When I suggest using Twitter as a job search tool, I often get blank stares and responses such as, “Twitter, really? I’m not into the whole tweeting thing.” The good news is you don’t have to be. You can be an observant follower and still reap many benefits. Twitter gives you free information about people, organizations, and job listings.

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What will the resume of the future look like? According to a report by the Career Thoughts Leaders Consortium, the resume, as we know it now, is not likely to exist in the future. Some believe that the resume will be replaced by a social media profile such as LinkedIn. Yet others believe that if the resume does survive, it will be very short and concise, possibly even suitable for a 140 character tweet.

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The question that is plaguing out-of-work job seekers is, "Should I take any job for the sake of having a job?" The answer, in simple terms, is you should do everything you can to avoid it. The most important thing for your career is to move forward. You may ask, “Am I not suppose to take a job unless it is my dream job?” The answer again is no. You can have several jobs until you are working in your ideal career but the key is with each successive job, you are getting closer and closer to your dream job. You are the CEO of your career; therefore, you must be strategic in planning your future. Can you imagine an elegant restaurant suddenly adding fast food to their menu because they heard that fast food profit was increasing? The idea is ridiculous. In the same way, you cannot take any job for the sake of making a few dollars. Think always of your future and ask yourself, “Does this job give me the experience I need to move forward to my ideal career?” The concept begs the question of, “What can I do if I need a job but I can’t move directly into my dream job now?” The first step is to make sure you have a very clear vision of what your ideal career is. You need to spend significant time on this step as it is the foundation of your plan. The second step is to do a gap analysis. Look at job descriptions in your ideal career and determine what skills, experience, and knowledge are missing from your resume. The next step is to fill in those gaps with positions that can build your experience. Determine only to take jobs that fill in the gaps. For example, if you dream of being a professor but have no teaching experience, consider taking a couple of part time adjunct positions. The jobs may be lower paying than a full-time position in another industry, but in the end, you will receive greater payback. The recession won’t last forever and you will be in a position to be a much more experienced candidate when companies are in the hiring mode again. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

What would it do for your life if you could define success and take steps to achieve it? If you are like most people, you may have briefly thought about the concept but have never spent time really exploring it. Maybe it is out of fear and maybe it is because you have never had time to ponder what success is for personally.

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Should you follow the golden rule in job search? Remember the golden rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated?” It's a great rule for how to interact with others. However, when it comes to your job search, you want to follow another rule that's “Treat the employer the way the employer wants to be treated.” This means you must have a good understanding of what the employer wants. Many job seekers fall into the trap of presenting themselves as their idea of a good candidate instead of finding out what the needs of the employer are. You can avoid this mistake by researching a potential employer and then acting upon that knowledge. Here are four ways you can gather information into an employer’s mindset during a job search:

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What do you think of when you hear the term layoff? Most people think of a situation that is less than desirable. Loss of income, loss of security, and sometimes loss of identity are primary things that enter the mind of a person who has just heard the dreaded message, “You no longer will have a job here.” How can you consider a layoff to be a good thing? Believe it or not, there is good that can come out this seemingly scary situation. First of all, it causes, rather forces, a person to stop and think. Too often, we live life on auto pilot, doing the same things over and over again without taking the time to pause and just think about our life. We don’t look to see where we are headed and don’t pause to ponder about our future. We get stuck in a rut, and the sad part is, sometimes we don’t even realize that we are stuck. When I was laid off a job, I was scared at first but then I realized this was the very thing I needed to get me back on track to reach my career goals. I had been content doing a job that was comfortable for me but was no longer a challenge. Being laid off was the wake-up call I needed. I took action by applying for positions that would be a challenge for me and in line with the future that I had planned. To make a long story short, I ended up in a position that gave me the experience I needed to move forward in my career. Perhaps the best thing that can come from laid off is landing a better job you had previously. Judy Madden, a laid off employee from Micron, was interviewed by the Idaho Statesman newspaper recently. She said she is now working out of her home remotely for a nonprofit company making more money than she made at Micron. In my situation, I also landed a job that paid more than my previous job and was supported by a wonderful boss. Are you guaranteed to receive a better paying job after a layoff? The answer is no; however, if the experience causes you to reflect on your situation, make new goals, or gets you back on track for the goals you already had, it is a blessing in disguise. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The motto of real estate is location, location, location. The motto of job seekers should be network, network, network. The holidays provide a unique opportunity to do just that. It's a perfect time to meet new people and reconnect with others through parties, holiday events, and greeting cards. Tap into this ready-made resource through what I call the ABC’s of holiday networking which are Absorb information on potential job leads, Build relationships and Connect with others.

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