There are many steps involved in finding a job. Making sure that all of these steps are addressed is critical in landing a position, especially in today’s very competitive marketplace. If any of the steps are ignored or mismanaged, then the possibility of finding a suitable position for your skills and salary range may, in fact, be at risk.
Here are elements of the job search that need to be part of your action plan for finding the right job:
Career Portfolio: At minimum include your resume and cover letter. Senior manager levels, might add a bio, project list, addendum, and executive summary to their portfolio of career documents.
Make sure that your resume is targeted to the type of position for which you are applying. Include the right key words, update all information and check for spelling accuracy. Let someone who knows you well proofread your resume and provide you with feedback on the flow, grammar, typos, etc.
As for cover letters, gear each cover letter to the job for which you are seeking and the company to which you are sending it. In another words, be specific in how you can best provide value for the company to which you are applying.
Online and Face-to Face Networking: Include networking as part of your strategy. Make sure that you have a profile and presence on LinkedIn which is a site used by many hiring managers and recruiters to post positions and to obtain information on candidates.
For face-to-face networking, get out of the house … meet others for coffee, lunch or just to meet. Call those you know and send emails to keep in touch. It is not only about what you know and who you know, but also about who knows you. Stay in touch with everyone. You never know who can pass your name along.
References: Be sure to have your references lined up ahead of time. Talk to these people. They are part of your support team and can be a good sounding board as well as a good reference. Never ask them for a job, but you can ask for advice, especially if they are still part of the current workforce.
Get A Mentor: Transitioning to a new job can become overwhelming, frustrating and stressful. Find a mentor or coach (if you have the funds) to provide guidance and support during the job search process, someone who will listen to you vent and keep you moving in a positive direction.
Follow Up: After an interview send a ‘thank you’ note. It is courteous to do so, and it provides another way to stay in contact with the hiring manager.
Put Together A Strategy and Action Plan: This is the most overlooked step of all. Outline what companies you wish to target, put together daily activities to complete, research the Internet not only for careers, but also for general information about the industry and positions you are interested in, and current business trends. Hone your interviewing skills and have down pat your elevator speech. You know the one where the interviewer says: Tell me about yourself. Maybe part of your action plan could be to work for a temp agency, work part time or volunteer. Anything to get your name out there! Most of all stay flexible…about the job, title, salary and geographic location.
There is no one way to find a job, but there are many steps you can take that will keep you positive and going forward in a very competitive environment.