Job Seeking Tips

  1. You have a job. Finding a job is a job. So treat it like one. Devise a plan of action and carry it out. Don’t just spend an hour or two a day and then give up. No business could continue to operate if it were only open a couple of hours a day.
  2. Take the initiative. Even when people know that you are hoping to find a new job, they aren’t always comfortable stepping in unless asked, so ask. Remember though, not everyone likes to get involved, so if someone turns you down, be polite and try not to take it personally.
  3. Get involved. The more people you know, the better your chances of making helpful connections. Opportunities are all around you. Your family members and current friends are rich sources of employment referrals, of course, but try to actively seek out other connections. Get to know the people on your block, at your church, at your children’s school and extracurricular activities, and let them know that you are job hunting. No matter whom you meet try to weave it into the conversation that you are looking for a job.
  4. Research. Before you apply (but especially before you interview), be sure to find out as much as you can about your prospective employer. Be sure to understand what it is that they do, their market is, their competition, and things that they feel are important or exciting about their business. Remain current on any issues or developments in the field. Read trade journals or professional publications, and read the newspaper.
  5. Target your resume. Make sure your resume is targeted to the employer who will receive it. Try to tailor your resume to each job you are applying for. If you need to have more than one resume.
  6. Be prepared. You never know who you might meet so keep a copy of your resume with you at all times and have a brief elevator speech about what you can offer to a company prepared.
  7. One step at a time. Remember that your resume will not get you the job on its own. Its purpose is to get you the interview. Make sure your resume will pique the employers’ interest so that you can get the interview and then that is where you will get the job.
  8. Subscribe to a trade publication or some type of magazine that specializes in the industry you are seeking employment. This will keep you abreast of any changes in the industry and will also be helpful in the interview to show the prospective employer that you are current on the issues and developments in that industry.
  9. Proof read. When you are proof reading your resume have one or two other people read it also before you show it to an employer. Sometimes when you work on something a long time your brain automatically makes changes and corrections to what you are reading without you even realizing it. Spell check is not infallible and cannot discern between words like wood and would. Try reading your resume out loud to get rid of sentences that may be awkward or confusing.
  10. Start your own business. Don’t rule out the possibility of starting your own business. Many great companies have started because the owners could not find a good fit when looking for a job. Talk to other people who have started their own business. Contact the Small Business Association and ask them for advice and information about business loans. Make a business plan.
  11. Be sure to develop all the materials that you will need in filling out an employment application in advance. Even if you are supplying a resume, it is possible that you will also need to complete a standard application for the human resources department. If you have not seen an application in a long time, some of the standard questions may have changed. You can stop at almost any store and request an employment application for review.
  12. Write down all of your standard information on a separate sheet of paper, and take it with you when you apply for a position. Such things would include past job contact information, dates of hire, personal references, etc. If you are required to fill out the application in the employer’s office, you will then have all of the information that you need, and can complete it quickly and completely.
  13. Before you apply for any job, be sure to contact all of your references that you want to list and ask permission to do so. It’s always good taste to do so but it can also prepare the individual for when it happens. In most cases, you will end up with a far better recommendation because the person isn’t taken off guard, and they will have a chance to think of what they will say about you.
  14. Find out about potential job opportunities through multiple avenues. No job board will carry even a small portion of the possibilities that are out there, and some of your best alternatives may come through networking with friends and past co-workers. Touch base with those that you haven’t talked to in some time. If it is a very casual or distant acquaintance, you may not be able to ask them for many favors. But it won’t hurt to ask and see if they’ve recently heard of something. Old co-workers and people at church are some of your best contact possibilities.
  15. Before you apply (but especially before you interview), be sure to find out as much as you can about your prospective employer. Be sure to understand what it is that they do, who their market is, their competition, and hopefully things that they feel are important or exciting about their business. This may sound a bit basic, but in the rush to hand out hundreds of resumes, people will often ignore some of the most fundamental tasks. An employer isn’t going to give much credit to your statements about what you can do for them if you don’t know what they do.
  16. Understand that one of the biggest issues that prospective employers are concerned about with hiring seniors is that their qualifications are far higher than what they are looking for. They are concerned that overly-qualified individuals will be unchallenged and hate their jobs as well concerned that you will not be happy for long with less money than you made in the last job. If you are willing to and will be happy earning less but just cannot get employers to understand this, consider reinventing yourself or applying for a job that is quite different than anything that you have had before. While you can still utilize many of your talents like people management, the employer will be more comfortable with your decision and understanding that you are taking a lower wage position because you are starting something new.
  17. Check out the current fashions. You shouldn’t try to be a trend-setter but neither should you be pulling out what you wore to your last interview 15 years ago. Be sure that what you have fits properly, has been cleaned and is well-pressed. Do this before you even fill out your first application or send in your first resume. You may not think that you have gained an inch, but this is the ultimate of being safe instead of being sorry.
  18. Begin with self-assessment. The job search process begins with an identification of your values, interests, skills, accomplishments, experience, and goals. How can you seek a position if you don’t know what you want from a job and what you have to offer prospective employers? Self-assessment, though a time-consuming process, provides invaluable information to facilitate career decisions and to prepare you to market your background effectively.
  19. Research and explore career options. The next step in the job search process is to explore the “matches” between your identified skills, interests, and values and the demands of career fields and organizations.
  20. Choose a career field, then target employers. After thoroughly researching possible careers/jobs, several field options will emerge as most realistic and attractive. These options should become your career or job search goals. It is probable that no single career will have the potential to utilize all your skills, allow you to develop all your interests, and incorporate a value system completely compatible with yours. Try to target one that will satisfy some of your high-priority needs.
  21. Prepare job search materials and develop job search skills. Once your job goals have been targeted, resumes and application letters can be tailored to reflect your qualifications as they relate to the interests of prospective employers.
  22. Plan and conduct job search campaign. Next, establish a target date for getting a job and decide how much time you can devote to your search. Some individuals believe they cannot afford to take time from their studies or a demanding job. Others procrastinate. Whatever the reasons, the results are the same-your search will languish and you may miss out on industry hiring cycles and job opportunities. So get organized early by setting aside a certain amount of time each week to work on your search. Use a calendar and weekly planner and work backward from your target date.
  23. Develop a contact network. Once you have targeted a career or specific position, you should acquaint yourself with professionals in that field or organization. These professionals offer you an insider’s view and can constitute your contact network, which can open doors that might otherwise remain closed. Your network can also consist of family members, friends, classmates, professors, and electronic discussion groups.
  24. Contact employers directly. There are several methods and combinations of methods that can be utilized to contact employers directly.
  25. Follow-up and record keeping. No matter what job search strategies you choose, follow-up and record keeping are important for success. Maintain a careful record of all interviews, thank-you notes sent, referrals made and follow-up actions. Job seekers who fail to maintain this information often lose valuable contacts as well as credibility with prospective employers.

Information from multiple sources: including