Starting the Job Search

The job search landscape is constantly changing. If you are looking for a quick job hunt refresh, here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Figure out what type of job you want. While you can blindly apply to lots of opportunities, it’s really best to focus on one to three key areas. By targeting specific areas, you can better, tailored resumes and cover letters, as well as build an effective pitch about your knowledge and experience.
  2. Target where the opportunities are. Once you know what you want to apply for, you have to target where to look for opportunities. 
    1. Associations and industry specific sites - Industry associations can provide insight as to who the players are in the field, give you an opportunity to network and keep you up-to-date on industry trends. They also often have relevant opportunities posted online. Local associations can help you target companies that are in your area. Bonus points if you become a long term, active member of the association.
    2. Industry specific job boards - Check out job boards tailored to positions in your area of interest. There are a ton of specific job boards out there. Also, there are boards based on experience levels and how/where you want to work.
    3. Industry panels and events - Go to events that help build your knowledge and experience in your area of interest. Connect with people there to get a feel of the industry.
    4. Networking sites - I know a ton of people who found jobs through networking sites such as LinkedIn. What networking sites are the people in your industry using?
    5. Hunt for headhunters - Ask people who work in their area of interest how they got their positions. If it was through a recruiter or headhunter, ask for their contact information and reach out to them. Even better, ask your network if they would write an introduction email on your behalf to make for a stronger connections.
  3. Let people know you are looking. Let your friends, family and key members of your network know that you are looking for a new opportunity. Make sure to specify what you are looking for. By being a bit more specific, your network will be better able to connect the dots as to others in your area of interest.
  4. Found a position? See if you know anyone at the company. If you found a job within a company, or if there is a company you really want to work for, see if you have a contact who can pass along your resume. Oftentimes, resumes submitted by internal employees are guaranteed at least a courtesy phone call.
  5. Learn and use the key words. Figure out some key words for the type of position you are looking for, then use Google to see what comes up when you search for those words. Check out larger job boards to find similar positions to learn more relevant key words and phrasing, that can help you find positions.
  6. General resources. Don’t underestimate general resources that can connect you to the right opportunities such as alumni associations, career centers, larger job boards.
  7. Build yourself as an expert in the field. Figure out how you can give back to the industry you want to focus on. Get involved in volunteer opportunities, write articles, consider creating YouTube videos with your industry insights. The point is, get involved and get known so opportunities start coming to you. Note: this is a longer term strategy. Start it now, but keep it going all your life to build a long term, strong network.
  8. Set goals. Finally, don't forget to set goals and keep track of everything you do. This way you can analyze what is and isn't working.

Wishing you all the best for a happy and fast job hunt in 2017!


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