Would you say that you're just working for a paycheck right now? Are you not sure where your career is going or what path you want to take? Maybe you've had ideas about what you want to do, but you haven't found the right opportunity to kick start your career. One thing is certain: You're looking for a new job but don't think you'll stand out from the competition.
What do you do if you haven't yet excelled in your career and don't have huge successes to highlight in a résumé? Here are some tips on job searching for the average worker.
Look for positions in which you can gain experience
If you're new to the working world or are changing fields, look for an entry-level position or a job in which you can gain experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook is a great tool for exploring your next job move. You can select occupations to learn more about them and narrow down your search by salary, education level required, on-the-job training provided and projected growth rate. Honestly assess where you are in your career, and decide where you'd like to be.
Take a class or training program
A lack of experience or the absence of impressive accomplishments on your résumé doesn't have to be a deal breaker if you can demonstrate that you're finding other ways to acquire knowledge. Look for classes in your focus area that will perk up your résumé. The recession has been tough for job seekers, but it has also provided opportunities for getting more education. Including training on your résumé shows that you are ambitious. Hiring managers look for job candidates who add value to the company and are always trying to better themselves. Use your cover letter to elaborate on how you've taken courses to build your skills.
Volunteering is not only a great way to give back to your community, it's also a great way to add to your résumé. Decide what type of job you're interested in pursuing, and seek out volunteer work in that field. For example, gain public-relations and event-planning experience by helping a charity group organize a fundraiser. Even if you don't get any relevant experience out of a volunteer job, you can still network. Talk to those you're volunteering with and share your career goals with them. You may meet somebody who can point you in the right direction.
Develop an eye-catching résumé
When updating your résumé, include the new classes or training programs you've taken, as well as any freelance or creative projects you've accomplished. But if you need to start your job search before you've accomplished all of your goals, don't worry. Put together a flawless, eye-catching résumé that will make you stand out from other applicants. Not sure where to start? Check out CareerBuilder's infographic on how to make a résumé shine, and you'll be a step ahead of the competition.