For many of us, finding employment can be a difficult and often stressful endeavor. Your job search doesn’t have to be this way. Having a proper plan and the right resources will help you streamline your efforts to succeed in an organized and strategic manner. These days there are many outlets available to help with the process of finding employment. It’s even possible to hire a career coach to help you navigate through each step. While this can be very beneficial, it’s worth taking advantage of the extremely useful free resources out there before deciding to pay a professional. We’ve put together an effective step by step guide that includes beneficial resources to guide you through a successful job hunt.
Make A Plan
Wondering where to start? Creating a solid plan will help you to organize your time, keep track of job listings and set goals for yourself. You may prefer to create this plan digitally using programs such as Google Sheets and Trello, or you may be more comfortable using pen and paper, either will get the job done.
Use this planning stage to write down things you need to accomplish in this job hunt. This would include items like creating or updating your resume, practicing interview skills, buying interview clothing etc. Give yourself deadlines on when you set out to complete these items by to keep yourself on a schedule.
Begin with some self-reflection to determine what type of career path you’d like to pursue. Reflect on previous jobs and what you liked and disliked about each. You can find a lot of information regarding wages, employment trends and career profiles using the below resources:
These sites give you an opportunity to look into what it’s like to work for specific companies. Learn from individuals with first-hand experience in the field when you read and watch videos from a variety of different jobs. In this research phase, narrow down the scope of your search and make a list of keywords, job titles, and industries you would like to explore.
Update Your Resume
With an idea of the career you plan on pursuing, updating or creating your resume is the next step. Take a look at your experience and determine what qualities and previous jobs you would like to highlight. This is also a good time to begin writing your Cover Letter. Your cover letter will need to be adjusted to the specific positions you apply to but at this point, you can get down a nice summary of your skills and show off your best assets. Later in the process, your cover letter will be tailored to further fit the job you’re applying to.
If you feel like you could use more education, training or certifications to make you a stronger candidate, explore this resource.
Search & Apply
With a solid resume in hand, you are now ready to begin your job search. Use sites such as the below to find local opportunities to apply for:
When using multiple platforms to send out applications it can be difficult to keep track. Consider using a spreadsheet to record which positions you applied to and when.
Build A Network
Once you have sent out a few applications, begin networking with people in the industry. Social media outlets provide a good platform for this. This can be as simple as sending an email asking about someone’s experience or setting up a time to meet them in person and discussing the ins and outs of the field. Follow individuals that inspire you on social media to learn from their experiences. LinkedIn and MeetUp are good places to find individuals or groups to reach out to.
Finding the right job is hard work and doesn't happen in an instant. The process can take a few weeks or even a few months. Networking can help to keep you motivated and will help sharpen your communication skills. Keeping to a schedule is important and be sure to give yourself time to breathe if feeling overwhelmed. With an organized plan, these useful tools and a positive attitude, you're on the road to success!