Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Conducting a job search is a daunting task, even for seasoned professionals. There are many pieces to the puzzle, and each piece plays its own important role in the process. Knowing the pieces of the process is a crucial element for your success.
While there is no such thing as doing too much, there is a basic guide to follow. It consists of five painless steps that will outline your work ahead. Together, they form the foundation of a job hunt that will yield exceptional results.
1. Put together a great resume.
Before your job search ever begins, you need a resume. The resume is the first contact you will have with a prospective employer. It is an extension of your life and a summary of your accomplishments. It is how a manager will pick you out of hundreds…possibly thousands of applicants. It can mean the difference between exciting job interviews and a phone that never rings, between success and failure.
This is a complex task for two pages (maximum) of paper. That’s right, two little pages to talk about your education, job experience, accomplishments and awards, special skills, training, professional experience/affiliation, and so on. Basically, you need to sum up your life, and make it interesting, in two pages.
There are numerous websites that can help with writing a bullet proof resume. Some offer free information and examples for you to follow, and some will write the resume for you (for a fee of course). Monster.com is an excellent website for writing and posting your resume.
Professional resume writing, when done by a human resource expert, can give you a significant edge over the competition. You can expect to pay $100 or more for this service, and can be well worth the money. However, before hiring someone to write it for you be sure to check their credentials.
2. Determine the locations you may want to live
Once you have your resume polished and shiny, its time to think about where you want to live. Determining a location can have a significant impact on your income earning potential. Some jobs are concentrated in certain areas and the pay can be dramatically more than where you live.
For example, the vast majority of computer programming jobs in the U.S. are in Silicon Valley, California. Jobs there can pay up to five times more than other parts of the country.
Unfortunately, pay isn’t everything. To accurately assess your situation, other factors must come into play. Cost of living, for example, can be dramatically different from one city to another. A $50,000 a year income in Mobile, Alabama is equal to over $122,350 in Manhattan, New York, a 145% increase.
Other factors, such as quality of schools, real estate, environmental quality, quality of life, and proximity to friends and family should also be evaluated. These factors are more difficult to measure than cost of living. Not having your mom to watch the kids can cost you thousands of dollars a year and must be a part of your decision. Write down pros and cons for each factor and take a look at the entire picture.
3. Put Out the Word
Once you have a resume and decide your desired location, its time to get hustling. The most important place to start, and the most often overlooked place, is your network. Your network is the group of family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances that make up your life. They are the backbone of your search and a great source of information and leads.
The big advantage of your network is that it is compiled with people who already know you. Depending on your relationship, many people in your network will feel a vested interest in your success, and will go out of their way to help. If they come in contact with a potential employer, they can vouch for your character and work ethic on the spot and help you leap to the top of the prospect pool.
4. Look Online
With the advent of the internet, the first place many job seekers look for job listings is now online on the internet. There are more job search websites than you know what to do with and each one is telling you they are the best. The truth is they are.
Monster.com is also an excellent job search website. They have great tips, will write your resume and cover letter for, and get you job hunting in minutes.
You can find more by going to Google.com and doing a search for “jobs”. The key to successfully using these websites is being systematic. Pick a time everyday when you can spend time working online (example: from 2pm to 6pm daily). Start a daily journal and write down what job search sites you visit and the job listings you apply to. This journal will keep you from back tracking and can save you hours of time.
5. Look Offline
Do not overlook the tried and true ways of finding a job. Get the daily newspaper and other classified periodicals to look for listings. Also, get a copy of the Sunday edition from the papers in the locations you are interested in living. Be mindful of signs and conversations everywhere you go, and let new contacts know you are on the hunt.
Job Search Tips
In addition to the 5-step in job search, there are 9 tips you should keep in mind during your job search especially if you’re lost and not sure what to do, here’s a list that help.
A. Know thyself.
Identify what really interest and excites you. Understand that these traits define you and use it to explore career choices and opportunities.
B. Take a career assessment test.
There are a lot of career assessment tests available online. Find the time to take one. The test gives you a lot of insights about your core competencies and work preferences.
C. Ask others
It’s actually quite difficult to see yourself as others do. It would be to your advantage to ask friends and family on your traits and skills. Your co-workers are also a good source of information. Knowing how they perceive you, what they like and don’t like about you and what skills or traits need to be changed can be helpful in determining your professional profile.
D. What moves you?
Would you be more interested in status or a six figure salary? Do you want to make a difference in your community and the world or just on your company’s net worth?
E. Take charge
In the ‘80s, when you worked for a large company, you usually could conclude that you would be working there for your entire career. In those days, the corporation drove your career path, advancing as it saw fit.
At the turn of the century, times have changed. In the span of your career, you would probably work for at least five companies. In most cases, you will probably work for more than five. Know which career track you desire, and make sure that track brings you to where you wish to go.
F. Determine the company fit
With the current emphasis on streamlined and productivity-focused companies, the cultural and company fit are just as important as the professional goals. Consider the values and principles of the company and compare them with your own. It is important that you feel comfortable and fit in with company.
G. Free your mind
The career path you choose is about change and more change. It includes expansion and new opportunities. All of these changes require a desire to journey and discover.
H. Balance is the key
A huge amount of time is devoted to your career when you are in your 20s and 30s. When you reach your 40s, your personal life might take precedence and maybe more important to you. Find a corporation that will provide you with a balance in your work and your life.
I. Don’t hang around
If you’re not satisfied with the way your career is going, go do something. Always be in control of your career path to have a satisfying career.
In this article, we talk about five steps and nine tips in job search. These are the inspirations to your job search especially when you are stuck in finding where should you go in your career.
We know job search is a test of your patience and what you need to do is organize well of yourself, get prepared and be positive. Good luck in your search.
If you find this article is helpful and you want to help others too, just share it in any social media (such as Facebook, LinkedIn).