How to start a job search? 5 tips from professionals

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So you want to find a good job.

As with everything worthwhile in this life, you have to put effort into it and start correctly.

Job search can be stressful

Searching for a new job ranks as one of the most stressful things in life (well after you’ve been let go from your last job). But even if it’s an informed decision on your part, finding a job demands a lot of time, patience and mental resilience.

Without the right attitude and strategy in place, you’re going to have a tougher time than necessary.

5 tips on how to start a job search

Update your resume

The resume is the be all and end all when it comes to job hunting. Everything you do before and after is in service of your resume. It has to be the best representation of yourself, because it’s the first impression – one that’s judged adequate or mediocre in seconds.

As soon as you consider changing jobs, you should sit down and revise your resume. What I do is have a large list of accomplishments – be it projects at work or additional certifications from courses, presentations or talks I’ve held during the years. Already you have a large pool of info to draw from and create your next winning resume.

Don’t forget to fit your resume for the particular position you’re applying for, taking into account any special skills or company language. Recruiters look for that extra effort and can tell when they receive a template.

The same goes for your social media profile. Your LinkedIn better be up to scruff and whatever personal accounts you might have should be either made presentable or set to private!

Use different search channels

Don’t limit yourself to just one source for job postings. Expand beyond the obvious job sites like Glassdoor and Monster. There are so many other digital resources available to you from Facebook Groups to LinkedIn to Twitter hashtags, which together create a thriving digital ecosystem. Also, please don’t neglect your own personal network. You never know where the next job opportunity is going to pop up.

To manage everything without going loopy, you should consider using an RSS feed reader as the preferred method for organization. With an RSS feed reader, you can manage all the sources in one place and through the content discovery feature keep up to date with your industry, which will likely come in handy during the interview process. With Inoreader you can even detect RSS feeds on any website through the Chrome extension and subscribe immediately.

Learn how to sell yourself in an interview

Interviewing is an art form. If it’s been years since your last job interview, it’s time to brush off the old skills. Run some practice interviews with either a friend or a professional contact, who will know what a future employer will look for in a candidate.

This is the time to work on how to effectively leverage your current skills and knowledge to the best of your ability. I would also suggest you look into interview crash courses whether they’re just a list with useful tips or even a series of videos. You never know what might have changed in the etiquette since the last time you interviewed for a position.

Prepare for some questions

Associated with the interviewing process is doing your homework regarding the questions you’re going to be asked. There are so many possible lines of questioning, the Internet is full of lists with the most common kind. Overall though, you can expect three types of questions at your interview:

  • Company questions: You have to do your homework on the place you’re applying to. Who is the founder? What is the service? What part of the market do they service? What are the defining characteristics of the business? Its greatest achievements? Its newest initiatives? No serious applicant will sit in silence when asked these questions.
  • Field questions: You will probably be asked about the field you’re in. The responsibilities of the job. Your qualifications and experience. This is the practical aspects of the interview – what do you bring to the table and how you approach your work.
  • Personal questions: Here is where the dreaded ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ rears its ugly head. Of course, other classics like ‘what is your greatest weakness’ also pop up and you have to be prepared. These are the questions where you need to put some effort to craft before going in person.

Choose your top dream companies & set career goals

Have a battle plan at the ready! The best opportunities come to those who take the time to sit down and say what they really want from their careers. What should the next step in your career be? The answers hide in your current job. What makes you want to leave your current position and wish to prioritize your next? What are the new skills you search to hone and sharpen? What are the good qualities of your job that you wish to have again? Although dreaming big should be on the agenda, be realistic. Negotiate the positive with the negative. What are the hard deal breakers and what are the annoyances you can live with?

The answers guide you in finding your next job. Now it’s time to sit down and research potential dream companies, but always make sure to compare what these companies offer (and how they’re known as workplaces) with your list of preferences and priorities.

How long will it take?

I can’t give you a set number of days or weeks it’s going to take before you land your next job. After all, this depends on your field, how many companies have spots open and how competitive the market is and what you look for in a company.

What I can say is that it will definitely take a lot less time than without the initial preparation.