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Now What? Blog
The University of North Dakota Career Services blog is designed to provide career development information 24/7. Our goal is to engage students in answering their career and internship needs while also providing a forum for dialogue.
In addition to contributions from our career professionals we will also periodically add guest posts from students and select employers to give our readers multiple perspectives on issues that make a difference to career success.
*Our blog is an open forum for conversation and information sharing revolving around career topics and trends. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate content from our page.
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September 16, 2012
Accelerated Job Search Part III: Action Time!!!
Time to get down and dirty with the career/job PATHS to take. Yes, paths, plural. A fair warning: the action stage is the section that almost everyone rushes to first, skipping the other necessary steps. Getting clarity and narrowing the playing field seem to be easily overlooked steps for many, but they are crucial steps to include if you want to be successful. Many of the troubled job seekers that I see fail because they are blind to opportunities coming their way. Backing up to gain clarity and narrowing the playing field first are important! These steps will set the tone for the rest of your job search.
Once there is a direction established, it's time for multitasking!
Search for Connections: 80% of successful job searches are landed through networking.Regardless of how lofty a person's career/job goals may seem at first glance, there are links between the ultimate goal and their current job situation/position/life. The connections might be once or twice removed, and probably are, but it is crucial to find such connections. Start with the people you know and then ask them if they know of anyone else you can talk to. Check out an old post on networking. No matter how tenuous a possible connection, find and nurture it.
Knocking on Doors: Way back in time, job seekers would find a place they wanted to work, walk right up to the building and knock on a company's front door. Not many people use this technique in the digital age, but don't discount it. Using the phone to cold call can be effective, but it requires careful preparation. Every person you make contact with will form an impression of you so always be prepared to have an on the spot interview.
Social Media: Welcome to the new world of networking. Done right, networking online can be fast and effective. Done wrong and you can end up surfing in circles.
Join Clubs and Organizations: Industry specific journals or publications often have job listings and people already working in an industry are more likely to know of job vacancies within the career field in which they are already working. Socializing within an industry organization can give a job seeker a feel for opportunities in the field.
Job Search Websites: Throwing an untargeted resume into cyberspace is about the least effective job search method. Unless it is followed up with personal contact, a resume runs the risk of being thrown into job search purgatory. Targeting job search material (i.e. your resume) toward specific careers/jobs is crucial for any number of reasons. But, the sheer number of jobs on Monster, Careerbuilder, or CareerExec is a great way to find out who is hiring!
Marshal the Forces: In other words, gather resources. It sounds silly to tell someone looking for a job to be prepared to get a job at the drop of a hat, but too many of the jobseekers I see miss amazing opportunities for lack of a decent resume or not being polished up enough on rusty interview skills when opportunity knocks. While researching target jobs, get your job search materials in peak shape so when asked for a resume, you have a piece of quality material to show rather than a piece of ... well you get it.
Get Involved: Volunteering, internships, and temporary jobs are a great way to build experience in the short term. Consider these positions as a way of putting your foot in the doorway to a career/job. Temporary work is often disparaged when people talk about the world of work, but these jobs are worth a second look. If you are currently out of work, any income can be helpful and a temporary job is a great way to gain new and diverse experiences.
Headhunters: It is difficult for me to suggest this job search route because of the many horror stories I've heard. At the same time, I know of many people that have used a headhunter with great success so, like many things in life, it's a mixed bag. Just be careful when signing contracts! Some unscrupulous headhunting agencies stipulate they get a percentage of your paycheck regardless of who finds the job. In other words, if you sign such a contract then go out and network your way into a job, a headhunter agency is still entitled to a portion of your paycheck.
A few words on tunnel vision: putting all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for disaster. Sometimes we are so busy looking for the "right" egg that we end up missing a bunch of others. A friend of mine hid a bunch of eggs inside his home for his kids while under the influence of spiked eggnog. Needless to say, his kids failed to find all of the little suckers and the parental units inevitably forgot where all the rouge eggs were hiding. The house stank for weeks! The moral is: be sure to do due diligence and stay open to all the possibilities a search unearths.
No matter how well someone networks, if your resume or interviewing skills suck, you will be at a HUGE disadvantage in getting the job. Next up- Landing It!