Searching for new employment can be intimidating if you do not know where to start and feel that you do not have an organized game plan to guide you.
In the age of the internet, the process of applying for jobs has changed dramatically. If you are returning to the workforce after a time away, you may have a learning curve with digital applications and online job search platforms.
If you are a younger job seeker, your primary concerns may be getting your social media accounts in professional order and making sure that you have all the requisite online portfolios for whatever field you are pursuing. No matter what your age or job interests, there are basic steps you can follow and key concepts to keep in mind that will allow help connect you with your dream job as effectively as possible.
Though you may not initially realize it, even the method by which you approach your job search says something about you to potential employers. If you are not keeping accurate records of job titles you have applied for, dates on which you have applied for these jobs and other details regarding each and every application you submit, you can appear disorganized and possibly unreliable to an employer that might otherwise have been interested in hiring you.
There are all kinds of convenient ways to document your job search in today’s market. If you are digitally savvy, most of the online job platforms have automatic documentation templates that keep track of every job you applied for on that particular platform. You may still want to keep a spreadsheet or a similar method of cataloguing all the collective entries from those various sites in one place for your own reference.
If you are more inclined toward traditional pen and paper, keeping a job ledger is a fantastic idea. Treat this ledger just as you would a checkbook or financial account record, entering pertinent information immediately and accurately each time you make a new job contact or submit a new application. Even after you have found suitable employment, you can utilize your job search documentation as a further extension of your professional network. You never know when you might later need the contacts that you formed during your initial search.
There are simply no two ways about it: the job market of today is primarily available in a digital format. Online job searches have revolutionized the way people apply to jobs. The internet has also changed how workers perform their duties in their chosen careers. If you are unfamiliar with how to get started in online job hunting, a simple search for job board platforms will lead you to the most popular sites of the day.
Most sites require you to upload a digital copy of your resume, cover letter, professional references and other supporting documentation. If you do not have these items readily available, your first step will be to digitize your paper documents. The good news is that once you are set up with candidate profiles on the leading job board sites of your choice, you will typically receive email updates about available jobs tailored specifically to the skills and experience listed on your posted resume.
You can choose to receive these updates monthly, weekly or even daily, depending on your needs. Online job boards take a massive amount of the guesswork out of finding out who is hiring in your professional field and how to get in touch with them.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get your digital resume out there in today’s job market is to sign up for as many virtual career fairs as you can find. There are many advantages to a virtual career fair over a traditional in-person meet and greet.
Virtual career fairs eliminate the problem of qualified applicants having to navigate scores of less experienced candidates or those just browsing by requiring pre-registry and official qualification measures. Another benefit of virtual career fairs is that they often pitch directly to groups such as freelancers, working mothers and veterans.
Often, you can locate virtual career fairs that suit your skill set simply by virtue of entering information about your hobbies, educational and military background, fraternities or sororities you belong to and even church affiliations. Virtual career fairs also have the advantage of downplaying physical appearance as a deciding factor for employment and are significantly cheaper to attend than traditional job fairs, as they typically have only nominal (if any) entry fee and no associated travel expenses.
Networking is one of the most important professional skills you can develop in today’s job market. Though official job platforms and recruiters can be a massive help in knowing where to send resumes and applications, the likelihood of you finding a job you really love through someone you already know is high.
Never miss a chance to leave your business card with someone in a professional field you have interest in joining, even if that person may seem unapproachable at first. For that matter, never miss an opportunity to leave your card with anyone. The beauty of networking is that you never know who someone else knows and where that connection may lead you.
Even those acquaintances that you may feel cannot be of direct service in your job search may be close with a person who can help. Networking is all about finding the courage to speak to strangers. Most major cities and organized communities sponsor networking events you can sign up to attend. These are groups of like-minded professionals from all walks of life and all different kinds of career fields.
You can seek out formal networking opportunities on your favorite online job boards, and you can also simply talk openly to all of your friends about your job search. Let the people in your life know what you are looking for in your career and leave them with your information so that they can share it with anyone that they may know who has connections to the job you want.
Think of a recruiter as a go-between for yourself and employers of interest. The recruiter handles the tedious task of locating hiring managers and companies actively seeking new personnel. The value of a recruiter lies mostly in the time he or she can save you and the direction he or she can bring to your overall search for employment.
There are a couple of different kinds of job recruiters to be aware of: internal and external. These titles simply let you know whether the recruiter is working for a separate entity (external) that serves multiple companies and fields or whether he or she is employed by the company in which you are trying to be hired (internal). Either way, the recruiter does not make hiring decisions. She or he simply aids you along the route to employment in a suitable field that matches your skill set.
Before ever setting foot into an interview, logging into a virtual career fair or meeting with a recruiter, it is imperative that you research the companies that you wish to work for. This background knowledge will serve you in giving appropriate answers to application and interview questions, make decisions simpler about what job is best for your needs and ensure that you make an employment choice that serves your own personal work ethics.
Failing to do proper research on prospective employers can make you look unqualified for the job you are seeking and can lead employers to view your interest in their company as lackluster. It is helpful to make a list of companies you would like to work for, their respective administrative staff and their mission statements.
Jot down any specific details you think might be interesting or useful about the company’s history. Never speak to a hiring manager or human resources recruiter without at least knowing the basics of what the company stands for, past success stories and general aims. The more you know about the companies you apply to, the less time you waste on companies not ultimately suited to your own professional values.