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Sandi Vidal

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Finding employment in a troubled economy is, to say the least, incredibly difficult. Listed below are five basic job search practices that you need to make certain are fully implemented into your job search.

• STAY ULTRA- FOCUSED ON YOUR JOB SEARCH: Your only focus should be to find a job. Anything that detracts from your focus reduces your chances to find that job. Baby-sitting, fixing meals and grocery shopping kill your focus and reduce your chances to find that job that is out there waiting for you.

• Know what you bring to the table: Understand your skills thoroughly and make sure you bring them to the attention of employers in your resume and interview. For example, skills applicants for cashier positions often leave out are knowing how to deal with customers, resolve price-related problems, make change and balance cash drawers. Make the employer aware of the total value you bring to the job.

• APPLY TO 10 JOBS A DAY: Identify and apply for at least 10 jobs a day. Don’t restrict yourself to jobs online. Pursue opportunities with employers that hire people with your skills and experience. Remember, fewer than 10 percent of job openings are listed on the major job boards, including state workforce boards. The job you are hunting for is out there… your job is to find it.

• KEEP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS CLEAN: Employers have discovered that reviewing the social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc) of job applicants is a great way to get more information. Make sure your social media page reflects you in a favorable light. Provocative photos, references to drinking, drug use and wild behavior as well as bad-mouthing prior employers and coworkers can stop your application in its tracks.

• MANAGE FIRST IMPRESSIONS: It is no secret that you only get one chance to make a positive first impression on your potential employer. Check and recheck your application, telephone etiquette, personal hygiene and dressing habits to be certain they are first class. Review every detail, because every detail counts.

—Hugh Bleddyn

Christian HELP volunteer