How to Search for a Job Efficiently
Have you been out of a job for a while and starting to lose hope? Laid off after 20 years with the same employer? Or are you trying to start a career after graduating from college? These very different situations have at least one thing in common: it’s time for something new.
Career Services - Tools for Employment offers programs and services to help you start or refresh your job search. From career counseling to assessments and workshops to job placement services, we provide the assistance and tools job seekers as well as employers need.
How to Figure Out the Right Job for You
- Assess your abilities, interests, skills, goals, personal style, family situation and values.
You need to look at the whole picture to see what kind of job would fit into your life — one in which you would be happy and successful.
- Focus your search on that kind of job, so you maximize your chance of getting an offer.
Address the weaknesses that can be addressed, learn how to emphasize your strengths and come up with a game plan to attack obstacles.
How to Make Sense of the Changing Job Search
- Understand how the job search has evolved over time.
This is especially true for those who have been out of the job market for a long time. Finding a job requires a lot more than a good resume and a decent interview.
- Know the right tools to use.
LinkedIn isn’t just a trendy term. It’s a resource for job tips and a network for potential employers to find you. Look into job websites, but don’t forget the importance of networking. Family, friends and acquaintances all are valuable tools. More than 80 percent of jobs are filled by a candidate who knew someone within the employer’s company.
- Be both strategic and creative in your approach.
Know your skills, abilities and experience, and be able to illustrate how you can meet or exceed what is required for the job. Too many job seekers do not adequately demonstrate how their background has prepared them for the position. As well, you need to identify your uniqueness. What will differentiate you from all the other job seekers?
How to Handle the Unexpected
- Be sure you understand exactly what is expected of you in the early days of your new job.
Don’t be afraid to ask a question when something is unclear.
- Have a backup plan.
Sometimes things happen that are out of your control. Your car breaks down, your child is sick, an emergency comes up. Be prepared: know the bus schedule, identify someone in advance to care for your child, or be prepared to work from home if that is an option.
How to Find – and Keep – a Job When Key Tools are Missing
- If you don’t have a computer, find one.
Access to the Internet is an essential first step in the job search process. Public libraries, Goodwill career centers, workforce development offices, schools, churches, the Department of Labor and many nonprofits often provide online access to those in need.
- If you don’t have a car, find alternate transportation.
Learn the transit system; it’s an economical and convenient solution. Get to know your coworkers to see if someone who does have a car lives close to you. Most people would be happy to give you a ride in exchange for some gas money.
- Find reasonable childcare.
If you have trouble affording child care, ask friends, family and even neighbors if they’re able to provide low-cost childcare. By using a barter system, childcare can be free.
- Don’t let a lack of experience get in the way.
If you have little or no experience to include on your resume, find a volunteer opportunity. Volunteer work can allow a job seeker to pick up some new skills. It also is a good way to network and build your contact list. Plus, volunteering itself looks great on a resume. Remember, life experiences can translate into marketable skills. For example, coaching a child’s baseball team may have involved skills that can be transferable.
- Put pride aside and ask for help.
If you are having trouble getting on track, don’t be afraid to ask family, friends or community resources for assistance. “It takes a village” applies not just to raising children, but for uplifting those in need. Many social service organizations, including JF&CS, may be able to help with rent assistance, MARTA cards and job leads. JF&CS also offers monthly workshops on job search, LinkedIn, interviewing and resume writing skills. Ask us about our resume critiquing and mock interviews.