It’s time to approach the job search scientifically. There’s no magic to finding a new position – it’s all hard work, strategy, and technique. Here’s the outline.
1. Make your wish list
Include every characteristic you want in a new job, and make it absolutely perfect.
2. Learn to utilize your resources
Your professors, family, and friends are the contacts that can help you to meet industry professionals, and they can provide you with valuable references. In addition to personal contacts, this is the time to go to your school’s Career Services Office to let them do what they’re trained to do. Namely:
- Career services offices maintain lists of open positions and internships, and at the local level this is immensely valuable.
- Even if you graduated years ago, your school will willingly respond to a request for help!
- Did you do an internship? Use your contacts from your workplace to network or if you loved working there, speak up about your interest in a full-time opportunity.
- Never written a professional resume or cover letter? Career services staff can help. Even if you’re sure yours is excellent, run it by somebody who does this for a living!
- Interview prep and mock interviews can feel awkward, but practice is essential. Let your school’s expert staff provide you with some questions, and be open to their feedback!
Before you’re ever in the running for a phone screening or interview, you should know everything there is to know about the organization, its employees, and the position for which you’re competing. Do some digging online and if possible, talk to people in similar positions.
4. Put the web to work
- Bridge.jobs is a great place to find internships. Data shows as much as 60% of internships turn into full-time opportunities.
- LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable resource, so use it wisely. Complete a carefully detailed profile and be sure to indicate that you’re looking for work.
- Next, Glassdoor provides interesting and useful data on pay, employee satisfaction, and hiring practices. Sign up for an account and integrate the site into your research.
- Indeed.com is one of the most comprehensive listings of hiring needs anywhere, so make sure you’ve uploaded a resume and completed a profile. Set up alerts to keep apprised of current opportunities in your field.
One of the biggest mistakes made by job hunters is taking a casual approach to what should be a disciplined, structured search. Create an action plan and stick to it!