Job Searching — Where to Begin?


Searching for a new job, position, or even career can be intimidating, especially if you have been employed within the same company for several years.

Knowing where to start, what is most important, and even whether or not it is the “right” job are all questions that race through the job seekers mind upon beginning the official job search. So, how do you begin?

Beginning a Job Search

Determine your Goals
When searching for a new job, the most important thing to figure out in advance is to determine your goals. Know what you are looking for a in a new role, including responsibilities, pay, and company culture.

Make a list of the pros and cons of your current position to ensure you don’t enter into a situation that repeats your current one. Ensure your resume is updated, clean, and includes your most recent accomplishments and accolades. Research companies for which you would like to work, and begin focusing your attention on those companies.

Utilize your Network
The best place to begin your official job search is your professional and personal network. Send emails, make phone calls, or schedule lunch to discuss your current desire to change jobs, your goals in changing jobs, and see how your network might be able to help you. Employers are infinitely more likely to interview a candidate that comes from a “known” resource than one that comes from the Internet or an advertisement.

Search using Internet Job Portals and Engines
In conjunction with networking, it is equally important to begin researching the Internet for jobs in line with your goals. Companies who use the Internet to locate candidates for jobs tend to become dependent upon the “job boards” as their corporate filtering system. The main job boards to use are Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, and HotJobs.com. Niche boards like TheDestinyGroup.com (military) and Dice.com (IT and technical) are also good if your interest is more specialized.

Portals are also a good way to find key employers’ websites. One very popular portal is DirectEmployers.com, founded and run by the “Father and Founder” of the Internet Recruiting Industry, Bill Warren, former President and Owner of Online Career Center (occ.com) and former Monster.com President.

Portals like Direct Employers.com are designed to help job seekers find jobs on employers’ websites through a direct link to the career section on those sites. As employers become more cost and brand conscious, they want potential future employees to learn about their company’s culture and opportunities before applying for a position. Using employment portals are a great way to pare your search down to only the employers for whom you wish to work.

Overall, with an organized, focused approach to your job search, you will find that locating your next job can be relatively easy and fun at the same time.

Job Search Tips and Strategies
For a successful job search, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. That’s never been more true than in today’s economy. And these 5 strategies will help you make sure you have a successful job search.

Update your resume
The first strategy for a successful job search is to update your resume and cover letter. Resumes styles have changed a lot in recent years, so you may want to toss yours and redo it completely. Consider having your resume and cover letter done by a professional. Your resume is the first thing a prospective employer and cover letter are vital to a successful job search.

Target carefully
Second, you want to target where and how you send out your resume. Sending them out wily-nily doesn’t do a lot of good. Be sure you are sending yours to the right Human Resources person or recruiter. So do some research before sending your resume to just any HR person at a company.

Utilize online resume services and search sites
There are also excellent online resume messenger services you can take advantage of to help increase your chances in a successful job search. These messenger services match your skills to employers and send your resume to recruiters and HR people for you. You can also post your resume online at many job sites, which helps employers find you. A note of caution, however, if your resume is open for anyone to view, you may become a target for scam job opportunities.

Network
Next, you want to network like crazy for a successful job search. When you first start telling people you’re looking for a job, you’re likely to be surprised by all the people who are willing to pass your resume on to someone they know. And never be too shy or embarrassed to ask. Unfortunately, it is true that it’s not necessarily what you know but who you know.

Have a personal touch
Finally, follow up after you’ve sent your resume and cover letter. Usually, you’ll want to do this a week to two weeks after you’ve sent them. Call the person if at all possible. Email is acceptable if it’s short and you don’t overdo. This means your follow up calls and emails need to be spaced out at least a week for a successful job search.

Remember, the most important part of any successful job search is your confidence. Believe in yourself and your abilities and prospective employers will too.

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