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Whether you are a recent college graduate, relocating, switching careers or just unhappy with your current position, finding that dream job requires more than just applying for advertised job openings. A job seeker’s ability to stay positive and motivated matters just as much as any resume, cover letter or interview, writes Rachel Zupek on CNN Living. A job club can provide motivation and valuable resources.
People interested in job clubs should look for advertisements in a newspaper's careers or help wanted section. If just starting a job club, placing an ad will increase membership and attract people outside of your established network. The more members in a job club, the more opportunities you have to network and brainstorm different ideas. Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., states that only 15 to 20 percent of available jobs are publicly advertised. The networking accomplished through a job club could help you reach the invisible job market.
A job club can meet at a library, restaurant, coffee shop or community center. Hold meetings at least twice a month, if not every week, to make sure members stay proactive and motivated during their job search. Elect a club leader who can guide discussions and keep meetings productive and focused.
Club members can exchange ideas on writing a winning resume and cover letter, addressing issues such as format, grammar, content and common mistakes. In a workshop session, members can critique drafts and offer each other tips for improvement, discussing which resumes and cover letters seem the most effective and why.
According to a 2006 article in “Psychological Science,” experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov show that it takes as little as a tenth of a second to form an opinion of someone during a first impression. You can recreate the interview process by having members interview each other. This role-play strategy will help address concerns about interview questions, what to expect and what to wear to project a professional image.
Advice from an authority who works in the employment or human resources field can add a new dimension to the job club’s knowledge base. Look for speakers at a local community college or adult education center, or find a human resources manager to speak at a meeting. Members can gain insight straight from the source and maybe even learn a few insider tips. For example, "Good Morning America" workplace contributor Tory Johnson, who founded Women for Hire, gives speeches about job clubs and inspires people across the country.
Take your job club to a career fair in your area, such as an event hosted by a colleges or university. Members should create a plan and set realistic goals to accomplish at the fair. For example, they can try to gain 15 new contacts or distribute 20 resumes that day. Go as a team and support each other while taking advantage of the opportunity to meet directly with company representatives, hand out resumes and network.
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