7 ways to make yourself more marketable on the job hunt

Sept. 10, 2011 at 4:10 a.m.

The Crossroads might be experiencing its own miniature "boom" as the oil and gas industry heats up, but there are still people out there looking for jobs.

In July, Victoria County's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent, down just slightly from July 2010's 7.8 percent, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission.

And, between applications, resume tweaks, competition and more, the job hunt can be intimidating.

Here are seven tips to make you more marketable on the search:

Register with WorkInTexas.com.

The site is the state's Internet job search engine and covers all Texas openings listed with area workforce centers. When registering, fill out the form completely with experience, education, skills and more. It helps the service match you up to the jobs you're most eligible for.

Treat the job search as a job in itself.

Work at it every day and devote as many hours to the hunt as possible. You never know when jobs will become available, or the number of qualified people who might get in ahead of you.

Develop an appropriate online presence.

Many potential employers Google job applicants, and it's important to make sure Facebook photos, tweets and the like send the right message. Develop a professional profile on LinkedIn. It allows you to join groups, get involved in discussions and network. Some employers even recruit from the website.

Consider an online portfolio.

This step is particularly relevant for education majors, those looking to get into marketing and the like. Online portfolios allow people to show others samples of their work and might help catch that potential employer's attention. Several websites offer free online portfolios.

Do your research and plan accordingly.

Know about the company and the position you're applying for. It not only gives you a leg up during the interview process, but can help you tailor your resume to the job. If, for instance, the company you're applying for does work with food banks and you've volunteered with food banks in the past, you know to include it in the resume.

Remember first impressions count.

Many companies still accept walk-in applicants, and it's important to look professional. The same applies for job fairs. Dress as if you're going in for an interview, and take a resume. Also, develop a 30-second sales pitch about yourself.

Get the word out.

Let family and friends know you're looking for work. It means more eyes and ears open for potential job leads.

Sources: Carole Kolle, director of Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent, Amy Hatmaker, career services specialist with the University of Houston-Victoria



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