The First Step: Evaluate Yourself
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.
Second Step: Research
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.
Third Step: Network
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.
Fourth Step: Use the Internet
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.
Fifth Step: Market Yourself
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.