There is a big difference between looking for a job and looking for the right job. When you’re just looking for a job, the common approach usually involves a scan of craigslist or any number of online job sites for listings that fit your qualifications and criteria. While there is nothing wrong with this method of searching, it does have it’s challenges, such as;
- You’re going up against a lot of competition for the jobs you find.
- The job search can become long and exhaustive
- You find a job, but not really the one you wanted
Too often, the end result is returning to the job hunt and starting the process all over again. What you need is a game plan – or an intentional method to finding what we like to call meaningful work. In Apply Yourself: A Guide To Finding Meaningful Work, we outline 3 steps that every job seeker can use to find success in the job market.
3 Steps To Take When Searching For A Job
The goal of these 3 steps is clarity. Too many job hunts end in disappointment due to a lack of clarity about what job is wanted and how to look for it. See if these steps help change your approach to searching for a job.
Step 1: Identify the job you want
Using a pen and paper (old fashioned maybe but we’re going for visualization here folks), write down 5-10 companies that you would want to work for. Make sure that your list of companies are in an industry you’re qualified for and their culture and values are similar to yours.
With the list in front of you, identify the job within these companies that you want to acquire.
Step 2: Research your list of companies
Now that you have a list of companies in front of you (you did write them down, right?), begin to answer a few questions about each one.
- What is the reputation of the company to work for as an employer? In other words, are the employees happy there? This is where some networking with current employees may be necessary.
- How many jobs does the company hire for each year? If you find out that the company is consistently hiring throughout the year, you need to find out if this is because of turnover or company growth. Companies who experience an unusual amount of vacancies, without a corresponding amount of growth may have a management problem. This could be a warning sign to look elsewhere.
- Who are the decision makers for the position you’re wanting? It’s a good practice to find out who it is within the company who will be hiring you if you get an opportunity to apply. If you decide to apply, address your correspondence to that person. Also, when preparing for the interview, research their professional background. This gives you an opportunity to relate to them and engage in positive conversation.
- What is the company’s hiring process? Every company on your list will have a different hiring process. The more you are able to learn about their process, the more prepared you will be when applying.
Step 3: Networking
Networking is an important step in the job search process. Connecting with others who can share helpful information about the job that you want is of great value. The more you effectively network, the opportunities you will have to land the job you’re searching for. The best jobs are often acquired through personal connections rather than a jobs board.
How to Research A Company’s Employment History?
OK, time to do some job search reconnaissance! Here are 4 tips for researching a company’s employment history.
- Network with current and past employees and ask them questions.
- Google it! Larger companies will have a larger digital footprint and should have more available information online. However, if you can’t find much, that can be a good sign that their employees are generally happy and do not air their disapproval online.
- Askreddit. Find a subreddit where employees of the company or industry hang out. That’s a great opportunity to ask questions and find out some information.
- Contact Human Resources. The HR personnel for popular companies tend to have their contact information on the “down-low”. With some persistence and a little digging you may be able to find a phone number or email. Cindy Molchany (author of Apply Yourself: A Guide To Finding Meaningful Work), says the best way to approach introducing yourself via a phone call or email is to “let them know you’re interested in a future opportunity and just wanted to ask a few questions about their hiring process and company culture. You’d be surprised at how welcoming an HR department can be – especially from someone who is doing their homework on the organization.”
We hope this information has been helpful. If you’re eager for more, sign up for our free email course, Apply & Get Noticed and get more helpful tips sent right to your inbox.
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