Communicators have frequently been accused of an inability to communicate.
The skill most required in looking for a job is the art of communicating effectively. Expressing yourself clearly in writing and speaking is essential for the two critical steps in landing a job: preparing a resume and speaking at an interview.
Basic communication skills should be brought into play when looking for a job. You will need to research the job market, write a resume and cover letters, sell your skills and do your own public relations. While the whole field of communications is growing at a rapid pace, so also is the number of trained people trying to enter the field. The marketplace is truly competitive.
Never the less, it is possible to get the job you’re looking for, if you go about it the right way. Be prepared for hard work and some disappointments too. Looking for a job can, in itself, be a full-time job.
The most critical factor in job hunting is research geared towards targeting a job market. Once you have determined your area of interest and your career goals, you should make a list of potential employers. Use them to develop your target list.
In addition, you should use the membership rosters of associations in the field, to identify the names of the hiring executives. Read trade publications that report on people moves within the industry to update your list.
Many jobs in the communication industry are obtained by word of mouth. That is why it is very important to start making and maintaining contacts with people in your profession at an early stage of your career. You can make contacts with working professionals by joining trade associations. The more you attend these chapter meetings, the greater your opportunity to meet people, as well as learn about new job openings. Other good places to make contacts are at trade fairs, conventions and conferences.
Maintaining contacts is an ongoing process. Let everyone know the kind of job you are looking for. Creative people often find it difficult to admit they are looking for a job. But your chances of finding a job will be greater if more people know that you are looking for one. It always helps to meet people who are doing the kind of job you are interested in, to seek their advice on job hunting, as well as for introductions.
Your resume must be clear and be designed to meet the job specifications. A resume is your way of presenting or “selling” your skills to a potential employer. Therefore, it should reflect all pertinent information regarding your education, skills, employment experience and career goals.
A resume can take many different formats. The format you choose must be one that will set you apart from other applicants, as well as one that will be attractive enough for the hiring executive to grant you an interview.
Here are some suggestions in designing your resume:
- Your resume should contain your name, address, telephone number, work history, education, awards and honors, professional appointments, associations and other activities.
- A resume should not exceed two type written pages. Leave enough margin and white space so that it does not look cluttered and is easy to read.
- List your work experience before your education and training. In most production jobs, work experience is valued more than higher education without any experience. All items on your resume should be listed in reverse chronological order (that is, from present to past).
- Stress the link between your skills and the job responsibilities involved.
- Use action words to indicate your competence.
Each cover letter should be personalized and targeted to the individual company executive. The cover letter should specify the job or type of work for which you are applying. Keep the cover letter as brief as possible. Remember that the cover letter is your first sales pitch; hence, it should be attention-getting. It should be creative, yet professional. It should be straight forward and informative to highlight your experience and training that best match the job requirements. End your cover letter with a statement indicating that you will call to setup a personal interview.