5 Job Search Tips For 2012

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By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter


Ships of all sizes are built with one thing in mind: floating. Even if their hulls are breached, ships have a unique construction feature that allows them to continue floating. They are made of many compartments that can be sealed off in the event of an accident, to isolate what could otherwise be a dire situation.

Building your career vessel using these principles can also help to keep your job search afloat.

Consider this for a moment: It is no secret that searching for employment requires many steps along the way to success. Unfortunately, many job seekers try to do it all in one step, and then wonder why their "ship" is sinking.

You must seal off one compartment at a time, or take one step at a time if you hope to reach your destination intact.


1. Chart a specific course.
Start off by narrowing your job search to areas of interest or expertise. The old attitude of, "I'll take anything," rarely works out very well. One of two things typically happens: Either your qualifications don't line up with the needs of potential employers, or you end up in a position you hate.


2. Perform a systems check.
Next, check your career "tools" to ensure proper operation. Does your current resume reflect your accomplishments in a meaningful and well-written way? Does it focus clearly enough on your employment goals? If not, replace it. Do you have a set of cover letters that distinctly address your intended audience and properly introduce you to a potential employer? You should have one for posting online, one for recruiters and one to use when applying for positions that are available with employers that may already know you.

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12 Most Underrated Jobs In America
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5 Job Search Tips For 2012

Median Annual Salary: $36,200

Projected Job Growth (through 2020): 17 percent (about as fast as average).

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma plus extensive on-the-job training.


Looking for a job as an auto mechanic? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $48,179

Projected Job Growth: 23 percent (faster than average).

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma plus apprenticeship.


Looking for a job as an electrician? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $47,186

Projected Job Growth: 26 percent (faster than average).

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma plus apprenticeship.


Looking for a job as a plumber? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $87,122

Projected Job Growth: 10 percent (about as fast as average).

Typical educational requirements: Master's degree in education administration or leadership.


Looking for a job as a school principal? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $89,223

Projected Job Growth: 6 percent (slower than average).

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree, though most jobs in this field require a master's degree.


Looking for a job as an economist? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $47,159

Projected Job Growth: 18 percent (about as fast as average).

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma plus extensive on-the-job training.

Typical educational requirements: Associate degree or certificate in paralegal studies.


Looking for a job as a legal assistant? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $62,174

Projected Job Growth: 16 percent (about as fast as average).

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field.


Looking for a job as an accountant? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $61,236

Projected Job Growth: 41 percent (much faster than average).

Typical educational requirements: At least a bachelor's degree, with top positions requiring a master's degree.


Looking for a job as a market research analyst? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $73,285

Projected Job Growth: 31 percent (much faster than average).

Typical educational requirements: Doctorate or professional degree.


Looking for a job as a biologist? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $82,190

Projected Job Growth: 36 percent (much faster than average).

Typical educational requirements: Doctor of veterinary medicine degree and state license.


Looking for a job as a veterinarian? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $78,133

Projected Job Growth: 19 percent (about as fast as average).

Typical educational requirements: Bachlor's degree, with a master's typically required for management positions.


Looking for a job as a civil engineer? Click here to get started.

Median Annual Salary: $78,148

Projected Job Growth: 22 percent (faster than average).

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement.


Looking for a job as a computer analyst? Click here to get started.

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3. Tune up LinkedIn.
What about your LinkedIn profile? If you are constantly fielding inquiries for jobs you have no interest or skill in, it could probably use some adjusting.


4. Tighten up your interviewing skills.
Once these three items are taken care of, it may be time to brush up on those interview skills. Many golden opportunities have been lost in the interview office. A myriad of online resources are available to those who may be lacking in this arena. If you're not comfortable going it alone, then consider the services of an interview coach to put you through the paces and prepare you for today's challenging interview processes.


5. Tweak your training.
If all of these things are in order, and you still find yourself wanting, take stock of your skills and/or education and see if there isn't some tweaking that could be done. If you have the time and resources available, furthering your education is never a waste of effort or time. In this fast-paced technology-driven world, those who don't stay current will be left behind.


By dealing with each of these "compartments" one at a time, you will be better able to bring laser focus to each one. Seal it off, and then move on to the next one.

The employment seas are wrought with danger. Equip yourself and be well prepared before heading out towards the horizon.


Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend, and is one of only 28 Master Resume Writers (MRW) globally. An intuitive researcher, she helps professionals unearth compelling career story details to help best present their unique experience, skillset and interests in resumes and other career positioning documents as well as through social media profiles.


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