Making the decision to start searching for a new job is the first step to achieving your career dreams. Listed below are steps to help you begin this endeavor. Whether your decision is to stay in the same job or begin looking for a change, this information is essential for anyone at any stage of his or her career. This section will explain how to begin building your job searching strategy, how to use S.M.A.R.T. goals, resources on figuring out what you want to do, how to build a resume and cover letter and building your personal brand. The advice below will put you ahead of other job seekers and in a better position to find your new job.
- Building a job searching strategy
- Using S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Figuring out what you want to do
- Building the resume and cover letter
- Building your personal brand
Building a job searching strategy
Building a job searching strategy is crucial and it does not matter if you have a job or not, because THIS… will become a full-time job. You may hear that get tossed around, but it really is true. You may hear stories of how some people got a call, went on an interview, and got the job a day later, but the chances of that happening are few and far between. You have to get out there full-time because you DO NOT want to be like any other job seeker; you want to be better. Please visit our recruiting concierge service to make this part of your life even easier and bring that full-time job down to a part-time job; let us do the annoying and boring part for you! We also recommend downloading a free copy of our daily job searching strategy guide on how best to prepare for this venture. Next, you will need to understand how to use each of the job searching mediums to your advantage. See below various angles you should use:
- Headhunters and Executive Recruiters
- Staffing Agencies
- Major Job Search Engines
Using S.M.A.R.T. goals
Of course my goals are smart, what are they dumb? No! We mean S.M.A.R.T. goals. S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R – Relevant, T – Timely. You must use the SMART goals before even beginning to look for a job. Defining your goals will help define your success. As you go through the job searching process, it is important to reference back to your goals and make sure everything that you are doing fits in line.
- S – Specific – “I want to find a job” is not specific. “I want a job doing sales” is better, but still not specific. “I want to find a job in NYC doing sales for a pharmaceutical company”, is much better.
- M – Measureable – How can you measure finding a new job? Just getting the job is not how you measure it. It is measured by all the steps that you take to land that new job. How many jobs are you applying to? How many people are you calling? How many interviews have you gone on? Etc… Our daily job searching guide can help with this.
- A – Attainable – Is what you want even possible? Do you have the required sales experience? If not, then your goal may not be attainable.
- R – Relevant – Find out why I do not believe in the “R” in SMART goals – (Click Here!)
- T – Timely – Is this the right time for your goal? A correctly timed goal will create urgency and help you achieve it.
Figuring out what you want to do
There are many schools of thought on people telling you what to do with your career; quizzes and tests, career coaches, books, friends, family and yourself. We are not here to tell you what is right or wrong or which medium you should use. We are here, to empower you to figure out what you want to do. Before worrying about interviewing, you must figure out where you want your career to go and what you want to do for the rest of your life. Look at it from this perspective; when you are driving somewhere and you have no idea where you are going it feels like it takes FOREVER to get there; but then on your way home, it feels so quick, almost as if you were 10 minutes away from home. Have you ever wondered why it felt like that? When you don’t know where you are going, it takes forever, but once that is fixed and you know where you are, it’s a breeze. Use this analogy and apply it to your career. When you graduate college and are in your 20’s, it is your time to discover what you love. From there, it’s just moving up within that career. Doesn’t that sound easy and fun? But wait, that did not happen! For many people, it doesn’t and they do not find they’re career choice and until their 30’s, 40’s or even their 50’s. No matter where you are in the stages of life, there is always time to reevaluate your choices and find what is right for you. Below are some resources for you to consider:
- Books: A Better Interview recommends the following books. Click Here
- Career Coaches: Career Coaches are great resources that can help you find out what you want to do. While they can sometimes be costly, depending on your particular situation, a few dollars for a lifetime career is invaluable. We recommend that you utilize your network to find a great Career Coach. Those that come referred will work the best.
- Friends and Family: Sometimes, friends and family know you better than you know yourself. Speak with them and see if they can point you in the right direction.
- You: What is your passion in life? What do you love to do? What are your hobbies? At times in our life we should be focused on reflection.
It is important to reflect on whether or not you are truly happy with your career choice. If you are not, think about what has always made you happy. The key is taking the risk. You may be in a stable job with good pay and benefits but unhappy. Our recommendation is for you to use our Recruiting Concierge service and let us help find that dream job for you.
Building the resume and cover letter
This is a section that we could dedicate another website too because it is that critical. Your resume is usually the first way prospective employers learn about you. It is essential that it is the best it can be and has been reviewed by a professional. Your resume needs to be optimized for two areas:
- The company ATS viewing it.
- The company recruiter/hiring manager viewing it.
You may be asking what is a company ATS. It stands for Applicant Tracking System and they are what most companies uses (usually companies over 250 employees). It does exactly what it sounds like, tracks applicants, better yet, it tracks you. The larger the company you are applying for, the more sophisticated the ATS system. They are known as PeopleSoft, Oracle, SAP, Taleo, BrassRing, and Kenexa. These ATS systems are used to track your progress from the moment you hit submit to their online application. From there, it has all the information you filled out and immediately goes through a filter process. Since these companies are so large, their in-house recruiters do not have time to filter through thousands of applications; they let technology do it for them. These ATS systems look for keywords, as they relate to the job you applied for, and see if you are a fit. Basically, you can meet all the qualifications, but if you have a poorly written resume, your information will not be viewed by a human. It is imperative that your resume is optimized to bypass this step. The second stage is your resume being viewed by either the corporate recruiter or hiring manager. This is when they will be looking for actual content, not keywords. This process is the most critical; this is where they will be selecting who they want to speak with and you want to be sure that it is you.
Now that you know the process, get your resume reviewed Click Here. Let us take a look at what you have written already so that we can provide resume tips and pointers.
Building your personal brand
In today’s world, your personal brand is your resume. It is so important that whole companies have created a new industry called ORM (Online Reputation Management). Since the Internet is used so frequently in today’s world, we need to be sure that the reputation that we build online is one that is positive and professional. Most of us are connecting to so many different sites every day, whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr or YouTube; these sites can become your resume. For example, the pictures you post on Facebook from last weekend and pictures you are posting on Tumblr can say volumes on the character you have. Now if you are already on these platforms, you may be thinking, “well that’s okay because I have it all blocked so no one can see it.” There is a way around everything. Human Resources professionals are becoming trickier in today’s society. Some may create a “dummy” profile and friend you on Facebook to find out who may know you or see pictures you have posted. Using these avenues, they can find their way to your pictures and information. Below are personal branding tips and pointers on how to present yourself in the best way possible. While we want to provide you with as much information as possible, you will need to put in a lot of effort. Don’t be afraid to do the research!
- Social Media – Please visit our social media tab Social Media on how to create your profiles on a variety of different platforms.
- Industry niche blogs – No matter the profession, there will be an industry specific blog for you and more often than not, there will be hundreds. Join the community and add your insight. It’s a fun way to give your opinion and meet new people. There are always questions being posed and new topics to debate. Everything you write/post on these blogs can be and will be viewed by prospective employers. If they see you are becoming an industry thought leader, you could become highly sought after.
- Geographical blogs – Just like the above, there are blogs dedicated to your specific geographical region. You will want to find the ones that related to your career or a career are you looking to break into. These blogs will host all of the local people you need to get in touch with. Again, this will help you become an industry thought leader and show prospective companies that you are the person they need to hire.
- Local network events – This is a great way to meet new local people in your area, but more importantly network with industry professionals. Think of it as a career event where you introduce yourself to as many people as possible and share your industry knowledge.
- Website resume – This is a great way to make your resume accessible to employers instantly. Did you know you can buy a website from BlueHost for $3.95 a month? Learn some simple HTML and you will have your own site up and running in less than an hour. This shows the prospective employer that you are technologically savvy and someone with high learning agility. You can also add this link to your resume or simply send the link in your emails. Include it in all of your Social Media websites, your blogs and put it on a business card when you go to networking events. It’s an easy way to get more people to view your professional background.
- Your network – You may not think of your personal network as your brand, but is 100%. The people you associate with and the people who know you most (friends, family and old/current co-workers) will be the ones who refer you to a new job or become your personal references. What people say about you will create your brand. While there is not much you can control in this arena, it is important to be aware of it. Work hard and always give 100%, think of others before yourself and you will have nothing to worry about.