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Whether you’re looking for your very first job, switching careers, or re-entering the job market after an extended absence, finding a job requires two main tasks: understanding yourself and understanding the job market. Presuming you’ve already chosen a career and are currently searching for jobs, here are several ways to actually get a job.

Edit  Steps

  1. 1

    Network. The best companies to work for tend to rely heavily (up to 40%) on employee referrals.[1] Make a list of all of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Call each one and ask them if they know of any openings that they could recommend you for. Don’t be too humble or apologetic. Tell them what you’ve been looking for, but let them know that you’re flexible and that if they have any suggestions, you’re open to them. This is not the time to be picky about jobs; a connection can often get your foot in the door, and you can negotiate pay or switch positions later once you’ve gained experience and established your good reputation.

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    • Touch base with all of your references. The purpose of this is twofold. You can ask them for leads and you’ll also be refreshing their memory of you in their mind. (Hopefully their memory of you is a good one, or else you shouldn’t be putting them down as a reference.) If a potential employer calls them, they won’t hesitate as much when remembering who you are.
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    Volunteer. If you aren’t already, start volunteering for an organization that focuses on something that you’re passionate about. You may end up doing boring or easy work in the beginning but as you stick around and demonstrate your commitment, you’ll be given more responsibilities. Not only will you be helping others, but you’ll also be gaining references. You should emphasize your volunteer experience on your resume, as companies that treat their employees well tend to favor candidates who help the community somehow.[1]

  3. 3

    Work for the UN. The United Nations has a lot of organizations where you can work as an employee, volunteer or you may get an internship with them.
    There are many sites to start your job search there:

  4. 4

    Develop your personal elevator pitch. Many structured interviews, particularly those at large companies, start with a question like “tell me about yourself.” The interviewer doesn’t really want you to go back to grade school and talk about your childhood. This is a specific question with a specific answer…in two minutes or so, the interviewer wants to get you to relax and loosen out your vocal cords, understand your background, your accomplishments, why you want to work at XYZ company and what your future goals are.

  5. 5

    Prepare for a behavioral interview. You might be asked to describe problems you’ve encountered in the past and how you handled them, or you’ll be given a hypothetical situation and asked what you would do. They’ll basically want to know how you’ll perform when faced with obstacles in the position you’re interviewing for. Be able to give honest, detailed examples from your past, even if the question is hypothetical (e.g. “I would contact the customer directly, based on my past experience in a different situation in which the customer was very pleased to receive a phone call from the supervisor”). You might find yourself listing facts–if so, remember that in this kind of interview, you need to tell a story. Some questions you might be asked are:

    • “Describe a time you had to work with someone you didn’t like.”
    • “Tell me about a time when you had to stick by a decision you had made, even though it made you very unpopular.”
    • “Give us an example of something particularly innovative that you have done that made a difference in the workplace.”
    • “How would you handle an employee who’s consistently late?”
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    Research the company. Don’t just do an Internet search, memorize their mission, and be done with it. If it’s a retail company, visit a few of their stores, observe the customers, and even strike up a few conversations. Talk to existing employees–ask them what it’s like working there, how long the position has been open, and what you can do to increase your chances of getting it. Become familiar with the history of the company. Who started it? Where? Who runs it now? Be creative, and out do the other candidates.

  7. 7

    Settle down. If you’ve moved around a lot, be prepared to offer a good reason for it. Otherwise, you’ll need to make a good case for why you want to stick around in the area where the job is located. A company doesn’t want to hire someone with wanderlust who still wants to relocate. Be prepared to outline why you are where you are today, how long you intend to stay there, and why. Give specific reasons like “This county has the best school systems in the entire state, and I have a daughter who might find the cure for cancer” or “I was drawn to this area because it’s at the cutting edge of innovation for this business and I want to be a part of that.” The more details, names, and specifics, the better.

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    Make a list of work-related skills you’d like to learn. Your employer will be interested in hearing about how you intend to become a better employee. Think about which skills will make you more competent in the position you’re applying for. Public speaking, project management, team leading, and computer programs are usually beneficial. Find some books and upcoming conferences that would significantly improve your abilities. In an interview, tell the employer what you’re reading and learning, and that you’d like to continue doing so. This is a list of the 7 most important job skills, wanted by employers, that a job seeker must have to be sure of landing a good job and just as importantly, keeping it.

    • The ability to find relevant information: Research Skill Job seekers should possess the ability to systematically find relevant information through research not because they want a research job, but in order to do effective searches for the data needed by a particular activity.
    • Logical thinking: Information Handling. Most businesses regard the ability to handle and organize information to produce effective solutions as one of the top skills employers want. The ability to make sensible solutions regarding a spending proposal or an internal activity is valued.
    • IT Skill: Technological Ability Most job openings will require people who are IT or computer literate or know how to operate different machines and office equipment, whether a PC or multi-function copier and scanner. This doesn’t mean that employers need people who are technology graduates. The simple fact that job seekers know the basic principles of using the technology is sufficient.
    • Getting your words understood: Communication Skills Employers tend to value and hire people who are able to express their thoughts efficiently through verbal and written communication. People who land a good job easily are usually those who are adept in speaking and writing.
    • Efficiency: Organizational Skills Organization is extremely important to maintain a harmonious working relationship in the company and the opposite, disorganization costs money. Hence, most employers want people who know how to arrange their work through methods that maintain orderliness in the workplace.
    • Getting on with others: Interpersonal Skill Because the working environment consists of various kinds of personalities and people with different backgrounds, it is essential to possess the skill of communicating and working with people from different walks of life.
    • Career Advancement: Professional Growth Employers prefer to hire people who are able to create a plan that will generate maximum personal and career growth. This means that you are willing to improve yourself professionally by learning new skills to keep up with developments in the workplace. These are just some of the top skills employers want. Take note of these skills which demonstrate how to get the job and be successful in your every job seeking endeavor. From Your-Career-Change.com.
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    Cold call. Locate a specific person who can help you (usually the human resources or hiring manager at a company or organization you’re interested in). Call that person and ask if they are hiring, but do not become discouraged if they are not. Ask what kind of qualifications they look for or if they have apprentice or government sponsored work programs. Ask if you can send your resume indicating what field you want to go into. Indicate whether you would accept a lesser job and work up.

    • Reflect after each phone call on what went well and what did not. You may need to write out some standard answers on your list of skills so you can speak fluently. You may need to get some additional training to break into your chosen field. None of this means you cannot get a good job, only that you need to become further prepared to do so.
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    Change your attitude. There’s a difference between making phone calls and going to interviews thinking “I’m looking for a job” versus “I’m here to do the work you need to have done”.[2] When you’re looking to get a job, you’re expecting someone to give something to you, so you focus on impressing them. Yes, it’s important to make a good impression, but it’s even more important to demonstrate your desire and ability to help. Everything that you write and say should be preceded silently by the statement “This is how I can help your business succeed.”

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    Fit the job to the skills rather than the other way around. Many people search for jobs, then try to see how they can “tweak” the way they present their own skills and experiences to fit the job description. Instead, try something different. Make a list of all of your skills, determine which kinds of businesses and industries need them most (ask around for advice if you need to) and find businesses that will benefit from having you and your skills around. It’s important the nature of the job fits your personality and salary requirements, otherwise you’ll have spent a significant amount of time to find a day job you dread getting up for every morning.[2]

Janet Furr and the Virtuale-Staff
VirtualeStaff is a contract staffing company that helps U.S. businesses reduce expense and retain talent for administrative jobs by recruiting highly skilled employees from, and maintaining infrastructure in the Philippines. VirtualeStaff works with customers to identify tasks that are suited for out-tasking with our workforce skillsets. We recruithire and manage a solution team from our headquarters in the Philippines.