If you’re just starting out with your career or if you’re looking for a change, job-hunting can be overwhelming. You’ll probably have a list of tasks that seem mountainous—but if you begin to look at it as a process with multiple parts, searching for a job can become a lot more manageable.
Here are five simple steps that you can take to help bring you closer to finding the job of your dreams.
1. Start Inward
Just knowing what you want out of a career can be a huge hurdle for a lot of job seekers, especially if they’re just starting out. Many students come out of school thinking that they’ll get a job in their field, but have no clue what job titles are available or what companies to apply for.
In order to avoid this stage of uncertainty, you need to know what you want. Ambiguity is a job hunter’s worst enemy, so asking yourself the tough questions and sticking to the answers can cut down on wasted time and effort during a job search. This doesn’t mean only applying at one specific company and then giving up if it doesn’t work out; it means defining your goals, aspirations, and skills in a quantifiable way to focus your efforts and develop a reachable target.
2. Gather Your Job Search Tools
Having multiple electronic copies of your resume will cut down on time spent editing if you’re applying in multiple different industries. Additionally, having your references and letters of recommendation at hand will save you from a last minute scramble if employers ask for them.
You should also take advantage of all of the electronic tools available to you to make the best of your job hunt. Creating a LinkedIn account, downloading job searching apps, and looking up the best ways to dress for interviews are all easy ways to get ahead of your competitors and make searching for a job a breeze.
3. Build Your Network
Your network may be small when you first start out, but opportunities can be had around every corner once you start putting yourself out there in the business world. Consult with former employers to see if they can arrange for meet-and-greets, attend industry events, and ask former professors or business owners that you know if they’d be willing to mentor you throughout the process. Your network will grow, and your name will start to become known in the right circles.
4. Do Your Research
The best job candidates are the ones who know a company backwards and forwards. Before applying to any job, do as much research as possible on the company—and with the information that you discover, hone your cover letter and interview answers to target their mandate. It will also give you a better answer to the question “Why do you want to work here?” since you’ll be able to list off a number of positive qualities about the organization itself from your research.
5. Work with a Recruitment Firm
Recruitment firms take a lot of work out of the job search. When you apply to one, you’ll be matched with a company that suits your needs and skill level, making it much easier for you to find a position that you’ll love. Since recruitment firms are hiring experts, you’ll be given the best advice about interviews, skill testing, and how to put your best foot forward during the onboarding process.