Doing a proper job search is crucial in making yourself available to the opportunities that are out there. Just like anything in life, proper planning, timely execution, accurate gathering and analysis of information, and adjusting are all important elements to getting the job. Below is a brief overview of the basics.
This is all the more important these days where the market is tighter and there is so much competition for the fewer opportunities.
Job Search Check list:
1. Plan - Be determined, organized, document and execute your time wisely. What kind of job are you looking for? Are you willing to relocate? What is the time frame you give yourself based on need? If you don't find a job in that time, what actions are you willing to take? Where do you plan to look? How many hours a day, how many days per week do you plan to dedicate to the search effort? What are your strengths that employers should know about? What resources are you using to find available opportunities? What are you doing to find out about jobs that are not advertised? Are you maximizing your network?
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2. Resume - It's not uncommon to write more than one specifically highlighting different attributes which would apply to different jobs. Targeting resumes towards jobs is a critical step in getting noticed. Remember the basics of excellent resume writing. Formatting, organization, wording, keywords, and structure. Also, keep in mind that I am not advocating falsifying information but rather making it obvious what you know and what you've done to the employer. It might be a good idea to get a fresh set of eyes on your resume too. What's obvious to us doesn't always communicate the way we want it to.
3. Track - Document search efforts and give yourself a note to follow up in 3 days, 1 week and 4 weeks. Review the results and try to find ways to alter search efforts, places where you have applied, industries, resources and referrals used. You don't want to seem like a dummy when you get called back for an interview and you don't recall submitting your resume. It's really not the best first impression, believe me.
4. Review - A good plan should include 8 hour days 5 days per week of pure job search activities. I know this might seem harsh but if you're serious about getting back to work, you have to act seriously. At the end of the week, review your progress which of course you would be tracking. Alter and make a new plan. Start again the following week and repeat. Look, when you're working you put in a full day, why should a job search be any different? Only do a part-time job search and you'll get those type of results.
There is no magic formula. These suggestions are from both experience and common sense. Doesn't it make sense to put forth your best effort? Don't give up and always play your "A" game on.
Above all else, ALWAYS be ready for a phone call from an employer. Be professional, energetic and attentive to the caller free from distractions.
Next step, the Interview.....