How to Look For a Job
Looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself. A job campaign is composed of these three steps: research, preparation and the job search.
Yourself: Take stock of yourself. Know what kind of a person you are.
What you should consider:
- Interests - hobbies, sports, reading, preferences, amusements
- Motivations - career, money, status, satisfaction, training
- Abilities - verbal, mathematical, mechanical, artistic
- Personality - outgoing, diligent,task oriented, persuasive
Position Desired: Evaluate what you want from a job and what you bring to it.
Determine if you are educationally and temperamentally prepared.
Consider physical as well as mental requirements.
Keep in mind your long range objectives, e.g. accepting a lower paying job may prepare you better for future responsibilities.
Read books on job hunting. Some contain descriptions of specific occupations: entry level and advanced jobs, requirements, functions, salaries. Others describe job-hunting techniques: researching employers, writing resumes and application letters, planning interviews.
Fields and Organizations: Study the field(s) of your choice for present fiscal health and future growth potential. Identify organizations best suited to your needs (size, location, leadership, products/services, benefits).
Directories and trade journals provide information about the business and names of personnel. Consult these to learn about organizations you are already considering and additional prospects.
Annual reports give details of company activities during the year such as, finances, new developments, mergers, acquisitions, problems.
Newspapers list job openings in Classified/Advertising and other sections. Trade journals also carry notices of available positions.
Read between the lines. Jobs result when branch offices are opened, executives transferred, contracts awarded, new buildings planned, laws passed, legislators elected, governments changed, etc.
List of Employers: Based on your research, generate a target list of organizations to approach.
- Get the company's name, address and telephone number.
- Identify the name and title of the appropriate person to contact.
Resume: When you know what job you are looking for, prepare a resume which describes what you can do for the employer.
The resume is a written picture of you. Indicate the kinds of problems you faced, how you handled them, and the results.
Letters: A cover letter accompanies a resume. Its purpose is to indicate the position for which you are applying, to address the highlights in the resume and, hopefully, lead to an interview. Write a variety of letters depending upon your needs and the circumstances:
- Applying for an existing job opening
- Exploring the possibility of employment in the future
- Seeking information about a particular career field or specific organization.
Where to Job Search
Ads and Agencies: Investigate existing job openings.
Answer ads in newspapers, trade and professional journals.
Ads in classified advertising sections of newspapers quickly give you an idea of the types of jobs available.
Networking: Use all contacts: former employers, recruiters, friends, professors, classmates. If possible, get introductions to potential employers. Attend professional and trade conferences to begin networking.
Write to companies on your prospect list. Send an individually typed cover letter to a specific person within each company.
State your reason for writing; mention a few of your credentials, and request an interview or appointment. State when you will telephone to confirm the appointment.
Include a resume with your letter.
Keep all leads going at once. Do not put off one lead until you hear from another.
Use the Internet: While not designed to replace other means of looking for a job, the Internet can be a valuable tool in your job search. Sites such as Monster.com and Hotjobs.com allow you to post your resume online for employers to view, as well as search a database for existing openings across the country in the field or industry of your choice. This can be an especially useful means of conducting a long distance job search. However, nothing can replace personal contact, so as with all methods of locating potential employers, follow up is key!