“10 STEPS TO FINDING A JOB”
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result” – …Albert Einstein
“Even the turtle never gets anywhere unless it sticks out its neck.” – …Confucius
“If you job hunt like everyone else – you end up like everyone else. Remember, the best people don’t get hired, the people who know how to get hired, get hired.”
It’s no secret that you must master certain skills and mindsets to accomplish almost anything in life. The same applies to job hunting. You must step out of your comfort zone and perform some strategies if you really want to get hired this year.
Here are 10 steps that can help:
1) Understand the reality of job hunting. The right frame of mind is as important for landing a job as how you search. Learn to adjust your job hunting attitudes.
• Job hunting is all about promoting yourself and your talent.
• Know how your talent can benefit a potential employer – realize that the skills you have and may take for granted can help an employer. For most job hunters, what they do for a living may come easy and this is what makes you attractive to a potential hiring manager.
• Know what you need to stop doing and what you must start doing that you are not doing right now.
• Eliminate “toxic” people from your job search, the “nay sayers” that mean well but who tend to undermine your search activities. Expose yourself to positive-minded individuals.
• Don’t play the “blame game” – know that success is the best revenge.
• Plan a job hunt work schedule, then work the plan but be flexible about it.
• Make a commitment to yourself.
• Don’t quit until you succeed.
2) Assess yourself. Identify and write down your skills, values, needs, interests and work habits. Knowing your personality can assist you more easily to determine the right work and the right type of employer. What skills do you have that are transferable into another field? (Example: a sales professional can very easily work as an Admissions Representative for a proprietary school).
3) Determine your objectives. What type of position do you really want? What types of on the job activities are right for you? What type of employer is right for you (large, small, non-profit, corporate)? Do you have geographical preferences? Would you consider a “Plan B” job until your “Plan A “job becomes available? Knowing what you want before you begin a job search can help you zero in on the best targets quickly and effectively.
4) Create a career portfolio. Prepare and gather the following documents and have them ready when needed:
• A resume.
• Your cover letter, post interview “thank you” letter, acceptance and rejection letters.
• Letters of recommendation.
• School or college transcripts, certificates, diplomas, degrees (copies not originals).
• Professional and personal references.
• Awards and/or citations.
• Business cards.
• Copies of your last pay checks.
5) Organize of join a support group. Pulling together 3 – 6 people can help you complete job hunting activities. Call upon friends, relatives, career counselors, religious leaders or professional career counselors. Give each individual a task (such as researching job leads or prospective employers. Ask the team to critique your interview presentation of yourself. A team can do far more than an individual. When you get hired, you can take them all out for lunch.
6) Target employers. Research potential employers and identify those who you think might be a good fit. You can easily start with your last company’s competitors or vendors. Find employers who have a need for your talent, then get the names of individuals at each company who are responsible for the positions you want – even if these positions are not advertised (how 58% of people get hired since many open jobs are not advertised).
7) Apply. Prepare all the necessary cover letters, resumes and supporting documents to apply for employment at each target company. Make sure your documents look professional and then email, “slow” mail or fax them to the person with the power to hire you. Clearly illustrate in your cover letter how you can be of value. Repeat this step until you get hired. Unfortunately, in this computer age, many companies will want you to apply with online applications and you may not have a choice. Do both.
8) Interview. Research the company before you go in – know what the company is all about and how you can contribute to their goals. When called in, dress appropriate with reasonable conservatism (hiring managers see you before they interview you). Smile and be likeable remembering that the most likeable person tends to get hired over the best qualified person even if both have the same qualifications. Have answers prepared for key interview questions “So, tell me about yourself?” “Why did you leave your last job?” “Why do you want to work here?” “: How much money are you looking for?”
9) Accept or reject the job offer. Mail a “Thank You” follow-up letter to each individual who you met with. If you receive an offer, write and state your appreciation, repeat the offer terms and indicate when you are able to start. If rejected, write and state your appreciation for them meeting with you and ask to be considered should a relevant position pen up.
10) Evaluate the process. If you don’t land your target job, as yourself these questions:
• Have I done everything necessary?
• How well did I accomplish each step?
• Where and how can I improve?
• Should I seek the professional assistance of a trained career professional that can get me back on track?
(Job hunters who have the opportunity to work with an outplacement firm generally land a new position 45% quicker than their peers and generally at a higher starting salary).
Barry Cohen has been named to the
“Top 101 Career Counselors …” –
“Best Career Resume Coach”
“One of the Best Resume Career Coaches …!”