Finding a job is not complicated, but it does require a consistent strategic effort. You need to work on it every day to make it happen. Here are ten tasks that should be on the daily to-do list of every job seeker.
1. Check job sites, and your target company web sites for available positions. You should have a list of sites that you check everyday. Timing is key when applying to available positions. When an employer is in a hurry, they may start calling applicants a few days after the job is posted. Make sure that your resume is in that first batch.
2. Contact at least one person in your network. Now is not the time to neglect your network. Call someone from your network everyday. Let them know what you have been up to, and what type of job you are targeting. Even better, ask them to meet you for a coffee. You never know where you will find your next job lead. Even if it doesn’t lead to a job, it is always a good idea to stay in touch with people.
3. Scan the news. When you are looking for a job, it is critical that you are aware of what is going on in the world around you. Which industries are growing, and which are disappearing? Which company is planning a giant expansion? There are opportunities hidden in those news stories.
4. Send out applications. The number of positions that you should apply to daily will depend on your current situation, and your field. If you are looking for an administrative position in an office, you could easily send out ten to fifteen applications. However, if you are looking for a quality manager position in a pharmaceutical company, you may only be able to send out one or two. The point is that you are sending out customized applications daily. No matter how much background work you are doing, if you aren’t sending out applications, you won’t get the calls.
5. Identify at least three companies to target. When a company advertises an available position, they will receive hundreds of applications. Even if your resume is perfect, it can be difficult to rise to the top of that pile. You can break away from the competition by targeting individual companies. Identify companies that may be able to make use of your skills, and see if they have any positions available. Even if they don’t, you can still send them your resume for any future positions. This way, the employer will be looking at your resume before your competition even knows that there is a position available.
6. Read a publication about your industry. It is a good idea to stay informed about what is happening in your industry. This is particularly important if you are not currently working in your field, as it is easy to get out of touch. Reading these publications can help you identify potential job opportunities, and can also help you impress the employer at an interview.
7. Use social networking sites. When you are looking for a job, you should be accessing social networking sites daily. You can use them to contact people in your network, and even to connect with other people in your field. Social networking offers endless opportunities to enhance your job search. You are only limited by your time and your creativity.
8. Follow up on your applications. Make at least one follow-up call a day. Following up conveys your enthusiasm for the position, and calls the employer’s attention to your resume. It only takes five minutes, and can potentially get you an interview.
9. Maintain a positive attitude. Even for the strongest among us, looking for a job can be difficult. You can work tirelessly for weeks, and still not get a call. For this reason, job seekers need to work a little harder to stay positive. Talk to your friends and family, and anybody who builds your confidence. Talk to other job seekers and share experiences (but make sure that this doesn’t turn into a pity party). Celebrate your small successes. Even getting an interview is a huge accomplishment. Read books and articles by authors who inspire you. Do whatever you can to keep your thoughts positive. This will keep your motivation and your momentum alive.
10. Relax. You have worked hard all day. Now it is time to rest. Go out with your friends, read a book, watch a movie, take your dog for a walk, or do yoga. Do anything except for thinking about your job search. Let your mind rest and refresh yourself so that you will be ready to go again tomorrow.
You can put a lot of work into your job search, and still not have any success. It is also very easy to lose your motivation. The trick is that you need to work smart, and you need to do it every day. Stick with it, stay motivated, and that job offer will come.
(Written By: Karen Bivand, Photo From: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)