Planning for a Job Search

by sysop in Applying for a Job, Looking for a Job, On the Job 101

by Liz Hine

If you are facing a job transition, there are so many overwhelming aspects to the process. Here are a few tips to help you get started in your search. Over the coming weeks, we’ll flesh out some of the steps in this process in more detail.

1. Understand what you are looking for, and be able to articulate it well – A better environment? Opportunity for advancement? More money?

2. Develop a strategy for your search – How many jobs will you apply to each day? How will you track them? How will you make sure you aren’t applying for the same job twice?

3. Get your application materials together

Most applications will need similar information:

a. Resume – tailored to the job and industry you are applying to

b. Cover Letter – custom letter for that position and organization

c. Employment History

d. References

4. Ask someone (or a few people) you trust to proofread your materials – The more eyes you can have on your materials the better.

5. Update your LinkedIn profile – Make sure your profile reflects your experiences and highlights areas where you’d like to continue growing.

6. Start reaching out to your network – Let people you trust know what kinds of opportunities you might be open to. Ask them to keep an ear open for potential roles within their organizations or through their own network. (And don’t forget to thank them if one of their leads pays off!)

7. Start applying for jobs – If you’re looking for a job in the free market movement, check our earlier post about free market job resources to get some ideas on places to start your search.

8. Be wary of over communicating – Sometimes being overzealous in your job search can come across as desperate, which isn’t the impression that you want to give a potential employer. Stay poised through the process, and if an employer tells you to check back (or you will hear back) within a certain period of time, abide by that.

9. Keep your chin up! – Job searches can take a while sometimes. Keeping a positive attitude in the face of the stress and exhaustion will speak highly about your character. Remember to speak honestly but professionally about your current or previous employers – no one wants to hire someone who is overly critical or negative.

If you follow these steps and take things one day at a time, you’ll be way ahead of the curve. Do you have questions about specific aspects of the job search process? We’d love to be a resource in answering those questions.