It’s a big decision to embark on a job search. Whether you are about to graduate or have years of experience, the process of looking for a new job is something you need to be prepared for. So the important question is, where should you even start? Listed here are eight steps you can take to be organized, equipped, and fully ready to take on a job search and find your next career opportunity.
Before you send off that first application, you need to determine your goals for a new opportunity. What specifically are you looking for in a new job? Do you want more flexibility in your hours, more career advancement, or more training? You also want to figure out the type of employer you want to work for. Are you looking at target companies or a specific type of company culture? Write down the top priorities your new job and employer has to have so you can ensure it’s the right move for you.
The next step is to update all of your application material so you will be ready to send it to prospective employers. Collect information on your current job (such as your main accomplishments, top responsibilities, and any new skills learned) and add it to your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter. You may also need to create several versions of your resume, depending on which types of jobs you’re planning to submit an application.
Your job search is going to take time, so you need to be able to set specific time aside to work on it. Just like you would schedule for classes or appointments, put time in your calendar to work on different aspects of your search. This type of planning can coincide with setting your goals. For the first week of your search, what do you want to accomplish? This could be updating your resume, reviewing your social media pages, and crafting two cover letters. Scheduling this specific time will ensure that your goals are met and you can move forward in the process.
As you start to take on a new job search, it’s also important to look to your own professional network. Which of your connections may be able to help you? Connect with past co-workers, search through your LinkedIn network, or reach out to friends who work in your industry. You never know what types of opportunities your connections may know about and who they can introduce you to.
As your building or exploring your network, it’s important to keep in mind who can be a reference for you. Even though you’re just starting your job search and may not need them right away, it’s smart to start reaching out to those who could be a reference. This way, they will be aware of your job search and can be prepared themselves to be contacted by a potential employer.
A recruiter is a great resource to have when looking for a new job. Not only will a recruiter know of job opportunities you aren't aware of, they can also serve as an advocate for you when talking with potential employers. Taking on a job search is stressful, but being able to work with a recruiter will only help you further in this process and ease this stress. (Learn how to introduce yourself to a recruiter, or get in touch with one at JOHNLEONARD!)
A crucial step of your job search is to find ways to stay organized. Keeping organized will help you to remain on top of things and make you more efficient overall. Keep records of organizations you want to target, where you have sent applications, network contact information, upcoming calls or phone screens, etc. You don’t want to lose track of any of your hard work or miss something important. To help you with this, we’ve created a Job Search Tracker that you can download here.
As you are getting ready to take on a job search, it’s important to be mentally prepared. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to get in touch with organizations, land interviews, and move forward in the hiring process. You need to be ready to face some highs and some lows that are going to come your way. In the end, be committed to tackle your search head on.
Beginning a job search is no easy task, but there are steps you can take to be more prepared and organized for the work ahead. Just remember that all your dedication will pay off once you land a new job that is the right fit for you.
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