Whether you’ve just graduated from college, you’re looking for a new job or are currently unemployed, the job search process can be overwhelming. Sometimes getting started or knowing where to start can be the biggest hurdle in job seeking. We’ve put together a list of useful tips that can help you in the quest for open positions and employment bliss!
Be prepared to apply for open positions when you find them. That preparation requires an up to date resume with your skills, qualifications and job history readily available.
Cover letters act as your introduction to a potential employer and summarize the content found in your resume. It’s important to write a cover letter that is tailored to the job you are applying for and to customize your letter for each position.
Create Your Own Templates
One way to simplify the resume and cover letter writing process is to create templates for both pieces that are ready to edit based on specific job openings. You can look at sample resumes and cover letters online to get ideas.
Always have a list of at least three professional references ready to submit or give to interviewers. Some job openings request references as part of the application instead of waiting until the interview. Make sure your list includes name, job title, company, phone number and email address for each reference.
Use Search Engines
There are countless search engines and job boards that you can use to find jobs. It’s helpful to narrow your search using filters that are on most job boards; you can also save time by utilizing the alert function that emails you job listings based on criteria you select (i.e. location, position type or title). Don’t limit your searching to top sites like Monster and CareerBuilder. Make sure you check smaller sites that focus on a particular location or career field. Below is a list of some popular job search engines:
Go Straight to the Employers
Some companies prefer to list job openings on their internal websites rather than external job boards. Make a list of the organizations you are interested in working for and check their postings on a regular basis. Also, don’t be afraid to directly contact human resources or hiring managers at these organizations. Most HR departments will keep your resume on file for a specified length of time and refer back to that file for potential candidates when positions become available.
Use Your Network
Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Most colleges also provide a networking list of alumni based on your degree, career interests and geographic locations. You can contact the career development office at your school to ask for a list. Another great way to meet new people is by joining a professional networking group in your area. Most groups have websites and get together once a month at local restaurants as a way to meet other local professionals.
Get Connected Through Social Media
Signing up for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and populating your accounts with current professional content can help you connect with potential employers. Remember, employers like to search for your name online so make sure you control what they see by posting content that is professional.
Job Seeking is a Full Time Job
The job search process is much like a job itself and takes a great deal of time and dedication. Developing an organized plan or schedule to determine how much time each day you want to spend searching and applying for jobs can help you stay focused. Keep a record of the employers you’ve had contact with, the positions you’ve applied for and the job postings to track your progress and use for potential interviews.