One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.

Looking for a job?  You certainly aren’t alone.The economy is bad. Unemployment is high. People are desperate. Here is a checklist of what you need to do to improve your chances of landing that job:

  1. Have an updated resume: Whether or not you’re on the hunt for a new job, keeping your resume up-to-date is important. There is nothing worse than scrambling to come up with an accurate and interesting resume when you have a deadline to beat in just two days.
  2. Check your online presence: Make ​​sure that there are no compromising or embarrassing materials about you on any social network. Many employers use search engines and social media to research about prospective and current employees. There are cases when information from social media  sites like Facebook and Twitter, has been used to disqualify job candidates or even fire current employees. While you think it is safer not to keep your social media profiles public, it is not a good idea, you do not want your employer to think that you are hiding something or that you are a caveman.
  3. Have a complete job search kit: If you are looking for a job, you should, at least, have a resume and a business card. Beyond that you might want to consider creating a portfolio of your past work, a compilation of references and even a website with online versions of all these. Go the extra mile. If you can provide something other job seekers cannot, you are ahead of the game (most probably).
  4. Focus on careers that fit you: If your skills and experience match at least 80 percent of the job requirements listed, you should send your resume or complete an application. While it is inspiring and admirable seeing individuals excel at trying something new and different than their current niche, be pragmatic or realistic about your goals and the risks you can take. The bottomline  is: Be sure you can the job well.
  5. Cultivate your contacts: Network with friends, parents, past employers, teachers to obtain job leads.
  6. What is it that you want in your next job?  Being able to answer this question will make you feel more confident about finding the right job. And remember, if you don’t know what you want, you will probably not recognize it when it is presented to you. Even in tough times, it is important to not lose sight of this.

When you take note and remember experiences that motivate and inspire you from your last two or three jobs, you will begin to see patterns. Which projects and tasks do you excel in?  Analyze what you did and the answers to these questions will give you greater possibilities for fulfillment in future jobs with similar requirements.

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