According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you probably will change jobs 10-12 times in your working life. You will also likely make at least three major career changes. So, learning how to job search is an important skill. Having a job search strategy can set you up for success. Here are some recommendations to use to get you started.
Know What You Want
Add this step into your job search strategy to focus your search. Before you start applying, take a blank sheet of paper and list what the ideal job would look like for you right now. Include pay, hours, location, kind of company, and transportation. Full-time, part-time, flexible hours, on-site, mostly remote? Are you looking for a large stable company, a non-profit, a local business? Is this a career-building position, or are you looking for a life-boat job to cover bills until external conditions improve?
You do not have to take very long on this exercise but having your basic needs down will help you plan out your next steps. It will also help you use search engines to find your next job if you can be more specific. Imagine the different results between searching for “jobs near me” and “Full-time on-site jobs within ten miles of me.”
If you want to do a deeper dive into what work might best suit you, the Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration has a website called My Next Move. You can take interest assessment tests and research careers. You can also find suggestions to use on your resume for relevant skills and keywords to use for your job search.
Get Your Tool Kit Together
Write or revise a good base resume to have on hand to tailor. This resume template from an article on the CNBC career site is a great place to start. We have some further tips on this blog. You will want to set up a professional email address and an outgoing voicemail message on your phone. Set up or update your LinkedIn profile if you are going to make social media part of your job search strategy.
You will want to have a basic cover letter and a list of your former employer addresses too. Let two or three former managers or professional references know that you are job searching and ask for permission in advance to use them as references. Ask them which phone and email they would be comfortable sharing on applications and set up a list with their contact information.
Keep all your job-hunting documents in one place – preferably online on something like Google Drive. That way, if you are out and about and someone asks you to send a resume, you can send it right away from your phone.
Track Your Progress
If you are applying to 10 or 20 positions a week, you will have a hard time remembering all the details. If a potential employer calls you, you do not want to ask them what position you applied for. Set up a straightforward spreadsheet or word document with the Date, Company Name, Job Title, Pay Rate, a website link, and any notes you might need – including logins you had to create to apply. Keep this open on one tab while you are online applying and keep it updated. The other great thing about keeping a tracking spreadsheet is that it will keep you accountable for accomplishing your search goals. At the end of a week of job searching, you will be able to see what you have accomplished.
Do some self-assessment, gather all your tools in one place, and track your progress to launch an effective job search strategy. You can find some tips specific to job hunting during the pandemic here. Have more questions? Contact us-we’d love to help you find your next great job.