Treat a Job Search Like Selling a Home

Finding a job in the current economy is difficult. But savvy seekers can employ different tactics to find work, and that could mean thinking like a real estate agent.

That's right, finding a job may be better achieved if an applicant tackles the challenge as if he or she were selling a house. Many of the same strategies apply. After all, right now it is a buyers' market. That means that both home buyers and hiring managers can pick from an abundance of low-priced inventory. Here's how to get started.

1. Know your competition. Before selling a home, individuals scour the neighborhood for comparable properties that offer many of the same features as their own home. This helps them see how their house rates against the competition -- and enables them to price it competitively. When looking for a job, do research as well. Visit sites that indicate the general requirements for a particular career or position and what the average salary may be. Find out which schooling or training courses could put a person ahead of the rest in terms of qualifications. If possible, find out from human resources how many people have been considered for the position.

2. Be "move-in-ready" rather than "as-is condition." Most buyers want a property they simply can move into, make minor cosmetic changes and call home. Therefore, it's in the best interest of the seller to spruce-up the home so that it sells more quickly -- and perhaps for a higher price. Apply this concept to searching for a job. Check out interview clothing and see if it fits or needs to be updated. First impressions count. A person interviewing doesn't want to show up in wrinkled, ill-fitting clothing. Make sure requisite certifications or training are current. That means renewing any licenses that might have expired.

3. List your best assets. A real estate listing is a buyer's first introduction to a potential home. Real estate agents play up a home's best features in the listing. With a job search, a resume serves as a listing that companies will review. Make sure that assets are also clear on a resume and what sets a person apart from other applicants. Training, experience, awards, and promotions are the types of things that make an applicant stand out.

4. Advertise, advertise. Sellers who simply put their homes up for sale and leave it to chance probably won't generate too many buyers. An agent who markets the home in different venues, holds open houses and makes sure other brokers are aware of the property is a valuable asset. The same applies for job seekers. Word-of-mouth advertising can be the key. Many jobs are found through a friend, colleague or family member. Get the word out that a job is desired. The more avenues pursued, the better chance to land a position.

5. Be flexible. Homeowners know that a listing price is something that is often negotiable when an offer on the property is made. Oftentimes buyers and sellers go back and forth to agree on a price. When a company decides it's interested in a job applicant, a negotiation process may occur, too. Be flexible. While the salary may be a bit lower than desired, there may be other perks, such as more vacation time or a casual work environment.