The Job Search

When I was writing this article, I immediately focused on the first step in your job search. Then, it occurred to me that before you begin your search, it would be logical to know where you want to go! Where do you want your job search to take you?

Unless you have worked prior to school, you may not know exactly what you “want to do when you grow up.” That’s normal because college is supposed to open up your mind to many possibilities. The reality is that you may start off in one area and move around as you develop in your career.  But, you’re here…now.

What are your skills and personality type?

So, before you start your job search, do your best to determine where you want to go, what you’d like to do and be realistic about your current skills. One aspect of setting goals can be helpful is identifying your personality type. Monster.com has a simple 10-minute self-assessment, based on Meyers-Briggs

Your “type” reveals important things about you, such as whether you’re naturally more outgoing or reserved, realistic or imaginative, logical or sensitive, and organized or spontaneous. And the more closely your type matches the job’s requirements, the happier and more successful you’ll be.

Check it out at:     http://tools.monster.com/perfectcareer/

Before the arrival of the Internet, getting information about the activities that make up a job search was truly hard to find. Many job seekers would hire a firm to find them a job that would include everything from writing a resume, finding potential employers, interviewing and how to close the deal and negotiate for a salary.

Now, it’s all at your fingertips. With little effort, you can find all of the information that you need to do an effective job search on the Internet. Even by logging onto monster.com, you can get a wealth of information that they offer free to everyone.

O.K., your resume is content rich, done in a professional format and easy to read.  Where do you start on your search?

Networking…the foundation of your job search!

Your current network can provide a starting place. But, let’s assume you don’t have one.  As you start your search — and throughout your career — develop a list (yes, write it down) of contacts.  Being new to the full-time job market, your network should contain contacts at all of some of the following:

Ÿ  Professionals you met or worked with during an internship

Ÿ  Professionals you’ve met at meetings or events

Ÿ  Part-time jobs and summer jobs

Ÿ  Contacts through friends and family

Ÿ  Presenters in your class(es) from the business world

Ÿ  Suggestions from your professors

Ÿ  Alumni from your college

Learn from the “Queen of Networking”

In her book, “Nonstop Networking,” Andrea Nierenberg suggests that you should identify the people with whom you want to build relationships, such as:

  1. Customer or clients
  2. Suppliers
  3. Neighbors
  4. Like-minded people
  5. People you meet by chance
  6. Friends
  7. Family

Many people feel uncomfortable networking outside of their own circle of friends and acquaintances. If that’s the case for you, consider strengthening your skills in what Ms. Nierenberg calls “The Seven Traits of Great Networkers”:

Ÿ  Appear confident and are not afraid to ask questions.

Ÿ  Appreciate those who help them

Ÿ  Consistently nurture their relationships

Ÿ  Are tenacious in going around obstacles

Ÿ  Are excellent listeners

Ÿ  Rebound quickly and completely from rejection

Ÿ  Are friendly and approachable

Six Steps to conduct an effective job search

JOBTRAK has an excellent Six Step Process that is designed to help college students and alumni conduct successful job searches.

“Successful job seekers must have both good information and well-developed job hunting skills. Three important factors for a successful job search are an awareness of your goals and skills, an understanding of the labor market, and a well planned job search campaign.

Experts recommend that you begin an active job search six to nine months in advance of your target employment date. You can begin the process by visiting the Career Center early (for students, nine months to a year before graduation).”

You can get the Six Step Process at the following URL:

http://www2.jobtrak.com/help_manuals/jobmanual/

Three key ingredients to a successful job search…

…Be enthusiastic                                  …

…Keep yourself motivated

…Network, network, network!

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