The thought of a new job is exciting, that is, often times, until you actually sit down and begin the search. The excitement can quickly give way to confusion, frustration and being completely overwhelmed. You know the jobs are out there, but how do you weed through all of them and find the right one for you?
Narrow your focus
Start by narrowing your focus. Instead of just applying for any and every job that sounds remotely interesting or is in your field, stop and think about what you really want to do? What is going to make you the happiest long term? Write your own dream job description, including the top things you want in a job and specific companies you’d like to work for. Then use that list to narrow your search. It could save you a lot of time and undue stress in the long run.
Go to the source
If you have specific companies you’d like to work for, target them. Check what positions they have open online. In addition to applying online, many companies also allow you to fill out a candidate profile, describing your background, job interests, salary requirements etc. If they don’t have anything open at the time, don’t be afraid to contact the hiring manager to request an informational interview. Getting face time with them will help separate you from all the other resumes they may receive.
Log on and look
For those open to numerous companies, online job search websites have become extremely popular. In fact, the Nielsen Company has reported a 20 percent year-over-year increase in visitors to job sites. Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com are among the most visited and offer you several ways to narrow your search. Experts say you may have the most luck with industry-specific sites. Companies often post jobs there that you won’t find elsewhere in hopes of attracting more qualified candidates. For example, usajobs.gov is a great place to find government jobs. Dice.com focuses only on the technology industry and HeatlhCareerWeb.com is a wonderful resource for jobs in the medical field.
It’s who you know
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. There is a lot of truth to that. Knowing someone in your field or company of interest can be a huge asset. Find ways to meet these people if you don’t already know them. Consider networking groups or volunteering as ways to make contacts, and don’t overlook LinkedIn. It is a great place to search for job openings and check if you or anyone you know may have connections to those positions.
Ask for help
If your search becomes overwhelming or you need some help sorting it all out seek the professionals. Many colleges, like Rasmussen,offer career counseling for their students and alumni. It can be a great place to find resources and ideas. There are also several online recruiting sites to help match you with jobs that meet your skills and needs. Onlinerecruitersdirectory.com, searchfirm.com and i-recruit.com are a few places to try.