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Strategies for revving up your job search

Manhattan-based career adviser Vicky Oliver recommends that job

Manhattan-based career adviser Vicky Oliver recommends that job seekers update their images. Credit: iStock

Nobody needs to tell the unemployed or underemployed how tough Long Island’s job market is. The unemployment rate here is a stratospheric 8 percent, even though the recession officially ended more than three years ago.

So having more efficient job-search tools is more crucial that ever, says Vicky Oliver, a Manhattan-based career adviser and author of  "The Millionaire's Handbook.”

“If you're unemployed or underemployed, you can counteract modest job improvement in the job market by making a major improvement in yourself and your tactics,” Oliver says. “It is possible to land a job by Thanksgiving if you get energized with this handful of proactive strategies.”

Following are her five strategies:

1. Update your image. “Swap your college hairstyle with a new look. Invest in three items: a high-quality jacket, some well-cut pants or skirt, and stylish shoes. Assemble a memorable look using your ‘power color’ and one standout accessory, such as an unusual piece of jewelry or an edgy tie.”

2 Step out. “Eat out at least one meal a day  —  breakfast, lunch, or dinner — with someone who has professional connections or advice for you. If you're broke, make it breakfast, the cheapest meal for treating. Visit the watering hole of your desired industry at happy hour, and sip a seltzer while you schmooze. Never leave home without your business cards.”

3. Power up your resume. “Replace ‘so what’ copy in your resume with power words and phrases that employers love, like these: achievements, awards, coached, detail-oriented, experience, fostered excellent working relationships, hard worker, high energy, innovative, organized, outperformed, people skills, quick study, results, and team player. Get three people you admire to read your resume and give feedback.”

4. Find your tribe. Hobnob with fellow alumni at the alumni events in your area (lectures, mixers, conferences, and fundraisers). These people are your tribe. They're well connected, and you already have an ‘in’ with them. This is one of the best and easiest ways to generate solid job leads. Old professors and advisers are also great people to get back in touch with. They're on your side and want you to succeed.”

5. Practice the interview. “Even if you're the most talented, experienced, charming, attractive person you know, in this job market there are 10 others like you vying for the same position. To stand out from the pack, research everything about a company you can find from its website, articles, annual report, and any contacts you may have at the company. Make a master list of questions they might ask, and practice giving dynamic answers.”

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