Developing a winning job search strategy.
Looking for a new job can be hard. When you've been out of work, even for a few weeks, it can seem hopeless. The job market is making a comeback, but finding a great job still takes work. The best way to stay positive about your search and have the confidence you need to find the right opportunity is to plan a strategic job search. Plan out your day and target the activities that will give you the best results.
- Do your homework - Research your desired career field and target the companies that offer jobs that you want. Spend some time learning about the corporate culture and seeing where you would fit best. Once you have a list of companies you want to work for, you'll know how to direct your efforts. Find out if you have friends who work for those companies or know people who do.
- Get networking - Your network is one of the most valuable resources you have. Touch base with your friends, family and professional contacts. Don't be ashamed of your current job situation. Keep positive and ask them if they know of anyone who is hiring in your field. Believe it or not, most people find jobs through the people the know. If your network is small, take advantage of every job fair or professional conference and start meeting people.
- Volunteer - When you lose your job, it's easy to feel alone and lost. To give some meaning to your day, consider volunteering with an organization that you care about. No matter what you do, you have skills and talents to offer. Volunteering will help get you out of the house and it's also a great way to meet new people.
- Confidence, confidence - Don't let depression get the better of you. When you feel beat down and desperate, it shows. Employers want to hire confident people, so do what you can to keep your spirits up. Some people seem to think that if you don't have a job, you ought to be miserable and spend every moment filling out applications. This isn't true. Take time to nurture yourself and spend time with the people you love.
- Consider other jobs - If you're having trouble finding a job in your field, maybe it's time to consider a career change. Make a list of your skills and talents and think about other fields where those skills will be helpful. Maybe you'll need to get more training or take a few classes. If you keep an open mind, you could find a great job doing something you love, even if it wasn't what you were looking for at first.
- Always follow up - Whenever you are given a job lead, fill out an application or go to a job interview, always follow up. After an interview, you should always send a thank-you note. After sending in a resume or filling out an application, it's appropriate to touch base every couple of weeks. Of course, if the company requests that you not contact them, honor it.
What do you think about this list? Have you created a strategic job search plan? Why or why not?
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for LogisticsJobsiteBlog and Beyond.com, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.