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Fall: Fast Forward

Posted by Patra Frame

Yesterday it was the start of summer and here we are already falling into Fall.  Whether you took the summer off from your job search or used it well, now is certainly a good time to get your job search into its new fall wardrobe.  Government contractors are looking forward to a new fiscal year and new contracts. The feds are hiring. There are even finally some positive signs in the larger job market.

TIP 1: Choose the professional groups you want to be active in and get yourself known! 

Networks are still the primary way you get access to great opportunities. 

Feeling shy, hate introducing yourself to people you don’t know? Volunteer to help at events. When you are running registration or helping with name tags or introducing the speaker around, it is always easier to talk to people since you have a purpose.   

Not sure which events are worthwhile? Check out options with peers and current/past bosses. There are so many options, it is overwhelming – so you need to invest your time (and money sometimes)wisely. Consider joining a professional listserv or LinkedIn group as a method of keeping current and meeting others — and be sure to contribute so you are visible too.

TIP 2: Prepare yourself and attend the right job fairs!

Employers generally do not waste their time and money on setting up at a job fair unless they have openings. But not all job fairs are worth your time. The best are those that match your goals and have good reputations. If you are looking for government contract work and have a clearance, certainly ClearedJobs.Net’s Job Fairs ought to be at the top of your list. Those run by professional associations relevant to your work are usually another good choice. So ask around, check out their websites, and find those which meet your needs.

Then do your homework!  Who is going to be there that is on your target list of employers? Are there any you do not recognize and need to check out? Look at the job fair’s website but also check out each employer’s own website. Decide in advance your top targets so you are sure to talk to them.

And don’t forget to network with other attendees – you could learn a lot of useful info.

TIP 3: Present your best self!

Whenever you are seeking new opportunities, you need to be at your peak. This is the time to show what a top-drawer professional you really are. Demonstrate through all your actions the value you can bring to a new employer. 

Make sure your marketing materials – online and in print – are focused, show your successes, and are error-free.

Attending a job fair, other interview, or professional event? Dress well.  Sure, some companies and job fair recruiters are in more casual attire.  But you want to make a great first impression — and looking your best helps you do so. The guy who was in shorts and sandals, tailored though they were, at this spring’s job fair elicited a lot of recruiter comment — but not the kind that involved employment.       

Interviewing? Attending a job fair or professional event? Bring along your resume cleanly printed and protected in a folio or briefcase to hand over. Have some questions you want answered ready to ask.  Know what you need to achieve and to learn – make a plan in advance, take notes as needed. 

I know, I know — all this stuff sounds so basic. You know it all. We all do. But if you actually do it, you will be way ahead of many jobseekers! And the people you meet will be thinking ‘how can I help?”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:00 am

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