Monday, March 9, 2009

Tips to help you stand above the crowd of job seekers

By: Jenna Hiller

Austin resident Kim Butler owns Greywolf Consulting Services.

It's his job to find the right candidate for the job, so he knows what it takes to stand out from the pack.

"The first question to ask is, 'Is my job completely disappearing from this city,'" he said. "If the answer is no, it's certainly not, then you may be looking at a short-term situation where you could manage through it."

If you're looking at a longer-term problem, you might have to make a tough choice.

"If it's a long-term challenge, I think you have to make a basic decision which is, is the city that I live in more important to me than the money that I make and the job that I may be doing," Butler said.

For all job hunters, it's important to think in broad terms.

Butler said to start by looking at all of the available jobs.

Don't just look for jobs with your title.

Look at what you do generically from a skill standpoint.

You might be able to match your skills to jobs you'd never considered before.
"Start at the start. End at the end," Butler said. "Look and see what jobs are available in general, so that you're not disqualifying yourself automatically from opportunities that might be out there."

Butler made additional suggestions:

• Once you know what's out there, you have to put yourself out there.

• Make contacts before you send out your resume.

• Try to talk to the person who's hiring, not human resources, so they're looking for your resume.

• Use the functional things you do as action words in your resume. These will be picked up as key words.

• While you want to be more general in your resume, be more industry specific in your cover letter.

Butler said finding contacts at companies is important. If you don't already have a network on a site like LinkedIn, a simple Internet search should find the right person.

Another great resource for jobs might be closer than you think.

Butler said not to underestimate your personal network. 

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