Job search is hard, it’s even harder when you haven’t searched for a job in a while or this is your first job search out of college.
When I was first looking for a job, it was hard. I didn’t know anything. My resume was a hot mess, my cover letter was so boring it was putting me to sleep. Plus, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.
Here are some steps I wish I could tell my younger self.
Write it down. You don’t know what you want to do next, but write down all the things you are good at. Things you have done in your last few jobs, and accomplishments. Take a notepad, notebook, and a pencil(because there might be some erasing involved), start making a list. Start with 3-5 things. Expand on those three to five things. Add more things, then expand on those things
Find Jobs that match what you are good at. You have written down things you have learned, things you are good at, now search job titles. Are you an Accountant? Recruiter? Engineer? Administrative Assistant? What do your skills say? Now you will make another list of all the job titles that match your skills and where you want to go.
Search companies that have these positions open and make a list. Now that you have your skills and job titles, target 10 companies. Which companies in your preferred areas have your targeted roles open? Write down those companies names and locations. This can be done either on a piece of paper or an excel document. Research everything about these companies. What industry are they in? What news articles are written about them? When did they open doors for operations? Who is their current CEO or President? Who would be your potential boss? What new/exciting things are they doing? If they asked you about their company, how much would you know about them?
Network with people in your targeted companies. Are they hosting events open to public?(Meetup.com is a great resource for this) Have you found recruiters and hiring managers in those companies on LinkedIn? Do you have anyone in common that you have a good relationship with that can introduce you? Message these people about how interested you are in their organization and the specific position. Let them know you are planning on applying to this role and would love to chat. – Pro tip: Just messaging them without applying will most likely lead you to them telling you to apply on the website.
Create your resume. I know this sounds backwards but trust me, networking will land you in safer waters more often than just blindly applying to every job. What does a good resume consist? Your name, your accurate contact info, your summary, your skills, and your job history.
Apply to the position. Yes, I know ATS is a big bad final boss that no one wants to fight, but it’s an important part of the job search process, especially if you don’t have any referrals within the company. Go through to their website, and apply to the position. It might take you a few minutes or a few hours. It’s frustrating and exhausting, I know, but you don’t want to skip this step.
Step away from the computer and do something else. One of the biggest mistake candidates make is they burn themselves. You apply to 10-100s of jobs every day/week, you will burn yourself out. Once you are done with one application, walk away and take a break.