Tips for Your Successful Job Search for the Rest of 2018

Get the practical advice you need to obtain the job you want.
Tips for Your Successful Job Search for the Rest of 2018

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You want to find a job this year, and the good news is that you have more job search tools than ever at your disposal. The bad news, there are so many ways to conduct a search, it can become overwhelming. When your search gets overwhelming we encourage you to break the search down into smaller pieces and streamline the process. What does it mean to streamline the process though, much less break your efforts down into smaller pieces? It looks something like this:

  1. Understand Your Motivation and What You Want From Your Career
  2. Be Thoughtful About Your Job Search Strategy
  3. Use the Proper Tools To Tell Your Story

Let’s unpack these pieces step by step, so you can go find a job..

Understand Your Motivation and What You Want From Your Career

Ask yourself what your motivation is in searching and what it is you want from work? Think about what is most important to you in your career. Is it more responsibility or new challenges? Or are you interested in learning new things?

Take a moment to step back and ask yourself these questions. If your answer is more money, keep challenging yourself to go deeper. If it’s just about the number on your W2 at the end of the year, you may find yourself dissatisfied with your decisions.

Be Thoughtful About Your Job Search Strategy

As you explore your motivations, take time as well to ask yourself whether you are looking for a position that builds on your existing skills or whether you are pursuing your career goals. The former may lead you to a position that is similar, or worse, than the one you have, while the latter offers more possibilities in terms of your search and future opportunities. Then take a moment to also ask yourself what the three to four things are that you want to do or improve upon and then develop a plan to achieve them.

At this stage, it’s also important to assess whether you can achieve your career goals in your current role or organization. It’s always easier to work within a system you know than entering a new one. And so if you are feeling stuck in your current role, or not seeing the career progression that you’d like, consider a lateral move at your current organization that will put you in a position to better your situation over the next three to five years.

If you choose to make a move however, take the time to explore what your skills pay in the field you're interested in entering. While it’s not about money, money will always be a factor, and it’s good to think about where you fit. It may also be that you can fill a niche in another field. This also means that you want to be honest about your skills, both with yourself and with your potential employer. You will be found out, and quickly, if you’re not honest, and this is not how you want to transition to the next stage of your career.

It also helps to understand the ecosystem of where you're applying, how they function day to day, the office culture, whether there is support for the position that you’re interested in. So do your homework and ask questions, and get to know this new space before you get into it.

Also, don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars, just be prepared to re-calibrate if you aren’t getting the offers or opportunities that you are most interested in. This may involve different types of jobs or industries. It may also mean that you consider contractual work that allows you to build new skills in new industries, as well as build upon your personal story and where you hope it will take you.

 

Use the Proper Tools To Tell Your Story

As you frame your motivations and focus on strategy, you can start mapping these steps to your personal story or narrative. What has brought you to this point? What are you influences? What skills have you built along the way and what have you learned about yourself? It’s your story that differentiates you from everyone else looking for a job, it makes you unique and you want to own that.

Resume

Your resume is a reflection of your story, but it can tell a story too. You want it to be engaging, focused on accomplishments and filled with plenty of white space and bullets. You want it to be unique, and just different enough to stand out, but not too much. It’s also important to note, that those hiring are looking for any reasons they can to eliminate candidates and you want to ensure that there are no errors or odd fonts. Be sure as well to adapt your resume to the job description you’re looking at. Your resume will only receive a quick look, and you want it to count.

Cover Letter

A cover letter is not merely a recitation of your resume, it is an opportunity to dig more deeply into the areas of your resume, and your story, that you want to further illustrate. Similar to the resume however, you want it to be neat and tight, no errors, not too wordy, filled with white space and readable fonts. It will also be most effective when it is adapted to the job you are pursuing and you take the time to use key words from the job description itself.  

We also want to emphasize that cover letters aren’t always necessary, and if there isn’t a formal request for one, sometimes a well written and succinct email with a resume has a better chance of being read.

LinkedIn

And then there is LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to share both your story and a slimmed-down version of your resume. It also offers you the opportunity to connect with people working on the jobs you want and in the companies and industries you wish to work in. The opportunities to connect here are expansive, take the time to learn the platform and be sure you’re telling a consistent story across your resume, your cover letters and LinkedIn as well.

All of these tools are mechanical in their way, and necessary, something to be crafted and perfected, on paper and online. What cannot be overlooked however, is the need to also connect with people in person, attending industry meetups, social events and job fairs. You are almost always better off sending a resume to someone you know then randomly applying for jobs. When you can, work through an external recruiter or employee referral rather than applying online. This helps ensure that someone actually reviews your resume and gives you a better chance at getting feedback and/or an interview, which is of course the ultimate goal, being in a position to obtain the job you want.

Final Thoughts

You want to find a job this year. The opportunities to search for one are many, but it can be overwhelming. Break your search down into parts, small steps that will lead to success. What are these steps? They are the following:

Understand your motivations, and stay focused on career goals.

Craft your personal narrative and then map it to the proper tools, including your resume, cover letters and LinkedIn page.

Don’t forget though to go out and meet people, seeking opportunities at organizations you want to work for by building personal connections.

Also, remember that you are unique, that you need to own who you are and that the goal is to differentiate yourself from the rest of the job searchers out there.

Finally, it can’t merely be about money, it’s about growth and possibility.

Good luck and if you have any question, let us know.

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