Job Search Strategies
Job Search Strategies
Job searching isn't just about applying for jobs and hoping to get called for an interview anymore. Few people are able to simply put in an application, get an interview, and land a job in today's competitive, network-driven job market. The most successful job seekers utilize a variety of strategies, from establishing a social presence to targeting companies, to help them stand out from the crowd.
Try these job search strategies to expedite your search, find connections who can lend a hand, get your resume noticed, and ace your interviews so you get job offers.
The successful job hunter uses a combination of job search resources and strategies
- Traditional job search techniques include:
Contacting companies directly, whether they currently have openings or not; applying online; Internet job posting sites; employment agencies; trade and industry specific websites; and networking.
- Non-traditional strategies include:
Attending local professional association meetings; trade and industry specific conventions or conferences; conducting informational interviews; and/or job shadowing prior to your job search. Internships, volunteering or co-op positions, while in school, provide you with excellent experience to put on your resume and an opportunity for employers to get to know you and your work. The Career Center offers numerous opportunities to connect with employers and job listings, including: career fairs, employer panels, resume critique events, mock interviews, on-campus recruiting, Career Connection, and internship and cooperative education listings. Be patient and creative. Looking for work is a process. Jump in. Don’t take rejection personally. Learn from your experiences and seek assistance from staff in the Career Center when you need a job search boost.
- Know Yourself:
Begin your job search by taking a thorough inventory of your interests, values, skills, and accomplishments. Be sure and include experiences from college, including projects, group work, research, major assignments, and technical skills pertinent to your field. Make a detailed list. The key to a successful job search is what makes you unique and communicating this effectively to a prospective employer.
- Research the Company/Organization:
Interviewers like candidates who are familiar with the industry as well as the company’s mission, products/services, and competitors. Study the position description and how it functions within the company. Research the company’s anticipated growth, and career paths within the industry. Professional associations, informational interviews, job shadowing, the Internet, and the job fairs are all excellent resources for this type of research.
- Consider Transition Experiences:
Consider positions that may be a stepping stone to the one you are seeking. Research what the career ladder is for a position and what the realistic path is for a new student just completing a degree. Often your dream job is one or two positions away. Be realistic, ask for assistance and research the company/industry to obtain suggestions from professionals.
- Narrow Your Options:
Identify what you want in a job and specifically what your target occupation and industry is going to be. Your job search plan should include your preferred geographic areas, selected industries and functions within each industry, as well as specific positions of interest. You may prefer to target a specific company or industry first and learn what occupations are available later. Some companies decide where you will be placed after learning about your skills and experiences.
- Prepare Your Paperwork:
Tailor your application packet, including your resume and cover letter to the requirements of the job. In addition, it is important that your application packet be presented professionally, free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Your reference page should include people that can address your skills, attitude, and abilities in relation to the position for which you are applying.
- Practice Your Interview Skills:
Consider fine-tuning your interview skills by scheduling a practice for interview session in the Career Center or by attending the Career Center’s Speed Interviews event. Getting feedback on how you interview is a valuable way to learn what not to say and do during the interview, as well as a service to learn new interview techniques and strategies.
- Be Organized, Proactive, and Assertive:
Organize yourself during your job search. Keep careful records. Maintain a calendar, a binder or fi le to organize your materials, including copies of all the paperwork you submit to each employer. Be prepared with a job search contact list, stamps, a conservative, businesslike email address and voice mail message, resume paper/stationary, your job search business card, and a traditional interview suit and accessories. You will need access to a computer, email and printer to complete your application materials. Remember to follow-up on every employer contact and to send a “Thank You” letter to the interviewer.
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