JOB SEARCHING We can all admit that it’s not the easiest thing in the world, especially in an economy that is not on our side. No matter how educated and/or skilled we are, we can sometimes feel like we are under-qualified just because we are women. But even with so many different factors working against us we do still stand a chance in the job market so long as our approach is correct. I’ve always had success with beating the boys when it came to finding jobs, and although I’m still no pro, I thought I’d offer advice on some things I have done to get ahead of the game.

+ BE WILLING TO RELOCATE I actually learned this when I got to meet Pete Nordstrom, the current owner of Nordstrom. Relocating is everything! Just think about it, let’s say you work at.. Publix, and you want to be the manager of that store. (Don’t knock it, by the way, managers of large retailers make 100,000 minimum on average. It’s all based on the stores volume). The current manager is now 35 and has been the manager since he/she was 28. The only way you’d get that one position is if he/she a) dies, b) leaves, or c) retires. Now are you willing to sit around baggying groceries or would you really like to get further? You could go on the Publix website and pull up 13 different locations looking for managers. You just opened up your option pool and now have a greater chance of landing the position. Think of relocation as “going away to college”. You leave for the experience and to get ahead, not to stay for good. Relocate now that you’re young and single and you’re welcome to settle down when you’ve gotten to where you’ve wanted to be in your career.

+ SHOW THE COMPANIES THAT YOU ARE PROFITABLE I’ve learn this in my college business classes. Companies are interested in knowing that you’ll be able to help them make money. You’re not just an employee, you are the forefront (or backend) of the source of business. So it’s important that your resume state how profitable you were to the companies you have worked for in the past. Did you drive sales? Did the company’s numbers increase during a particular set of years? Were you able to make a particular area of work much more efficient? List these things on your resume and hit backspace on “mopped and swept floors” and “organized files”. Also on your resume, be sure that all of your jobs can mesh and work together. For instance, since I’m a Marketing Major I’m sure to use Marketing words in each one of my job descriptions. My resume shows versatility but it also shows that I’m very experienced in the field of my degree.

+ SCOPE THE COMPETITION I think this idea is genius if I can toot my own horn for a second. One thing that I’m a stickler about is research. I research everything and I’m pretty good at figuring things out on my own. So one thing that I’ve gained a lot from is researching resumes. If there’s a company that you’re interested in working for, research the resumes of those people working for the company. Is there a consistent career path that they all have taken? Is there a certain format that their resumes follow? Do they list a particular list of things that has made them more appealing to the company? Use the internet as your resource and benefit ladies! You’ll be spot on and be a stronger candidate in the pool of candidates you are being selected from because you’ll be so much (more) like their existing team, yet better and new. Even pro athletes and Olympians study the competition before coming up with their game plan. Be lethal.

+ TAILOR YOUR RESUME FOR EACH JOB Don’t just slap on your resume to every application. Although that is the easiest way to fill out more applications, be sure that your resume is tailored for the position, in which, you’re applying for. Quality over Quantity. Would you prefer to send out 1,000 resumes that won’t even be looked at or 100 that will actually get called back? I’ve interned for a Fortune 500 company and had to spend a week working in HR, and the fascinating thing about the way majority of online applications work is that they only filter the applications that pass the computer test. Basically the computer will crawl your resume and application and look for certain key words. On your resume and application, be sure to include a few words that the job description has on its list of requirements.

+ 3 TIMES IS A CHARM Having a presence has really helped me land the jobs that I’ve wanted. I believe that three times is a charm with whatever it is that I’m submitting myself for. I apply online, email my resume to the hiring executive, and I also bring a hard copy of my resume to the property and ask (in person) if they are hiring. This is all key because you don’t really know which outlet works best for the person looking to hire, and the more people you are able to face the more impressions you are able to make along the way.

+ HANDWRITTEN THANK YOUS GO FAR After doing an interview it is proper etiquette to send a handwritten thank you card to the person who interviewed you. It should be simple, clean, and professional. Mine sometimes says, “Thank you so much for your time! I appreciated and learned so much from the interview experience I had with you!”, and then I print and sign my full name. Invest in Thank You Cards before applying for a job and they will really encourage you and make you feel more confident about the interview process.

+ MAKE YOUR FACEBOOK PRIVATE AND UNSEARCHABLE Believe it or not, your potential employers will look you up! Be sure that your Facebook page is not searchable (this can be done in your settings). This will give you a real chance at landing an interview minus all of the preconceived notions that would be made if you were judge based on a picture, or two.

+ GOOGLE YOUR NAME I don’t put “kimberlyluxe” anywhere on my resume, which is why I go by an alias online. I reserve my full name strictly for professional things and real life. Be sure that you aren’t using your full name on the web unless it’s for professional matters only. And don’t included your web aliases on your resume!

+ BRAND AND INVEST IN YOURSELF This is my favorite thing, well, because I’m just addicted to stationary. Branding yourself, shows that you take pride in what you do. Investing in yourself, shows that you believe in who you are so much that you are willing to spend a little cash on promoting what you will bring to the table. For one, get business cards. Include no titles, instead just have your name, phone number, a professional email address. Titles will limit you. Use an email address strictly for professional matters that way important messages don’t get lost in junk. You can also include a link on your business card that companies can go to to view your resume, etc. Keep the design of your business cards and thank you cards consistent so they look like a full package.

+ EXUDE KNOWLEDGE, POWER, AND CONFIDENCE Don’t be timid, go into every job as if it is your first day of being hired! Go in with a smile, lots of personality, and be polite and kind. Being knowledgeable about the company shows that you have great interest in it and that you are one of them which, in turn, makes you a lot more powerful.