Human Resources experience spans twenty years, and he has had major roles in staffing in all of his Human Resource positions.

In addition, he has coached individuals at all career levels relative to their career paths, job search strategies, business strategies, and related areas. Mr. Trust is also a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Copyright © 2010, Michael Trust & Associates.  All Worldwide Rights Reserved.

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