Of all of the factors involved in getting a job, many of them are not in your control. From the economy to the mood of the interviewer -- when you finally get an interview, it is easy to become discouraged.
These negative factors do not have to change the outcome of your job search, but they can, and should, change how you go about it.
A more competitive job market means you spend more time networking and getting in front of employers, whether in job interviews or in what the job search industry calls information interviews.
An information interview is exactly that, an interview designed to help you get valuable information about the company or the industry that the company is in, to learn about trends and to develop your network.
These interviews can also be useful in getting career advice and to help the person you are interviewing get to know you. Additionally, you can ask who the interviewer would suggest you talk to next and network with.
As you consider why most employers make hiring decisions -- they know you have the necessary skills and they know you will fit into their company -- information interviews are very useful to learn what skills employers are looking for while at the same time getting employers to know you.
Obtaining an information interview can be challenging, especially as more job seekers ask for them. Just like a job interview, getting an information interview will boil down to good networking, asking the right questions and following through.
Just like after a job interview, send a thank--you note to the person you met with. The best way to get correct spellings, job titles and contact information is to ask for a business card before you leave.
Because information interviews are not job interviews, do not take a resume with you. If the interviewer asks for your resume, simply say you will send one by email and then ask for a business card.
Industry trends are changing. Part of your research must include which industries are growing and which are not, and how you can adapt your skills to the industries that are growing or that are at least not shrinking.
The health care and nutrition industries continue to grow for the same reason: the population of aging baby boomers. Other growth industries include education and energy, especially in green, or clean, energy.
Adapting your skills to specific growing industries may be one of the most important steps you take in your job search.
You must be resourceful in what skills you have and how employers can use those skills. Focus a great deal of your energy on research, networking, information interviews and following through.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He is vice president of strategic planning for EnableUtah. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.