||Guiding Steps to Your Career: Implementing an Effective Job Search
By Jennifer Heth and Karen Graham, Senior Recruiters
You've created a resume that effectively conveys your skills and experience. It's time. You're ready to begin your job search. As you begin the process, think about the types of jobs that appeal to you. A common job seeker pitfall is applying to too many positions and not utilizing a narrow, well-targeted search. It is often tempting to apply to positions that we may not be well qualified for or that may not be exactly what we want with the hopes of "getting a foot in the door." But, this strategy can cause job seekers to lose focus on the best opportunities for him or her.
So how do you avoid this common misstep? Here are some quick tips:
- Think about your current skills – Research companies and positions that would be a good match for your current skill set, work experience and education. Are you skilled at managing schedules or inventory? Do you have customer service experience? Are you a cook or dishwasher, or even have healthcare skills? Or, are you a writer, database whiz or marketer? Are you a team builder? Are you good with analysis and decision making? Are you a good communicator? Make a list including the type of work you enjoy, companies that employ people in that type of work, your skills as they relate to the job you seek, and education/certifications needed to qualify. Focus your search on jobs for which you qualify.
- Think about your dream job – It can be helpful to read job descriptions for your "dream job." Take note of the knowledge, skills and abilities that are required. When looking for jobs, consider those that match your current skills and offer the opportunities of your dream job.
- Research top companies – Once you know the type of job you are seeking, research the companies that often hire for those positions. Learn their culture, read about their corporate goals, and find the companies that will be a good fit for your interests and ambitions.
- Use multiple resources – When applying to positions, it is best not to put all of your eggs in one basket. You need to develop a personal branding strategy that goes beyond just posting for positions and waiting for employers to call you. Some potential avenues to assist you with your job search include:
- Job Boards: Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, Indeed, etc. Many companies also have their own job boards where they post openings on their company website. Check out Sodexo's Career Center for an example.
- Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can all give you a heads-up on positions that may have just opened or may not even be posted yet, and an opportunity to develop your own personal brand while networking with staffing professionals.
- Networking: Networking can be done at conferences, professional events, charity events, etc., and can help you meet decision makers and learn about job opportunities. Building relationships with contacts at your top companies and requesting informational interviews can help you with your job search. Joining professional organizations that are relevant to your industry can also be helpful. Check out Sodexo's Network with Us page.
- Career Fairs: Attending industry-specific career fairs can be a good way to meet staffing professionals face-to-face and make a positive impression.
- Staffing Agencies: Some organizations use staffing agencies to assist them with filling positions if they have a hiring spike or with hiring temporary help, which could evolve into permanent opportunities.
For more resources on implementing an effective job search, go here, here and here. And, stay tuned for more "Guiding Steps to Your Career" in future issues of Sodexo Career Connections.