Every day we hear how difficult finding a job can be, but in the same breath, we hear of someone obtaining a new one. How does that happen? I believe there are people who search for any job, no job, or the right job. How do you decide what jobs to apply for? What about all those job applications you have to fill out, then tweaking your resume to fit each job description, and finally you play the waiting game.
To begin, you need to have an idea of the types of jobs you want to look for. This means the type of environment you want to work in as well as the hours you want to work, and if it’s a job that you will enjoy. You want the job to be a good fit so think about what you bring to the table what S.T.A.G. you have,S.T.A.G. being your Skills, Talents, Abilities, and Goals. In her book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job, Dana Manciagli said, “Industries are not jobs. But it is a start as it is good to have some interest in an industry or two. However, much more important is to know what type of job, based on the skills you have from your past experiences(including what you are not good at). Focus more on the function or department you see yourself working in.” It’s vital when looking for a job to really know yourself and what you want from your job and to not just take any job, but one you will enjoy.
As you look for jobs on LinkedIn or Indeed.com read through the job descriptions carefully and look at what the job is really asking for. Does the company want someone with good communication skills, or a lot of experience in the field? Think of the job description as a contract where reading the fine print is a MUST!
Let’s say you found 2-5 jobs to apply for and then you start filling out job applications and they are asking for TMI, things you don’t remember and you realize that you don’t have all the answers! What do you do? Most online jobs have a short form you fill out and many require that you create an account with their site and then take you to the actual application. What I have learned from employers is that one of their pet peeves is when applicants fail to completely fill out the job application, this takes it to the discard pile immediately. Be sure to complete the application to get you one step closer to a job.
Now that you understand job apps, let’s look at your resume. Your resume needs to be tailored to every job you apply for. This means that you will tweak it with keywords from the job description. Your resume needs to be neat, clean, and easy to read. The format should be consistent, your name should stand out, and remember include a profile summary, not an objective. Your reference should be on a separate page with your contact info at the top. (For more info see my blog on resumes)
Congrats! You have sent off your job applications along with your proofread by someone other than you resume. Does this mean that you now do nothing but sit around in sweats watching Netflix? No, it means you are proactive! You are now making connections on LinkedIn, networking and talking to people about your job search process. This is a time that your elevator pitch really comes into play During this time, you may apply for more jobs or volunteer to gain experience, don’t be idle.
Applying for jobs can be tedious and time consuming so make sure you apply for jobs you really want so you make the most of your time. The process is so worth it, when you land a great job. It’s important to be active in the job hunt and let everyone know about it. As you go through the process, you will learn new things and be on your way to a finding the job that is right for you.