Job Hunting 101
Tips For Starting Your Job Search
A lot of people are thinking that maybe this will be The Year of the New Job. If that describes you, then you'll want to start planning for that job. But don’t start strewing resumes across the landscape before taking care of a few get-going items, described below. Good luck and happy job hunting.
Get Your Resume Ready
That means on paper, online, and plain text (for inclusion in attachments). It means one page and concise, spell-checked, and reviewed by someone who can give you great feedback on the content and the layout. These days, cool colors, marbled textures, and funky typefaces are out. Clean, crisp, and confident are the watchwords.
Get a Grownup E-mail Address
E-mail addresses like "SailingGirl@qwest.net" are not professional. Give yourself an advantage and use an adult e-mail address on all job-related correspondence. Make sure your e-mail address is on your resume and that all your friends have it for use when they're making introductions between you and possible job-search contacts.
Check Your Phone Message Capability
Figure out how to collect messages remotely if you don't already know. Get rid of the cute kid message or the clever one that impresses your college friends. If the home phone machine isn't reliable, get a separate number for your job search.
Get Job Search Business Cards
Even if you're already employed, search the Web for free business cards (no kittens or hot-air balloons) just for use in your job search. Include the position you're looking for, three bullet points about your skills and education, and phone and e-mail contact information.
Get on networking sites and get your online networking rolling. If you have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or presence on any social network, make sure what potential employers access is professional. College drinking awards, late night conquests, or other shenanigans isn’t what employers are seeking in employees. Click here to access Robert Half's social networking etiquette guide titled, "The New Rules in a Digital Age."
Use Your Alumni Connections
Your alumni network is a powerful tool that you shouldn't underestimate. Many schools have databases of grads that you can search for people in companies or industries in which you're interested—pick up the phone and call them.
Get Out There
Go to at least one face-to-face networking event a week. Use Google, the daily paper, or a professional association to learn about them. Bring your job hunting business cards (not your resume) and start chatting. Check the CSCPA Web site for networking events. Practice starting conversations and sustaining them, focusing on the other person. If it's appropriate, within a few minutes you will have the opportunity to describe your own situation: "I just graduated with a degree in accounting, and right now I'm looking for my next opportunity."
Get Your Pitch Down
Your pitch should take two forms: a verbal 20-second introduction and an objective statement on your resume. What are you good at? What have you done? Where have you worked? What do you want to do next? When people ask you "What sort of job are you looking for?" you want to be able to quickly and enthusiastically describe your ideal situation.
Tell Everyone You Are Looking
Everyone except your boss, that is—if you're already employed. Tell your college friends, your neighbors, and all the people with whom you've ever worked and are still in touch. People at your gym, family, or other friends are prime contacts. Your job search knows no boundaries. Networking is THE best way to get a new position.
This article is compliments of 9News.com.