How to Get a Job Tips

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Is cold calling worth a try?

What About Cold Calling?

If you are job hunting, you may want to consider "cold calling" as a way to begin the search. Although the idea of starting from scratch may at first seem unappealing, there are some advantages to looking for employment in this way.

Cold calling can pay off since you may wind up finding out about an available position before it is actually advertised. This can give you the jump on applying for the job before other people find out about it. Typically the best way to check is to call the human resources department and simply ask if they have any openings at this time. If there is nothing available, you can ask if they will let you send in a resume to keep on file for future reference.

Another good thing about approaching the job hunt in this way is that you can select employers that you are excited about working for. For example, if you are a freelance graphic artist, you can allot some time each week to cold calling potential clients--you may pick up another one this way. Or, if you are thinking about looking for another job, you can gradually start putting feelers out by calling around and seeing what may be available. Probably the best part about looking for a job this way is the fact that you can do it in addition to other approaches. Even if you are scanning the classified section every week and have signed on with a talent agency, you can still make some cold calls to see what is out there.

Should I join my local Chamber of Commerce?

Networking: Your Chamber Of Commerce

Whether you are a freelance graphic artist or a high-powered company executive, there is a valuable business resource that is available to you--your local Chamber of Commerce. Belonging to this organization can help raise your visibility, give you an opportunity to talk with other business people and increase your business contacts. It is worth considering for those reasons alone.

Although every Chamber of Commerce is a little bit different, most offer networking events as well as social gatherings, and many provide websites and other promotional material for their members. They also advocate for local businesses and provide information on things ranging from taxes to grant money. The dues are typically affordable; especially when you look at all of the support they provide.

Take a moment to consider what services and "perks" your Chamber of Commerce offers its members and see if they are things that would benefit you. They can be especially helpful for those who have their own business or who are working in a freelance capacity. If you aren't sure you want to join, try talking with a representative there to see what they can tell you about the organization and make a decision based on what you learn.

What are some tips for negotiating a job offer?

Negotiating The Offer

The interview is over, the job offer has been extended--and you are feeling relieved. But guess what? It isn't over yet! Even if a company wants to hire you as a freelance copywriter or full-time graphic designer, nothing is final until the negotiations are over. This can be especially difficult if you have more than one offer on the table.

Negotiating a salary and benefits can be a tricky part of the job hunt. Sometimes you may get lucky and the company will offer you everything you want; but other times you may have to press a bit for perks or hold out for a better salary. What then?

First of all, ask yourself what is most important. If it is pay, then concentrate on that. If you need good benefits, that will be your focal point. Everyone is a little different when it comes to what they are looking for in a job. Only you will know what your key factors are.

Figure out ahead of time what your bottom line is in terms of salary. If you know how much you need to earn, then one factor will be taken care of. Then, weigh your offers to decide if there is a way to decide between two similar jobs. For example, if vacation time is more important to you than making a long commute to work you can take those factors into consideration when making your final choice.

What are some common interview questions?

Practice Answering Questions

Whether you are a copywriter fresh out of college or an experienced graphic designer, you are going to need to answer questions at a job interview. Knowing what some of these questions are, and practicing your answers is a great way to prepare yourself. It can also help cut down on any anxiety the day of your appointment with the interviewer.

So what are these questions? Here are some of the most common, along with a quick suggestion for how you might respond:

  • "Tell me about yourself." This dreaded inquiry can strike fear into the heart of someone who is not prepared. Don't tell the interviewer about where you grew up and what your hobbies are. Do keep this short--highlight your relevant work experience and why you are looking to work somewhere like their company.
  • "What are your strengths?" Again, don't go on too long, but do highlight some strengths you have that would be a particularly good fit for the company and position you are applying for.
  • "What are your weaknesses?" Another tough question. If you can, try to select a "weakness" that can double as a strength. For example, you can point out how you may strive too hard to get things right, or that you tend to work long hours on projects to make sure they turn out well.
  • Hypothetical situation questions. These questions ask you to respond to a hypothetical situation that you might find yourself in at work. Since there are a variety of ways you can answer, pause for a moment and think about how to phrase it in the best light before answering. Off the cuff replies may come across poorly.
One great way to answer these questions smoothly is to practice your reply. You can either try answering them out loud by yourself or work on them with someone else, depending on your preference.

Could volunteering help me find a job?

The Job Hunt: Volunteering

If you are looking to transition into another field, volunteering can be a fantastic way to go about it. When you volunteer for a particular organization, there are often opportunities to move into a paying position; if not at that particular place, then somewhere else in the field. You can gain valuable job experience and receive training as well. Plus, it looks great on a resume!

If you have an interest in a particular field, look to see what opportunities there are to volunteer in the area that you are hoping to find employment. For example, if you are a freelance copywriter, ask if the organization needs work done for a new website or newsletter. Some places may require that you commit to a regular number of hours, whereas others may be happy to have you fill in on an as-needed basis. Check to see what the facility is looking for before you jump in. You'll want to make sure you have the time to do a good job without adding too much to your schedule.

Volunteering has the added benefit of serving as a "trial run," so that you can experience a work environment without doing the job full time. This can give you the chance to see if you would really enjoy a full-time position--before you sign on for the ride. If you decide against it, you'll still have some volunteer experience to list on a resume, and if it works out for you, you'll have a new job!

Should I consider going to a talent agency?

Why Consider A Talent Agency?

Have you been looking in the graphic design job classifieds for weeks with no luck? Searching on-line for jobs in Web design, only to wind up frustrated at what is out there? The job search can be overwhelming, and if this all sounds too familiar, it may be time to sign on with a talent agency.

Talent agencies represent a variety of different fields, and can help you search for the perfect fit. Do a little bit of research and try to find agencies that work with people in your particular field. If you connect with the right one, it is often the ideal way to find a position you like in a short amount of time. Talent agencies work to find employment for their clients, and they can help you find jobs that are not visible through the traditional channels.

Approaching an agency is easy; simply call and speak with someone about your needs. These organizations have a streamlined process set up that will help walk you through things in a clear, helpful manner. They are positioned well to help guide you through the job search, and will do everything in their power to make sure you find a job that is a good match.

What are some things I need to do to get ready for a job search?

The Job Search: Are You Ready?

It doesn't matter if you are looking for freelance copywriter jobs or editing jobs; if you're in the job search game, you need to make sure you are ready to dazzle potential interviewers with your abilities. If you haven't been in the mix for a while, you may need to update several things to make sure you are current. Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Clothing. If you have a nine year old suit, you may need to invest in a new outfit so that you don't come across as "dated".
  • A new hair cut or style may make you feel more confident. Just make sure you don't do something too drastic.
  • Resume. The way resumes are put together changes periodically in any field. If you aren't sure what the current style is, it can pay to have someone look at yours so that you can adjust it accordingly.
  • Contact list. References may need an updating; check to make sure that telephone numbers are current before listing them on an application. Don't forget to add any new contacts.
  • Additional training. Make sure any classes, courses or training you have is reflected on your current resume.
Making a good impression can be as simple as investing some time in these areas to be sure you come across well. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, or you need additional input, consider a talent agency or similar organization. They can help advise you on any things that you may need to address before the job search begins.

What are some good interviewing tips?

The Job Search: Interviewing Tips

Ah--the interview! This part of a job search is one of the most difficult, and one of the most important. Presenting yourself well in person can mean that you will be hired the job, so it is of the utmost importance--whether you are interviewing for a freelance web editor spot or an in-house position as a graphic designer. Here are some top tips for putting your best foot forward:

  • Respond to questions by framing them in positive terms whenever possible.
  • Talk about yourself, but keep it related to the position you are applying for.
  • If you are asked a tough question, don't be afraid to think about it for a moment before you answer.
  • Be confident in your answers and delivery.
  • Look the interviewer in the eye when speaking to them.
  • Don't be afraid to smile.
  • Make sure to bring an extra copy of your resume with you.
These days there are many good resources out there that can help you prepare for an interview. There are books on the subject, information on-line and even experts that you can consult. If you are especially apprehensive about the interview, it can help to learn a bit more about the process and get some tips ahead of time so that you feel more prepared.

How can I learn more about a company before my interview?

The Job Search: Do Your Homework

It doesn't matter if you are interviewing to be a financial consultant, brand manager or vice president; you'll want to learn as much about the organization as you can before you sit down to talk with someone there about a job. Take some time out to research the company and learn more about them so that you are prepared to answer questions based upon what you learn. Here are some helpful things to check out ahead of time:

  • Company mission and vision. Many companies will have a mission statement, which can also be accompanied by a vision statement on their website or in their promotional materials. These ideas are what is at the core of the company in terms of belief and direction, so they will help you gain an understanding of what is important to that particular organization.
  • Job description, if available. Take a good look at what the company is looking for in terms of the position you are applying for and try to determine what makes you suited to the role. This can help you be prepared to give intelligent, well thought out answers when asked why you would be a good choice for the job.
  • The company website. This resource can tell you a good deal about the company. It can give you an idea of their structure, history and other details that will equip you to talk intelligently about the organization at the interview.
These are just some of the resources available that can help you prepare for the big day. Any insight you have into a company will be helpful when you sit down with someone to talk about a job.

Who can I turn to for help in finding a job in graphic design?

Starting The Job Search

Where do you find a graphic design job? What about brand manager jobs? Regardless of whether you are just starting out in the field or re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus, the job hunt can be a very difficult process. Luckily, there are many places that can help you get started. Here are some places to begin:

  • Your college or university. Many schools have career centers that will help alumni with the job search. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the job market and get some assistance putting together things such as a portfolio and resume.
  • Your friends and family. Don't underestimate the power of your social circle. Many people find jobs through a contact that was given them by someone they know.
  • Your co-workers or company. If you are an unfortunate victim of downsizing or re-structuring, your company may be able to offer you some placement assistance. Co-workers may also be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to finding a new job.
  • Talent agencies. These organizations exist to match companies with talent. It can help to find one that specializes in your particular career field. They are likely to have the best contacts.
Starting out on a job hunt can be daunting, but with some help from others it will go much more smoothly. Make sure you reach out to as many different places as you can so that you have the best advantage.

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