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EFFECTIVE JOB SEARCH
JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES
On the next page you will identify specific jobs you are interested in researching and pursuing. Once you know more about a particular field or you want to explore career options, use the form on the following page to help you explore your options.
Step 1: Identify jobs that interest you and write the titles on the following page.
Step 2: Find out the salary range and necessary skills. Compare these to your financial needs and transferable skills.
Step 3: Identify the training experience you need to qualify for the positions you find interesting.
Step 4: Include your family members in your decisions.
Now that you have done a personal appraisal and some career exploration, you need to make some career decisions to provide direction for your job search. You need to establish realistic goals, then figure out the best way to achieve them. There are three types of goals:
• Short-range (6 months to 1 year)
• Intermediate-range (1 to 5 years)
• Long-range (5 to 10 years)
You may need to make realistic career goals for each time range. What you want to be doing in five years may not be feasible now, but you can work toward that goal. You may need to find a short-term, stopgap job before you can obtain the appropriate, long-term position you really want. You may need to obtain a position or training in the short-term in order to qualify for the long-term position you would like to pursue. You need to have some consistency between your short-term and long-term goals. Each job along the way should be a step toward your long-term goal. You have already started the process of personal appraisal. This is an important step in goal setting.
You might also want to refer to your individual transition plan from preseparation counseling.
It is difficult to make decisions about which goals to pursue if you do not know what your goals are or how you want your career to progress. Your goals must be SMART: Specific Measurable Adaptable Realistic Trackable
1. Specific If your goal is not specific you may not have a firm idea of how to get that job.
2. Measurable Make a realistic, daily/weekly time table. This allows you to measure whether or not you are consistent in your employment search efforts.
3. Adaptable Setting an employment goal is like using a road map with optional routes. If your search is not getting results, try an alternative route to your destination.
4. Realistic Make sure your employment goals are realistic for your personal needs, the local economy and the job market. Your goals may be appropriate for your current needs, but not realistic for the current economic situation. You may have to settle for a position with less pay, less benefits and less advancement because the position you need and want is not available in your local employment market. You may have to consider other work until you can move to an area that has the employment opportunities you want and need.
5. Trackable You need to be able to trace your steps in your search for appropriate employment. Keeping track of where you go, with whom you speak and the results of each contact is extremely important. If your search is not getting results, you need to be able to look specifically at your efforts in order to see if there is some element that is missing or needs to be added. You cannot improve what you cannot track. Now that we have demonstrated the SMART technique, write your own short-, intermediate- and long-range goals. Make them employment related. It is easiest to start with long-range goals and work backwards to short-range goals.
Schedule Your Time Think of looking for a job as a job. It requires planning and follow-through. At the beginning of each week, prepare a schedule with blocks of time for each type of activity (phone calls, reading ads, writing letters, etc.). Then, as the week progresses, make changes to allow time for interviews. Below is an example of a weekly schedule.
APPROACH THE JOB SEARCH PROCESS
Finding a job is hard work. It is a job in itself. You should treat it just like a job, and use every resource available, including friends, acquaintances, relatives, teachers and professors. When you speak with these contacts, ask them about where they work. Job Search Methods
Answer ads in: • Local, state, national newspapers • Professional or trade journals Apply directly: • Job fairs • Private Industry Council
• Employers Contact local organizations
• Your transition office • State Employment Services • Private employment agencies • Internet
• School placement offices • Civil Service Administration (for testing) • Union hiring hall
• Chambers of commerce • Employers
One of the most critical elements but least used job search “tools” is researching companies. Most applicants think it is difficult to get information, or simply fail to see the value of the effort. Research is a good idea because:
1. You may get to know someone in the organization, and therefore have a personal contact.
2. If you have information about the company, you can do a better job of identifying transferable skills and matching those to the organization and the job.
3. You can ask questions in a job interview that are based on information few other applicants have. Researching a company can make you “look better” when compared to other candidates, because so few applicants do their homework.
The Internet is a critical element of successful job searching. Items you might want to research: company growth, city’s average salaries for field, annual reports, cost of living.
After you have done research, you may then call the company to get additional information. You should call to ask for information for two reasons. First, to request printed material about the organization such as an annual report or brochure.
Second, try to speak with someone about the job you want. “What to Say on the Phone.”
Practice The Company Information Record on the following page has space for information you might be able to find on a given company. Create and prioritize a list of companies that interest you in order to research them. As you research companies, keep a record of important information on the Company Information Record form. Use one page for each company. Keep this information organized and easily accessible. Copy one worksheet for each company you are researching. .
Things to research before contacting a company:
1. Number of employees;
2. What the company does (service and/or products);
3. Business volume, net worth, profit and loss, company stability, etc. (see company’s annual report if available);
4. Company competitors;
5. Company history and future plans;
6. Company locations (headquarters, branch offices, international offices, retail outlets, etc.);
7. Salary range or hourly rates paid for various positions;
8. Contact names (department heads, human resource manager, people you know who work there, former employees, etc.);
9. Employment activity (recent hiring, firing, layoffs, etc.); and
10. Titles of positions that interest you.