The six-step job search process offers you tactics to get from where you are to your next job. It is based on the mechanics of the labour market between employers and candidates. This is important because job seekers often do not know what to do to get a job. They may know how to do the job, i.e.
they have the sales and communication skills and experience for the sales job itself, but getting the job, convincing someone to hire you, is different from doing the actual job. It's the difference between being a good driver and being able to pass the driving test. You want to prepare for the road test (in this case, the job search process) in order to have the opportunity to drive. The second step is the fun part, the part where you get to impress anyone looking for your online presence.
While we recommend you build your own personal portfolio (which is not as hard as it sounds), we also advise you to make sure your bios send the right message, from your LinkedIn summary to those 160 characters on your Twitter profile. Job or internship searches can sometimes be confusing, difficult and frustrating. The four steps in this resource will help you stay focused and productive in your search. You should plan to review each step as you grow in your knowledge and understanding of the positions and industries.
Each of the steps outlined below is done without regard to a specific industry or position. It is best to schedule an appointment with your Career Exploration Advisor (ACE) or a sector-specific Career Advisor to customise your process. The questions we have provided at each step are designed to help you reflect on your readiness and identify what you may need to do to move through the process. As you search for jobs and internships, keep reviewing steps 1-3, constantly refining your document, expanding your knowledge base and building more professional connections.
It may seem repetitive, but going through these steps will greatly increase your chances of landing your next position. Your search process should include looking for opportunities in. Echoing Green has developed some additional questions for self-reflection and self-assessments, such as the MBTI, can also provide useful information. Job centres in many schools can provide access to these resources and help in interpreting the results.
Ultimately, you should be able to describe your goal in one or two sentences with key examples. Contrary to popular belief, being flexible and open to anything is likely to decrease your chances of hitting on something great and make it harder to make a decision. Network with your current network and talk to others outside your network who are working in jobs related to your goal. The Net Impact Career Community can help you connect with working professionals through informational interviews.
Don't forget to attend relevant conferences and events; learn five tips to help you navigate your next networking event with ease. Make relevant contacts appear through Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels. These people will be instrumental in uncovering opportunities that may not be posted online. This is known by some as structured mass networking, but we think of it simply as relationship building.
These relationships can help you in your search, and will remain part of your network for years to come. Use these conversations to learn more about each other's jobs, which will help you confirm (or adjust) your target and signal that you are interested in their field. Don't ask them for a job directly, but make a good impression and ask them to consider you if a relevant opportunity comes up. Ask them if they would be willing to introduce you to other people you could talk to as part of your learning process.
After all the self-reflection and research, you should be well positioned for your interviews, but there is still work to do to prepare. Before you start preparing, be sure to congratulate yourself for being invited to an interview. Recognising the small victories along the way is important to maintain motivation during what can be a long process. An alternative to the face-to-face job fair is the virtual job fair, where job seekers search for jobs and connect with employers online.
Although an interview is structured in a specific way, at its core it is a communication between the job seeker and the employer. These vacancies constitute the hidden job market and are filled with candidates found through recommendations and referrals, i.e. through networking. If you are careless with your job search communication, leaving rambling voicemails, sending emails with typos or grammatical errors, you are likely to do so on the job.
Step 6 gives you techniques for negotiating and closing an offer, i.e. finalising the deal with an employer who wants to work together. Potential employers will shy away from arrogant candidates who look like high-maintenance divas and bad team players. Whether it's an internship, a full-time job or a career change, every successful search goes through these three stages.
You can also choose to create a professional email account to keep your job search messages separate and organised from your personal ones. You can incorporate the business techniques of branding, marketing and sales into the way you brand, market and sell yourself, thus improving your job search skills. You may decide to go back to your marketing (step to further highlight these elements in your CV or structure future cover letters in a different way to emphasise this new information. Consider doing an internship or volunteering with an organisation in your desired sector while you apply for a job.
And if you find yourself in a unique situation, such as changing careers, returning to work after taking time off to raise your children or recovering from a layoff, you should know that you will need to take some additional steps. Your list of contacts may include family members, neighbours, friends, teachers, advisors in your student organisations, alumni and others who can provide you with job leads or direct you to others they know who can help you.