First Step in the Job Search Process

Finding a job is not an easy feat and many people make a lot of mistakes, starting from seeking a job that’s not fit for their skills, to sending out a generic resume and cover letter, until they wonder why they never hear back from their prospective employers.

The first step during a job search is identifying the industry in which you want to work, your ideal position, and your career goals.

1) Identify the Industry

Most people don’t really know what they’re getting into when they search for a job, especially if they’re in dire financial straits. Ask yourself – do you want a job, or do you want to start building a career? If you want the latter, then you need to identify the right field for you.

Most people went to school, majored in a specific field, and use said education as guidance. You might think that you need to work as an accountant because you studied for it, even though you would be much better at doing something else.

It’s important to research a job position and the industry the position belongs in and what you can expect to achieve. Talk to people who have first-hand experience in the field. Imagine yourself in that spot, and determine whether it’s the correct field for you.

2) Identify Your Career Goals

Many job recruiters will ask you the question: what is your personal goal? What is it that you want to achieve for yourself by working for the company? It’s important to have good answers to these questions, and for that, to have career goals.

Keep in mind that these should be very long term. Do not expect to be offered a brilliant position out of the blue, but, use the goal to steer your job search into the right direction.

3) Identify the Right Starting Job

Once you know the field you want to work in and know your career goals, you can look for a starting position which will lead you there.

This will enable you to look for a suitable company. Many people believe that a job search entails creating a beautiful resume to send out to as many companies as possible. However, that’s the worst job seeking strategy. It’s better to identify the position you want and aim for it. In most cases, if you wish to build a career, you need to seek a company that offers starting positions and has a reputation for offering its employees opportunities to move up the ladder.

4) Research the Companies

Before you apply for a job, research the company. Talk to people who already work there, check their online website, and use any resource at your disposal to discover as much as possible.

The more you know about the company before you send them your resume and cover letter, the better your chances at getting an interview. Your research of the company might not yield positive results. You might discover that the company has great turnaround of employees, or that they don’t pay well or on time. This will help you eliminate companies and save yourself the time and effort to obtain a job interview.

5) Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume should not contain information irrelevant to the position you’re applying for. Remove everything that doesn’t offer insight into why you would be good at that specific position. It might make your resume shorter; however, long resumes are a bad idea – so never go longer than two pages. You should use detailed descriptions of tasks and responsibilities you held before – which ideally will match the responsibilities of the position you’re applying for.

In the cover letter, you must speak the language of the company itself. Research their website, look at their commercials, their slogans, their ads and their social media pages (if possible). Do not write a generic cover letter, but tailor it, like your resume, to that specific company and that specific position.

Doing all of the above will increase your chances of getting an interview invitation. You will show that you have done your homework and you’re applying for the job because you’re attracted to the company and see the job as a stepping stone for your career.

Article provided by Wonderlic Test Prep

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