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How to Get an Advantage When Job Hunting

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The job market is tough. It always has been but with the decline of the economy, it is becoming a fiercer competitive battle to get your foot in the door. A good resume always helps to improve your chances.

But right now, it is not enough to get your employer to consider you over someone else. There are some people within certain industries that are used to a highly competitive job searches and taking some of their tactics can help up the ante on your own search.

1. Adding a picture. A nice head shot is required for specific jobs such as modeling or even working on a cruise ship. However, people are now adding them for ''regular'' jobs such as office admin. or even face-to-face customer service. This actually works, since a great smile is a bonus to a well-qualified person. It also helps you stick out in the employers mind. If you are going for a position, where you are required to greet people adding a picture may be give you a good advantage.

2. A success portfolio. This is something everyone should have. It used to be that only people in the ''arts'' and media had portfolios displaying their work and accomplishments but everyone from the store clerk to the mechanic should have one. A binder filed with every ''good job'' e-mail or note, certificates, awards, testimonials and anything else that highlights your accomplishments and overall qualities can give a competitive edge during an interview. They also work great when asking for a raise or promotion. Ideally, you would want an offline and online portfolio.

3. Linking to social networking sites. It used to be only net-nerds were the ones using the Internet's tools to their advantage; however, these days virtually everyone has some type of online profile. Because most people apply via e-mail, it is a good idea to link to a professional resume and profile. Sites like let you create a professional profile for job hunting and networking purposes. Avoid connecting to profiles where your employer might see an unprofessional or negative side of you.

4. Share your knowledge. One of the best ways to prove you are qualified is to show your employer how you have been utilizing your skills. Even if you are out of work, you can blog or even offer helpful tips and advice in forums related to your hobbies or past work experience. These can let your employer know that you are not only willing to volunteer your time helping others but you are good at it.

5. Web videos. People going for broadcasting jobs have usually been asked to submit a video resume. But these days more people are taking it upon themselves to sell themselves using this media. From simple how-to video to ''why hire me'' videos more people are marketing their skills via the web. A how to video, for instance, can be placed on a site like Youtube and linked to from your virtual resume.

6. Keep up to date. People who are in competitive industries know they have to stay up to date with what is happening in their industry. You can do this by subscribing to ezines and magazines in your industry or the industry you want to work for, reading blogs and attending seminars and events. This helps you stay current as well as network with others who may come in handy when looking for a job.

It takes a little creativity and a lot more networking to get a job these days. Take a look at what people in tough competitive industries are doing and follow along to help you land that next job.
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 industry  portfolios  job market  exposure  job searches  social networking sites  recommendations  problems  person  clerk

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