Follow These Steps for Success

The First Step: Evaluate Yourself

Evaluating yourself doesn’t just mean listing your academic achievements, job history, and volunteer work. It means tapping into your strengths, weaknesses, interests, abilities, and values. One effective way to do this is to make an appointment at your local career center, where professionals use assessment tools to match your characteristics to appropriate careers. Not only is this a great way to take stock of your positive attributes, but also to discover pathways for improvement.

The Second Step: Research
After deciding on several jobs, research your opportunities and set a realistic goal. Find out about the industries, markets, plans for growth, as well as the daily routines, work environments, and salary ranges. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to start.

The Third Step: Network
In an article for the National Association for Colleges and Employers, Jim McBride writes, “Networking is the single most important element of a successful job search.” So, how do you do it? Connect with as many people as possible by telling family members, friends, and acquaintances that you’re in the job market. Let them know what position you’re interested in and your skills. Don’t hesitate getting your name out there. Allow your networking group to expand by asking for more leads, and always thank the original source. You may land an interview this way.

The Fourth Step: Use the Internet
Everyone knows that the internet provides abundant opportunities for job hunters. But, there are so many job sites available that it can be extremely overwhelming. Where should you begin? The US Department of Labor has a site called Career One Stop that links out to each state’s job site.

Another great option is to go to an association’s website and check out their job postings page.

The Fifth Step: Market Yourself
Marketing yourself means showing in your cover letter, resume, and thank you letter that you are the most qualified person for the job. It also means articulating your strengths and abilities. In order to do this, you need to study the company’s needs, goals, values, and the requirements of the position. Think of the company as a customer and you as the product. Sell yourself by providing detailed examples that highlight your strong points. Don’t just mail out a generic cover letter and resume; stress different points depending on the position advertised. For example, if the job calls for knowledge of Microsoft Excel, then emphasize your work with this program. Show you’ve done research by personalizing the documents that you create.