Effective Job Searching
Doing an effective job search process is more than sending your résumé to employers who are advertising job offers in your field. There is a lot of work that should be done prior to sending your résumé to potential employers, so that you’re job search tools and actions are targeted and correspond to your qualifications, career objectives and requirements. There are also different job search strategies that you can include in the job search process to increase your chances of finding and obtaining a great job opportunity.
There are at least five steps to an effective job search process:
1. Do an inventory of your interests, skills, experiences and career objectives
Self-assessment is the first and the most important step in planning your career and starting a job search process. Assessing your skills, work values, job requirements and experience will help you identify the different positions you would like to consider and companies you might like to work for.
Self-assessment is equally important when you are writing your résumé or preparing for an interview.
2. Gain knowledge of the job market, and your specific field of work
This will help you identify the skills and qualifications you should highlight in your résumé and cover letter. It can also positively influence your action plan (i.e. Do you need to get specific training or move to a better location to improve your chances of landing a job in your field of interest?).
3. Write your résumé and cover letter
The information gathered prior to this step will help you chose the format of résumé that is most appropriate for you and the type of position you are looking for. Completing the first two steps will also help you write this document. Ideally, it’s preferable to write a template cover letter prior to doing any job search process. Once you’ve identified a position that interests you, it will be easier to adapt your cover letter to the requirements of the position and company. More information on the Résumé and Cover Letter web page.
4. Start networking
There are different reasons why you should start networking:
- It will help you gather more information on the different positions or companies that interest you;
- It may help you identify positions or employers you hadn’t considered;
- It will help you enhance your job search tools and strategies;
- You’ll get known by potential employers who may recruit in the near future;
- You’ll be better prepared for interviews.
See the page Job Search Techniques, Networking and more.
5. Evaluate your job search process regularly to make adjustments
Taking the time to step back and evaluate your job search strategies and actions can help you identify ways to be more effective. It could help you assess key elements such as the effectiveness of your networking strategies or whether or not you need to narrow or broaden your search.
6. Start preparing for interviews
Although every interview is unique, its purpose remains the same: to evaluate your experience, skills, and qualifications, and determine whether you are the best candidate for the job. While researching different job opportunities, visiting company websites, and building your professional network, you may come across valuable information that could help you answer interview questions. For example, pay attention to innovative approaches or trends that are influencing your field of work, as well as key skills potential employers are seeking.
Once you are called for an interview, you will need to gain more information on the company’s mission, values, products or services, as well as on the general tasks, responsibilities, requirements and challenges of the position. All this information, along with the job description, will help you identify, practice and polish potential interview questions.
Practicing interview questions will help you:
- Feel more confident during the interview,
- Think of appropriate examples to illustrate your skills or experience,
- Provide thorough and concise answers.
Learn more on the Interview web page.