Where To Begin Your Job Search

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Whether it’s been 2 months since your last searched for a job or 2 years, you want to set yourself up for success. Starting a job search doesn’t need to be a painful process if you know what to do.

Update Your Resume

Your job search will remain fruitless if you don’t have an updated resume that’s been polished. One of the first things you should do when starting up a job search is to look at the state of your current resume. Make sure that all applicable work experience is noted and that no new positions, degrees, or certifications are missing. You need to be your own best advocate during a job search and you can do so by not neglecting how important an impression your resume makes.

When you feel you have a solid resume to work with, take another look at it. Make sure it’s free of errors and doesn’t leave questions about your experience unanswered. If it’s too long, take the time to make the edits needed to reduce the length into an appropriate 2-3 pages a hiring manager won’t be overwhelmed with.

Develop Your LinkedIn Presence

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, create one. Even if you have an aversion to technology or don’t think yourself to be savvy enough, developing a professional social network in this day and age can give a huge boost to your job search. If you don’t feel comfortable going into detail about your employer or specific duties, leave some of those items out of your profile. Essentially, you want to make yourself searchable to recruiters and hiring managers who are seeking passive candidates with the right skill sets.

Connect with current and former co-workers on the platform. Don’t hesitate to reach out to connect with other industry professionals and leaders in your area of expertise, even if you don’t know them. You want to create opportunities to reach out about possible job openings in the future.

Reach Out To Old Colleagues

Think about a past job you really enjoyed or an organization you really liked working for. Then, think about the old co-workers you had there and try to look them up if you haven’t stayed in touch. Based on where they are now, they might be good assets to have when you’re looking for your next opportunity.

Get in touch with a few former colleagues you respected and invite them to catch up over coffee. You can talk about where your careers have gone since you last worked together. It’s a great opportunity to sow the seed that you might be looking for a new position. Your former colleague will probably keep you in mind if he/she hears of anything.

Network

Don’t limit your professional networking to a social media presence and reconnecting with old colleagues. If you have the opportunity, join applicable professional organizations in your area to meet others in your industry. Often, these organizations hold happy hours or events where the sole purpose is to mingle and discuss your job and career path. You can guarantee there are always a few mangers or leaders looking for new talent!

If you don’t think of yourself as a very extroverted person and introducing yourself to strangers isn’t in your comfort zone, talk to those you already know and feel comfortable around. Open up to your family and close friends about your career ideas and let them know you might be considering other opportunities. You never know if they have contacts that might help you if you don’t tell them you’re looking!

Understand The Job Market

If you want to start a career in industrial engineering, it helps to know where the jobs are. Take the time to do some internet research about your field of interest and where the job market is at that particular time. We all know that highs and lows with the economy can drastically change where the jobs are or if there even are jobs.

Know where the jobs in your career field are located and where you have the best chance of success. This may mean you’ll need to consider if relocating is possible or if a longer commute is something you’re willing to undertake. The internet and some basic research can also give you an idea of the future prospects of your chosen field. You may start to understand how easy (or difficult) your job search may be based on this information.

Look Beyond Job Boards

Gone are the days where the best jobs could be found on Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com. These big job board sites have passed their prime for many job seekers though still may have some value depending on the career field you are in. Look back to your LinkedIn account to see jobs posted around you. More and more companies are using social media to recruit and attract talent, which is why having a professional presence is even more important than ever.

Don’t ignore your local newspaper – but don’t just open the employment section either! Keep an eye on the business news in your area to see who is expanding, adding contracts, opening new locations, etc. Be proactive and reach out to the HR departments of those organizations before they even know they need you!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a recruiter. A recruiter can get your foot in the door for jobs that are never posted to the public and you would have otherwise never known about. You can keep up your search while they search for you too!

No matter what, give yourself time in the job search process and try not to get frustrated. If you’re not finding success, take another look at your resume, reach out to more people on LinkedIn, or connect with a different recruiter. Your patience and determination will pay off!

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees. Robin aims to empower the employees and managers she works with by providing coaching and counseling services.

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