Tag Archive | "job hunting advice"

Want to Make a Career Change? Ways to Invest in Your Job Search

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The quest for the dream job remains elusive for many Americans.  Only 14 percent feel they have the perfect job, while more than half want to change careers, according to a 2013 survey reported by the University of Phoenix.  The average baby boomer born between 1957 and 1964 held 11.3 jobs between ages 18 and 46, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has discovered, with men changing jobs slightly more frequently than women.  Considering psychological scales rank changing careers as more stressful than mortgage foreclosure, it might be worthwhile for the sake of your health, as well as your finances, to invest in optimizing your job search and improving your odds of securing a stable career position.


Hunt for the Right Quarry


Before you start your job hunt, it’s a good idea to know what you’re hunting for.  Career switching is foreshadowed in college, when 80 percent of students change majors at least once, the National Center for Education Statistics reports.  Many students fail to take advantage of career guidance opportunities available to them in high school and college.  But if you’ve already graduated, it’s not too late, as similar resources are also available to adults seeking career guidance.


One tool to get you pointed in the right direction is a vocational test to match your personality, aptitude and skills to a suitable career path. John Bolles, author of the classic job-hunting guide, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” provides links to a number of vocational tests on his website.  Some basic tools are free to use, while premium tools, such as John Holland’s $9.95 Self-Directed Search test, provide a more in-depth assessment of your career potential.


Use Technology to Connect with Employers


Employment service Manpower has found hiring managers prefer LinkedIn to other online job tools by a two to one margin.  To get the most leverage out of your LinkedIn profile, consider linking it to your own domain where you can showcase your professional credentials.  Describe your skills, cite your experience, display certifications, quote testimonials, post articles illustrating your expertise or embed videos telling employers what you can do for them.  Potential employers often search by keyword or skillset, so having your LinkedIn account constantly updated is a must, according to CashNetUSA.


Look Your Best for Online Interviews


Manpower also found 18 percent of job seekers surveyed have been interviewed on Skype or other video chat platforms over the last year.  Given the somewhat high probability you may be interviewed online, it’s worthwhile to invest in a high-quality camera to look your best.  For less than $40, you can get a Web cam with clear sound quality, such as the Logitech C270.  Or, for about $160, you can get a pro cam.


Be Prepared


You never know when you’re going to run into a potential employer at a networking event, social gathering or even the grocery store!  Be prepared by carrying business cards with you.  Print-on-demand services such as Vistaprint can provide you with 250 cards for as little as $15.


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