This post could also be called “How Not to Make Your Job Hunt a Total Waste of Time.” Why? Because if you don’t take these 5 steps before you start, you won’t know if your job search strategies will get you hired, or do the exact opposite.
Sit down and think about what you want your next job to be.
What are your needs, goals, strengths and interests?
Equally important, what are your weaknesses and dislikes?
If the job openings in your current career or industry are scarce, what related fields or positions might your skills translate to?
To get ideas, you could take a career assessment test; there are a number of free ones on the Internet.
Research potential jobs.
Once you’ve come up with a list of possible career paths and industries, learn more about them to decide on your top choices to pursue. This could include:
Companies in your area who might employ you
Develop a search strategy.
Now that you know what types of positions you want to go after, you can decide which sources of job information will work for you:
Headhunters and recruiters specializing in your field
Industry-specific job websites
Your own network
Company or college/alumni career services
Cold contact (send your resume to a company you want to work for even if they’re not hiring)
Prepare your marketing tools.
These are all the ways that you will make an impression on a potential employer. They should be tailored to the job you’re applying for, and represent you as professional and error-free down to the smallest detail. There are many online templates, examples and services that can help you with this. You will need:
Memorized answers to common interview questions
Polish up your public image.
Almost all recruiters these days Google job candidates. So before they get a chance, Google yourself, see what comes up and remove anything that might scare them off. This includes not only the no-brainers like sex, drunkenness, bigotry and violent threats against previous bosses, but also poor grammar and spelling that could brand you as uneducated. And that’s just the beginning.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. (Keep private posts private.)
Linkedin (Updated with your current job goals.)
Email address (Good: email@example.com. Bad: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Now that you’ve completed these 5 steps, you know which job openings to target, where to look for them, and how to make the right impression after you’ve found them. You’re ready for a successful job hunt!