As you begin your job search, there are 4 main components you need to consider. They include resume writing, interviewing, networking, and finding job leads. Writing a professional resume is a good first step.
Step 1 — Write an Effective Resume
A resume is a “must” in today’s job market even if you are seeking an entry level position. Your resume must be in the proper format, highlight your skills, and be tailored specifically to the job you are applying for.
If you have a few different job targets in mind, you should have different versions of your resume.
Your resume must be easy to read and to the point. Only put the items on there that will get you the interview. Leave the other stuff off.
Review your resume to check for any errors. Ask someone else to double check it for you before submitting it anywhere.
The last step in preparing your resume is to write a cover letter. A cover letter is not always required but is always recommended.
Step 2 — Develop Interviewing Skills
Once you’ve landed an interview, your preparation is not over. Interviewing is a skill so you need to develop your interviewing abilities. Preparing for an interview can include researching the company, reviewing common interviewing questions, and rehearsing your answers. If you’ve prepared for the interview, you will feel more confident and less nervous. By being well prepared you will give great answers and prove to the employer that you are the best candidate for the job!
Step 3 — Start Networking
Networking should be one of the top strategies you utilize in your job search. Applying for jobs online is a good strategy but you will find you have a much smaller response rate if you only use this technique. To increase your chances of finding job openings and getting interviews, you need to tap the "hidden job market" through networking.
Traditional networking includes connecting with friends, family, and colleagues either face to face, over the phone, or by email. Social networking is the latest way to make connections. Social networking is using an online service or site to develop relationships with people with similar interests, backgrounds or activities. The top sites to find employment include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Informational interviews are another way to network with contacts or referrals. An informational interview is not a job interview because you are the one asking the questions. They are a way to gather information about your field of interest or an employer. It is primarily an information gathering session but still an excellent networking opportunity.
Career Fairs offer the chance to meet face to face with employers who are hiring. In today's cyber centric world, you may often feel frustrated at the lack of opportunity to meet an employer and show them who you are and what you have to offer. At a career fair you get to do just that!
Networking events through professional, trade, or technical associations are productive during your job hunt and beyond. The networking opportunities alone are worth the membership fees. Most associations offer seminars and conferences where you have the opportunity to meet contacts that will lead directly to job leads.
Step 4 — Find Job Leads
There are many online resources available to help you find job leads. Make sure not to limit yourself to one website or type of online resource. Use a variety of websites for the most comprehensive search such as:
- Large national job boards
- Local job boards
- Industry sites through professional associations
- Company websites
- Recruiter websites
While learning how to conduct an online job search is essential in today's market, some time-tested techniques like “cold calling” are still effective. You might uncover one of those jobs in the "hidden" job market!
Job Leads Resources