In order to do a job, you’ve got to have the right tools. By the same token, in order to find a job, you’ve got to have the right tools, and that’s where author and Career Sherpa blogger Hannah Morgan can help.
In a U.S. News & World Report post titled “7 Tools Every Job Seeker Needs,” Morgan lists a series of “brand-new apps and old-fashioned tactics” essential to those of us looking for work.
Indeed, some are pretty old school. One is a stack of business cards, so that when you meet someone who might be able to help your career, you can slip him or her one at the end of the conversation. These need not be super detailed — simply include your name, email, occupation, and links to some of your social media accounts, chief among them LinkedIn.
Speaking of which, “an active LinkedIn presence” ranks as No. 2 on Morgan’s list. In addition to having a good headshot and summary, Morgan writes, you should consider embedding a presentation that highlights your skills. The LinkedIn Connected and Pulse apps will help on that front, and Morgan also recommends posting articles relevant to your industry.
Keeping it digital, Morgan also advises jobseekers to have an email signature containing contact info, links to social media, and your desired job description. “Your email signature is possibly one of the most important branding tools you’re not taking advantage of,” she writes. “It’s your chance to let everyone know what your expertise is, how to contact you and where to learn more about you online.”
Similarly, it’s vital to have an “easily accessible, on-the-go resume” — something you can access from any device and send to potential employers as opportunities arise.
Morgan’s final three tools have nothing to do with computers. You should prepare a “perfect pitch,” since first impressions are key, and whether you’re networking in a coffee shop or sitting down for a formal interview, you need to be able to explain what you do. Next up: a “target list of employers.” Searching all day on generic job boards might not get you anywhere, but if you take some initiative and approach companies you want to work for, you just might land in your dream job.
“This route is more work up front, but it will help you stand out and rise to the top of the referral pile if you make the cut,” Morgan writes.
Lastly: “a dose of motivation.” Keep your chin up, even when you fact rejection. (And you will.) Morgan suggests exercising, doing volunteer work, and bettering yourself by learning new skills. “Keep moving forward and create to-do lists and follow-up actions every day,” she writes.