March is Women’s History Month, an annual observation dedicated to highlighting the contributions of women in history. The female presence in the workforce is increasing in just about every industry. With women working more, their earnings have become a growing share of the family income. For those currently looking for work, here are some strategies to employ during your job search.
Put your Social Skills to Work and Network Effectively
According to a Brandwatch blog, women are biologically wired for social networking. When it comes to the Internet, women are more engaged than men. Take advantage of your digital savvy and use the Internet, social media and job sites as the basis of your job search. The natural charisma, articulation, and grace of women can be powerful tools of persuasion. Show off your confidence by creating conversations, leading groups, and attending multiple in-person networking events. LinkedIn is a forum for connecting and networking. There are many helpful groups that you could join to interact with like-minded people. All-women networking groups have cropped up in recent years and can be easily found through LinkedIn.
Education is a woman’s most powerful weapon. Overeducating yourself never applies to the job market. Consider obtaining the highest possible degree you can achieve, within your time and financial constraints. Consider online degrees or distance learning as a viable, increasingly acceptable option.
Seek Out a Female Mentor
Mentors are a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and of course, job leads. Women may especially find that other women in their line of work are eager to share their secrets to success or help a fellow female achieve their career goals. Check out alumni directories or professional networking sites to find the perfect contact. No need to keep just one mentor – having several will give you fresh perspective on the job market and keep you well-rounded and informed.
Take a Career Assessment
If you’re unsure of what career path you’d like to take or perhaps you’re considering a career change, making a carefully thought-out decision is paramount. Utilize the web to uncover career assessments and resources that will help you dig deep into your ‘psyche’ to enable you to visualize your ideal job.
Update Resume and Focus on the Future
Your resume should not be a list of everything you’ve done. Jobs held over ten year back need not be documented on your resume. You should focus your resume on the future and the job you are seeking.
Describe Significant Accomplishments
Don’t just list “responsible for” items. Show the employer relevancy and results by documenting and successfully noting your accomplishments. A results driven resume works best.
Change the Education Section
Change the “Education” section of your resume to “Education and Training” and put your most recent training first. This shows that your skills are up-to-date and that you continue to invest in yourself and career. Be sure to list your degrees following the more recent training.
Limit Your Resume
Your resume should be within 2 pages and you want to include the most relevant jobs.
Prepare for Job Interviews
Focus on your experience and your accomplishments. Dress for success. If you are asked what salary you expect, respond by asking for the salary range. Make sure you have an understanding of what that job is worth in the market. (Glassdoor.com) is a good resource for company information and salary reports). When you hear the range, say that you are sure that you fit within the range. Try to postpone salary discussions until you have been offered the job. Don’t turn down a job because of the salary range as you can negotiate vacation time, flex time, start date, health benefits and more.
Show off your Tech Savvy
Keeping up with technology is key in getting hired and being competitive. Show potential employers that you can navigate technology. Keep an eye on your target companies. Are they requiring certain technology competencies as part of the job? Reading news regularly will also allow you to keep up with technological advancements. Also research what types of technological shift your field has made and try to learn the most relevant ones for the position you are aiming for. Online courses make learning really easy these day. There are a plethora of online classes available on sites such as coursera.com, Lynda.com and udemy.com.
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Companies are hiring and the job outlook looks great in 2016. Get started now and all the best!