Beginning a job search can be a daunting experience, especially in today’s economy. However, people in all markets and industries are still landing the jobs they love. To keep you on track and going for what you want, here are 8 tips to help make your job search a success.
1. List Career Goals
Make a list of what you liked and disliked in your previous (or current) position and what you desire is in a new position. For example, office location, travel requirements, compensation, company reputation, and growth potential.
2. Get YOUR Name Out There
Begin posting your resume on industry-specific online job boards like, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, craigslist.com, or hotjobs.com. Scan the newspaper classifieds for open positions and submit your information. Update your LinkedIn profile with the most relevant experience and reach out to industry connections.
Select a few target companies you would like to work for and contact them. Even if there isn’t currently an opening, it’s always a good idea to forward your resume; sometimes they may be planning a change, but have yet to post the position.
3. Create a Personal Network
Start by compiling a list of former colleagues, friends, family, industry contacts and previous classmates. Contact these people directly and share the specifics of the job you are looking for. Ask them to tell you about open positions and to share other contacts that may support your search efforts. Always follow up with everyone who helped and send thank-you cards to express your gratitude. You never know who will be the connection to your next job.
4. Prepare a Strong Resume
Your resume makes your first impression. Aside from being concise and error-free, your resume should be accomplishment-oriented. Include awards, honors, certifications and specific ways you saved or made money for your company. For example, in a HealthCare manager’s resume, you might include “increased office revenue by 15% in a nine month period.” Previous accomplishments are usually an indication of future successes.
5. Prepare for Interviews
Interviews can be intimidating and stressful, but practicing and role-playing with friends can lead to more confidence and success. Be prepared to discuss at least five specific accomplishments. For instance, if you’re an office manager and you increased overall revenue by 15 percent, you need to be ready to discuss the details. Also, be sure to diligently research the company beforehand.
6. Hone Professional Skills
Obtain a certification in your area of expertise. The HealthCare field offers many courses to obtain certification such as the Certified Professional Coder or Certified Medical Assistant. Local community colleges and online educational courses provide opportunities for professional development. Seek advice on professionalism from former employers, friends and family. Let them know that their sincere and honest feedback will have a positive impact on your career and professional growth.
7. Consider a Recruiter
Professional recruiting companies typically have well established relationships with the companies you’d like to work for, making it easier for them to put you in front of the hiring authority. Recruiters often know what the company is looking for and will present you if you’re a fit for the position. Recruiting and staffing firms can set up interviews for permanent positions or provide temporary assignments, frequently leading to full-time employment. A list of local recruiting companies can be found at www.haapc.org, the Houston Area Association of Personnel Consultants.
8. Prepare for Setbacks
Remember some of the most successful people heard hundreds of “nos” before a “yes.” Hearing a “no” or not hearing back at all can trigger stress and hopelessness. Plan for these obstacles with a strong support network and an understanding of your marketable skills. Don’t give up. You may be just the person your dream job has been searching for.