Quick and Simple Job Hunting Tips
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Looking for a job can be a stressful time in your life, but with proper planning, you can prepare yourself to land a job as quickly as possible. It doesn't really matter what field you're in, there are universal traits you can develop to make you look attractive to your future employer.
You'll also benefit from making the whole process easier on yourself. Of course, you want to find a job as quickly as possible, but you also want to avoid stressing yourself out or feeling forced into making rash decisions just because you're desperate to land a job.
If at all possible, hold out for a job that you'll enjoy for a long time to come. Ask yourself, “Is this job getting me closer or further away from my long-term career goals?" For example, you may find yourself with a job that is close to what you want to do and it is at your dream company. This may be a good stepping stone that will take you where you want to go in the end. You may want to write out a pro/con list so that you can visually evaluate the offer.
Consider some of these simple and effective strategies for job hunting:
1. Know what you're looking for. Rather than searching for a job, any job, (You know what I’m talking about right? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.). First, evaluate your talents and goals. What type of job do you feel you would enjoy and excel at? What have you enjoyed in the past? What are topics are always interesting to you? This may give you some insight into an industry that you may enjoy.
Here is some additional information about 2 very well- known career assessment tests, the Myers/Briggs and the Strong Interest Inventory/Holland Code:
2. Start networking. Make connections with people in your desired field. Create your profile online on social networking websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. The Internet is a powerful asset, and you can develop your online identity to help you become attractive to employers. Of course, be mindful of what you post online.
I recommend staying away from controversial issues such as religion and politics. Now, with that being said, you may decide that you are not interested in working for a company that doesn’t have the same values as you do. That is a valid concern and definitely something to consider. It is a personal choice. Personally, I would recommend staying away from these topics. Once you have the job you will make friends at work and know who you can talk to about these important issues. Again, it is up to you.
You may find these articles about networking helpful:
3. Be dedicated. It's easy to give up hope, especially if you've already been out job hunting for a while. Generally, it’s about 3-6 months going full force to find a new job-filling out online applications, networking, conducting information interviews and maybe even gaining new skills by taking some classes or volunteering. People who are dedicated are the ones who succeed. Keep looking and developing your skills, because it'll pay off in the long run, even if you aren't seeing immediate results for your efforts.
You may find these articles helpful:
4. Strengthen your interviewing skills. Ensure you're knowledgeable about the job you're interviewing for, and go in with the right attitude. When you are called in for an interview, you may want to ask for the most recent copy of the job description just in case anything has been added or updated. When you are prepared and know your interview responses, it will be easier to maintain a calm and relaxed demeanor. Make sure you dress professionally and comfortably. This too will add to your self-confidence.
You may find this article about interviewing helpful:
5. Share your ideas. You'll really stand out to your prospective employer if you take charge and share your ideas as well as your process when you are answering their questions.
6. Write a killer resume. Update your resume to highlight experience that can help you with the specific job for which you're applying. Your goal with any resume should be to keep it as concise as possible and power pack it with relevant information the perspective employer needs.
You may find these articles about writing a resume helpful:
7. Diversify. Continue to develop and strengthen the skills you have and add new ones as well. You never know when they'll come in handy. An employer loves a well-rounded employee.
You may find my career counseling Pinterest board a helpful place to find advice, tools and resources for career success.
Most importantly, relax and be yourself. If you're fully prepared and patient, you'll eventually find the job that's perfect for you.