When you’re looking for a job, it can be easy to fill your time by applying to jobs online. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most effective use of your time. Sure, you feel productive while you’re doing it, but there are so many other activities you can (and should) be doing that will help you get hired. These three activities will allow you to get ahead of the game, no matter where you’re at in your career.

1. Joining a board.

Understanding how to manage projects, personalities, and budgets is a KEY skill that you need to learn if you want to move into any sort of leadership role in your career. Joining a board, planning committee, or another type of volunteer leadership role will allow you to gain these skills early.

Remember, while there are a ton of companies that understand the importance of providing this type of training, not all companies do. So, if you can gain these skills elsewhere, you’ll be ahead of the game.


2. Meeting key players.

Building meaningful connections and identifying who you should know is an essential activity if you’re looking to get hired. Block off time each week and meet with at least one new person for an informational interview. Utilize LinkedIn to find people in your target industry or in similar positions.


3. Carving out a niche.

What differentiates you from the rest of the crowd? Whether you’re a graphic designer or salesperson, figure out your niche. What do you bring to the table that no one else does? Let’s say it came down to you and another candidate for a job. Your resumes are identical. Why should the employer hire YOU? What makes you different and better? Take time to figure this out and develop a brand around it.

For more help with your job search, head over to career services at Longwood University - both students and alumni are encouraged to leverage this resource. Check it out!


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