With the reported increase in the number of persons reentering the job market – apparently confirmed by the rise in last month’s unemployment rate – now is an opportune time to review the basics of conducting an effective job search.
First, know yourself. Make certain that you are applying for jobs which will meet your minimal needs: financial and professional. Prepare a budget so you know what your annual expenses are. Remember, your number is net; your salary needs to be gross. And think about the type of place you want to work. Are you looking for professional growth? Do you prefer a mission-based company or a bottom-line oriented company? Do you prefer a traditional IBM-type blue suit, white shirt, red tie atmosphere, or a Google-atmosphere where just wearing some clothes is acceptable? There are no right or wrong answers, it’s just what makes you comfortable.
Second, prepare a list of all the companies where you want to work – but the dream jobs and the realistic. You’ll need the list for stage three of the process.
Third, networking. Look at your list and find out where the company’s leadership and key staff spend their time. It’s not difficult to do. Find them on LinkedIn and Google them to learn about their activities. It’s amazing what you’ll discover. And don’t forget to volunteer at non-profits. Serving on committees is a great way to expand your network.
Fourth, applying for jobs. Keep your cover letter short, sweet and to the point. If it takes more than 10 seconds to read, it’s too long! All you have to do is tell the recipient what position you are applying for and why they should consider you. That’s basically it. And then in the resume, focus on accomplishments. Remember, your job search is all about the employer’s needs, not your wants!
Fifth, when you get the interview, immediately frame the discussion around how you can make the interviewer’s life easier. That’s what employers want, so give it to them.
To learn more, join me on July 2, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library branch, 188 Madison Avenue, New York for my presentation, How to Conduct an Effective Job Search. Pre-registration is not required.