Conducting an effective job search involves developing a comprehensive job search strategy. It’s more than just applying for jobs online. It’s about using your network, applying for the RIGHT jobs, keeping track of your applications (when you applied, where you applied, what documents you submitted, etc.) In addition to searching for jobs on SpartanCareers, here are some tips for developing an effective job search strategy.
- Reach out to your personal and professional network: In a professional and courteous way, let people know what types of jobs and companies you’re interested in, and ask for their advice related to your job search. Also, look for job search groups in your community that might be able to assist you.
- Keep your options open: If possible, consider relocating. Identify 5-10 cities where you would be interested in living, and begin conducting research on companies in those areas, professional associations, networking groups, etc. so that in addition to applying for posted jobs in those cities, you can begin to target companies of interest and grow your network in those cities.
- Conduct informational interviews: An informational interview is an opportunity to spend time (usually 30-60 minutes) with a professional who is working in a career field of interest to you. By talking with someone already in the field, you will acquire practical career information and expand your professional network. The great thing about an informational interview is that it is a non-pressured situation where you can gain first-hand information about the field you’re researching. It’s also a wonderful way to build a network for future contacts and leads.
An informational interview is not the time to ask for a job or an internship. Remember that your primary purpose is to gather information. Focus on information gathering, developing your professional network, and building relationships, and it may lead to a job or internship in the future.
- Get involved in a professional association in your career field: By joining a professional association and regularly attending meetings, events, etc., you are able to connect with other professionals who work for companies that might be of interest to you. You might hear about job opportunities just through word-of-mouth, but you can also learn about job opportunities that are promoted by the association.
- Attend Career Fairs: Take advantage of Career Fairs at UNCG or other educational institutions, professional conferences, professional associations, and in the community. It’s a great way to learn about companies and their hiring needs, as well as promote your personal brand and what you can offer companies.
- Register with Recruiting Firms/Staffing Agencies: Whether you’re looking for opportunities in or outside the Triad, there are many recruiting firms and staffing agencies out there that are looking for great candidates for their clients. These companies may recruit candidates for direct hire full-time jobs, contract jobs, temp to hire jobs, or temporary jobs. Some of them are more specialized recruiting for only certain types of jobs or career fields, and some recruit for a variety of career fields. Do some research to find out what companies are your area and the locations where you’re interested in obtaining employment, contact them to learn more about what they recruit for, and find out if it’s a good fit for you. The best ones to work with are those that don’t charge candidates any fees. Make sure you won’t be charged to use their services.
- Send an unsolicited application: If there are companies you’re really interested in working for, but don’t know of any jobs currently available with those companies, send a resume and cover letter (via email or mail) to a specific person and/or department expressing your interest in the company, types of opportunities you’re seeking, how you think you can add value to the company, and ask if they would be will to talk with you about their company and where you could fit within their company.
The job search can be frustrating and exhausting. But be persistent in your search! Try to find a good support system that can help keep you motivated during the difficult times. And keep in mind that finding the right job takes time. Focus on your preparation so when the right opportunities come along, you will be ready!