Begin your job search by taking a thorough inventory of your interests, skills, accomplishments, experience, goals, and values. Make a detailed list. The key to a successful job search is to recognize what makes you a unique candidate and to communicate this effectively to an employer, both verbally and in writing.
Before you start anxiously searching through your local paper or online and applying for any jobs going, it is a good idea to think about what you really want to do. Make a list of your interests, skills, achievements, experiences, goals and values. Ask yourself - What is important to you? What are you passionate about? What do you want from an employer? It is these things that can make you stand out as the ideal candidate for a job. Knowing what you want to do gives you much more focus when applying for jobs - saving you time, money and energy.
Follow the self-analysis techniques which help you to think about the type of employer that will offer you what you want. Think about:
what you want from work e.g. training/9am-5pm working hours
where you want to work
an appropriate and realistic salary
Realistically, no job is going to be perfect. For example, you have applied for an office job with training, leading to a recognised qualification and benefits of a pension/healthcare. However, the salary is less than you were expecting. Consider if the advantages outweigh the disadvantage of the initial lower salary.
Try to match your skills, interests, and values with the right career choice. For example, if one of your goals is to get a larger salary, don't focus on career paths that usually pay low salaries. Conduct research on various fields and local companies within those fields. Learn about different businesses that interest you, and aim those that are more likely to have open positions.
The old adage "Good things come to those who wait" does NOT apply to those in the market for a new job. You've got to go out there and make it happen. Don't wait around for opportunity to come knocking on your door. It's important to get through the door before your competition.
One key to breaking in is understanding the "hidden job market." Many job openings exist only in the minds of directors, vice presidents, and other company bigwigs, long before the job is finally advertised to the public. If you can present yourself as the perfect candidate at this early stage, an employer may take you up without looking elsewhere.
Networking should be at the center of your job search strategy. Get the word out to friends, trusted colleagues, and even relatives that you are actively looking for a job, and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for any opportunities.
Also, expand your network and join professional organizations, sign up for job search newsletters and e-mail blasts, contact former professors and classmates, job portals, newspapers and participate in online discussion boards.
Employment agencies can be an excellent resource for getting jobs, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Some specialize in very specific occupational areas, and many often have exclusive arrangements with large companies.
If you're interested in the services of an agency, investigate it carefully. Determine what the agency will do for you and how much it will cost.
Temporary jobs are a great way to learn skills, gain experience, and earn money while looking for a permanent position. They are also a way to prove your worth and be first in line when a full-time position opens up.
Working as a consultant or independent contractor in a company can also eventually lead to steady, full-time employment.
When sending out resumes, catch prospective employers' attention with a brief and concise cover letter that clearly spells out how your qualifications match the job requirements. Connect the dots for the reader, and make it obvious why you're the perfect candidate for the job.
Keeping track of the progress of your job search is important. Maintain a detailed record of all the jobs you have applied to, including communications, interviews, referrals, and follow-up actions. This will help you build a network of valuable contacts both for your current job search and for any future ones.
Job searching is difficult, and there are times when you will be discouraged. Just keep in mind that everyone has been through the same grind at one point. Try to keep a positive attitude, and look at your job hunt as an exciting challenge.
Your perfect job is out there somewhere. Good luck!
Feel Confident in Your Resume.