What are the best ways to search for a job nowadays? The landscape changes almost yearly with different tools and methodologies for both employers and applicants. Some were designed with good intention to streamline the application process but with unintended consequences.
I’ve successfully helped friends, acquaintances and even people on my own team find better jobs. Nothing is more frustrating for me to find someone who is unhappy with their current position or frustrated at being unemployed for a prolonged period. Many people find themselves in this position at no fault of their own. Their current work environment may have changed due to a change in manager or loss of a job due to a re-org. I wanted to share the exact tips I give when I help someone with their job search.
Know your “why” you are looking for a job
It is important to first be clear on why you are looking for a job. If you are unemployed, the why is obvious. But even so, searching for a job simply because you don’t have one can lead you to getting desperate which can reveal itself in your application and during the interview. You also don’t want to get a job where you are unhappy which would hinder you from a job that would be a good match for you.
There may be many different reasons why you are job hunting. The more intangible reason you can think of the more likely you will find a job that is fulfilling. On the opposite side of the spectrum, reasons such as more pay or better commute will be a challenge as you may always be looking for something qualitatively better which may not be as fulfilling. What is an intangible reason? That will be a question you will need to answer yourself. Ask yourself these questions. What motivates you? What gives you drive? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What type of things you enjoy doing where time passes by quickly. What are things you are good at that is unique?
List your next job title
Write down 3-5 possible job titles for your next job. If you want to keep the same job but at another company, then your job is done. For others, think about the job title you want to achieve in your next job. Are you an associate that want to become an intermediate? Are you a manager that want to become a sr. manager? Or do you want to move away from service jobs to a white collar job? Same can apply to vice versa. Are you tired of working in the office and want to try working at a blue collar job? Do you know someone in your family or friends who has an interesting job. Ask what type of jobs are available within their company.
List the top companies where you want to work
Take the time to list out your dream companies to work for. You can put this on something like Evernote or One Note where you can go back periodically when you are in a brainstorm mode. Your dream companies may be limited to a specific location but if you are open to relocating, then the sky is the limit! First, try to list out companies off the top of your head. You can look at companies that ranks high in Top Companies to work for that gets published periodically. Is there a company that you admire? A company that is in your interest field or could use someone with your skills.
If you need help, go to www.crunchbase.com. It has a list of companies and you can search based on location, industry and others. It used to have a more robust search engine for companies but it is now limited.
Start the search!
Next, go through each of the companies you listed in the previous step and go to their careers page. Depending on the company size, some will have an extensive list of openings where smaller companies may simply ask you to e-mail them your interest and resume. For companies with extensive list of openings, sign up for notification whenever a new position opens up. You want to apply as early as possible as you are competing with tens and maybe hundreds of applicants. Recruiters oftentimes stop passing on resumes to the hiring managers after obtaining a quota.