Career Coach Hallie Crawford Offers Tips to Help Job Candidates "Be the One"

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Job Openings Rebound, says Department of Labor, but Job Seekers Still Outnumber Jobs by 4 to 1

When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary last week, the news offered reason for optimism. "There were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of September," noted the report, "[an increase of] 38 percent since the end of the recession in June 2009." However, with 13.9 million people (per for Department of Labor's October report), that's four unemployed workers for every opening.

"The number of job openings, though encouraging, is deceptive, especially since not all openings are easily visible—or time sensitive—to employers," says Hallie Crawford, career coach and founder of Create Your Own Career Path. "Hiring managers know they can be picky when filling openings. Also, they have heard horror tales where hundreds of job seekers flooded a business with calls, letters, and even personal appearances seeking a single advertised position. As a result, they may not actively advertise their openings."

Furthermore, Crawford notes, the glut of qualified candidates may encourage business owners and hiring managers to take their time extending offers. She says an excellent way for candidates to locate positions and encourage employers to hire them is to use their networks.

Crawford, whose clients have had employers find them through the business network LinkedIn, says the network can be a powerful tool for job seekers. "If your LinkedIn profile isn't up to date or completed, do so immediately and really think about how you frame it," Crawford explains. "Make your LinkedIn profile public (searchable) and use relevant keywords to help employers or recruiters find you. Make sure your settings allow notification to your network of updates, and post updates regularly."

Crawford recommends using maximum creativity when using business and social networks. In addition to establishing professional, updated profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media sites, Crawford encourages her clients to use these sites (and other online discussion outlets) creatively. "Join networking or business groups in the industry where you want to work and become active in them. Posting questions (and answers, if you are 100% certain they are correct) and participating in discussions can help you make valuable connections and just might get you noticed.

Also, share your interests and activities with your network," says Crawford. "One of our clients started posting to Facebook and Twitter the events occurring at a firm where she wanted to work. This post was picked up by an employee of the company and it gave her a new connection with an insider's view of her prospective firm."

Finally, says Crawford, job seekers should not be afraid to employ "old school" networking techniques, like using phone communications, when the opportunity arises. "When a client of ours requested an information interview with the Human Resources department of a firm that interested him, they declined," Crawford concludes. "However, he developed a great relationship with the receptionist during their conversations, and now he has an inside track on openings and other information."

About Create Your Career Path
Since 2002 Create Your Career Path and their team of certified career coaches have helped job searchers nationwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. New college grads through mid-career professionals have used our career coaches to find their dream job. Create Your Career Path was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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Jennifer Koon
Michael Mackenzie Communications
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