Friday, September 9, 2011

The Art of the Job Search (What's your process?)

What’s your job search process?
As an HR leader, I occasionally get the opportunity to review corporate recruiting processes to ensure that we are being as efficient as possible while also being compliant with employment laws, etc.  As I’m currently going through this again in my position, I thought to myself “What about the process for job seekers?”.  So many people go blindly looking for a job that they forget to put together a map and a process for finding a job. 

There’s an art to finding a job, and having a process mapped out will help you immensely!  Here are a few suggestions to get you started...
Take a Personal Inventory
You’ve got to take some time to reflect on your skills and your career ambitions so you will be able to align them with your job search.  For me, I would have to take into account that I want a position that allows me to work with people.  I would also make note that I would want to work in an organization that offers me unlimited room for career growth.  When you are taking inventory, you should consider your values, your interests and your skills.  Then be ready to discuss these with potential employers.  You should also put together interview questions that you are able and ready to ask employers that will help you determine if the organization and the position you are interviewing for is a good fit for you. 

Involve Others
Next, you MUST have a support network.  The people in your life are invaluable to you when it comes to career search and networking.  Talk to your friends, your family, coworkers, coworkers from previous jobs, the teller at your bank, the ladies in your bridge club, etc..  Never underestimate the power of networking and letting your network know what you’re up to!  I personally have kept in touch with most people I’ve worked with over the years.  You never know when they may be able to help you out. 

Organize Yourself
 If you’re not organized, you need to be.  Looking for a job can be overwhelming.  It can be disastrous and futile if you don’t keep track of what you’re doing.  Get a binder, make an Excel spreadsheet, whatever it takes.  Keep track of who is in your network, where they work, who they know, what your activity with them has been to date, etc.. Follow up with them regularly.  Things change all the time.  Make sure you’re keeping up with your network.
Make a commitment to yourself early on (or better yet, do it right now!) that you will stay true to yourself in the process and ALWAYS stay positive.  If you get turned down for a position, don’t take it personally.  Learn something from it.  Thank them anyway!  I can’t tell you how many times a candidate I’ve interviewed didn’t get the job initially.  But they were thoughtful enough to thank me for my time.  When things didn’t work out with the candidate we were going to hire, you better believe I knew exactly who I was going to bring back in for consideration!  Be yourself, and do whatever it takes to stay positive!

Until next time, keep on keeping on!  Your dream job might be right around the corner!

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