How to Begin a Job Search

How to Begin a Job Search

The job search process is challenging and requires thorough preparation. Whether it's your first time applying for work, or you've been in the workforce for years, it's important to keep up to date with where to begin. From a customized resume to prioritizing networking and presenting achievements effectively, how you begin your job search is critical to the time you spend looking for a job and the role you land.

Know Who to Target in your Job Search

The first step in your job search preparation is identifying the industry you're aiming to get into and your target companies. This step in the process is crucial, so don't slack on your time spent researching. Once you know who you want to work for, it's time to do some serious digging.

Read articles on current industry trends and follow industry leaders on social media. If you already have companies in mind, be familiar with their values and objectives. Use this research to create a pitch that demonstrates true interest for personalized cover letters and interviews.

Don't limit yourself to one dream company. A simple Google search will reveal other names in your industry of choice that should be on your radar when the ultimate job goal is inaccessible. LinkedIn also provides a 'Similar Companies' feature with six suggestions that align with your interests. Creating a spreadsheet to keep track of all of this can be a big help.

Regardless of whether the company you have your eye on is listing job vacancies or not, make a connection. Send a self-introduction to an employee of the company on LinkedIn, or find an email address on the website to email your resume. This could give you an edge over other applicants.

Resumes are Vital for Job Search Preparation

Once you know who to contact, you need to have the appropriate materials. This starts with a solid resume. Nowadays, more and more companies use systems to screen resumes before anyone even sees them. Therefore, you not only need to have industry-specific content, but it should also be keyword-optimized. Usually, these keywords are not top secret. You can figure them out in the job description or in the values and vision section on the company's website.

Present your achievements with actual data and statistics. Rather than 'Responsible for social media insights' put 'Increased Twitter interactions by 200% monthly'. Recruiters need to know how you contributed in your prior roles. Write this concisely. Resumes shouldn't be longer than one page unless you have a wealth of experience to boast about.

You're also going to use your cover letter to market yourself. Having a basic cover letter as a foundation is fine, but remember to tailor it for every job you apply for. That same keyword screening system will be used for this document. Using this letter to demonstrate how your interests align with a company's values can be more powerful than a resume of achievements.

Job Search Preparation Means Making Connections

Who you know matters immeasurably. Whether you realize it or not, you're exposed to opportunities every time you interact with someone. School alumni, family friends, social media connections, or even your daily barista; these people know other people who know someone who just might have a job for you.

Although applying through job boards is a necessary step, making connections can prove to be even more valuable to your job search. Every interaction generated by applying on a job board is an opportunity to add a connection to your network.

Remember that networking doesn't have to happen in person. Utilize your social media to showcase your experiences and interest. With an updated and active LinkedIn, interact with people within your target industry to show your genuine interest and eagerness. Entering an interview as a referral creates immediate trust, relaxes the atmosphere, and can ultimately save you months of job searching.

Time to Begin

Organized job search preparation is crucial when beginning to look for work. Often you will be amongst a large pool of people interested in the same job you are. Know who you're targeting and come prepared with a pitch. Make connections wherever you go and don't be scared to mention that you're searching for a job. Begin your job search with clear intentions and a positive attitude and you'll be working in no time!

Written by Career Specialist Jan 25, 2023
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