Whether you’ve recently graduated from school, lost your job, or are just in the market for a new career … Seeking for a job is a daunting process! Where do you start? What resources do you utilize? How should you represent yourself on paper, on the phone, and in an interview ( when you finally get to that point?) I’ve compiled a simple, 10-step Checklist that every job seeker should complete before or during their job search. Ask yourself these questions … They will lead you in the right direction for your job search!
#1 – Why am I seeking a new position? Where do I see myself working next/What is the ideal job? You have to know what you’re looking for before you can start looking! This is the obvious place to start.
#2 – What are my goals? That perfect job could become available at any time, and you don’t want to miss it! Set goals for yourself, and be aggressive with those goals! For example: “I will submit at least 10 resumes a week.” or “I will check job sites & my e-mail every evening for new activity.”
#3 – Am I (or am I ready to be) treating my job search like a full-time job? Seeking a job is a full-time job. In today’s job market, you can’t expect to just send out a few online applications & have the perfect job fall into your lap. You must take the search as seriously as you’d take the job you’re going after.
#4 –What is my strongest skill & most desirable quality? I’m always shocked at how many people don’t know their own strongest suit! (Have your FIVE qualities/skills always in mind, because employers WILL ask you some variation of this question in an interview.)
#5 – Is my resume less than 2 pages? Does it clearly convey my most important skills & experience for the positions I am going to apply for? A recruiter/manager does not have time to decipher a confusing resume or read through a 5 page one. Make your resume short; make it stand out; and make it sure is clearly highlights your most important qualities/experiences for the particular job you’re applying for.
#6 – What resources am I going to utilize? (Some of the best job search sites Ad-VANCE recommends are: Indeed, CareerBuilder, Ebay Classifieds, Monster, SimplyHired, snagajob.com & usajobs.com.) Using the most reliable sources will ensure you’re not wasting your valuable time.
#7 – Am I marketing myself? Why just leave the ball in your court alone and wait for people to call you back? Get a LinkedIn account & make connections, put your resume on sites like CareerBuilder.com & Monster.com. Most recruiters use these websites (& are filling positions that are not otherwise advertised,) and if have what they’re looking for, your work is already done.
# 8 – Am I being proactive? Follow-up on resume submittals! Everyone can sympathize with pushing the “send” button and then waiting anxiously for a response (which often times never comes.) Follow-up, but not excessively. If you’re not sure who to contact, start with the HR department. Also, pay close attention to the companies you’ve identified as the most desirable; they may not have an open position now, but you don’t want to miss the opportunity when they do post it!
#9 – Am I ready to interview when I get a call back? Prepare yourself to interview! Interviewing is a nerve-racking process. See our previous blog all about the standard interview questions that you can expect to be asked and how to prepare for them!
#10 – Am I staying positive? As previously noted, searching for a career is a daunting process! You will inevitably be rejected and not have people call you back. Remember that this happens to everyone. Don’t take things personally, and keep at it!!
For more job search tips and a list of Ad-VANCE’s available jobs … Check out our Job Seeker’s page or call an Ad-VANCE coordinator today!
(Ad-VANCE Author: Erin Lee, PHR)