Top 10 Job Search Tips

Searching for a new job feels like a job in itself.  How can you speed up the process?

Be prepared.

Get a new email account just for your job search, maybe even specific to the field.  Make sure it sounds professional, and doesn’t mention kittens, unless you want to work for a pet store.  Email addresses are not the occasion to highlight hobbies, nicknames, or charming personality traits. You must answer your phone, check your messages, and have a professional voicemail greeting.  Return all calls and emails in a timely manner. Put your cell phone number on your resume.

Be more than prepared.

Your resume must be up to date, especially on LinkedIn.  This is the professional’s networking tool. Create a profile and start making connections with people in your field.  People want to feel helpful.

Don’t wait to file for unemployment.

File for unemployment right away, to ease the stress during a possible employment gap.  You can usually file online or by phone. Waiting can delay your benefits check, so ask a friend if the process seems foreign to you.

Get help without spending cash.

Utilize free or cheap career counseling services.  Show up at your college career center. Ask around at the local library and state Department of Labor offices.  Many libraries and local meetup groups offer community services that can help you add to your job skills, network, and learn interview techniques, etc..  Libraries offer the added bonus of the computer labs. Take advantage of their printers, as printing is an expensive resource.

Use job search engines.

Job search engines are growing databases that link companies to employees.  Take advantage of their ability to do some of the searching for you. They represent job boards, company sites, and associations in one centralized job search step for you.

Get job opening notifications by email.

Once you sign up for job alerts, you will get notified of job opportunities that meet your criteria.  You can usually choose the frequency of alerts.

Time savers.

You can sign up for professional services.  While it costs money, it reduces the time you spend not making any.  These services are designed to produce professional results. Remember that as you weigh your options.

Have your references ready.

Your references must include the name, job title, company, phone number, and email address.  Contact your references early and ask for their permission, so that that you can have a printed copy of your references on hand for interviews.  Some places still accept reference letters that you draft and have your former supervisors sign. Have these ready to present upon request.

Use your network.

Be aware that many job openings aren’t posted anywhere.  Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work, and ask for their help.  Ask them if they know someone who can be helpful. Be appreciative when they give you suggestions.  Remember, they like to feel helpful, and shutting them down may discourage them from contacting you later, when they have another lead.

Get social.

Networking is one of the gifts of social media.   Build your network in advance. Companies do post on Twitter and Facebook.  Make sure that LinkIn is up to date. Present your most professional self in your profile.  Scrub it clean of sensationalism and emotional drama. Company representatives will peruse your sight to see whether you are a good fit for their team.

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For additional assistance contact: JumpStart Resumes

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