How To Navigate The Job Search Process

How to navigate the job search process

For many people, beginning the hunt for a new job can be overwhelming. After all, there's a lot that goes into landing the perfect role. These tips will get you out of your job search rut and help you make great progress.

Cast a wide net

If your current job search tactics aren't delivering the results you desire, it's time to change your strategy. When many professionals begin their search, they turn to established job boards to see what kinds of positions are available in their preferred industry. However, applying to job listings has a very low rate of success. In fact, Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts, reported that as few as two percent of applicants actually make it to the interview stage.

Though job boards can be a useful tool to have in your job search toolkit, they shouldn't be your only method of looking for work. Job seekers should take advantage of every option available to them to find placement as soon as possible.

Discover your personal brand

Finding work entails marketing yourself by selling your skills, experience and expertise to an employer. Job seekers who make it easy for hiring managers to understand their value as an employee may see more job offers come their way. Finding and developing your personal brand and offerings demonstrates purpose and defines your professional goals.

Nicolas Cole, writing for Inc. Magazine, explained that building a personal brand is the process of defining what you're good at and what you want to do to make money. From there, it's a matter of developing a consistent message on social media, your personal website and any physical collateral such as your resume or business cards. With your brand established, you can form online connections with other professionals and make an impression that lasts.

two people talkingIf you haven't networked in a while, start by talking with your close friends.

Grow and leverage your network

The most effective way to find a job is to use your network. Connections within your network can serve as shortcuts to employers. Typically, your resume, cover letter and phone interview helps employers decide if they want to learn more about you as a candidate. However, if that same employer already trusts someone in your network who has recommended you, this can help get your foot in the door much faster than if you were relying on these standard application elements alone.

Even if you consider yourself to be an introvert, networking is a must. CIO magazine recommended attending networking events in your local area to ease into the practice. It's likely you won't be the only one feeling awkward, and you'll have something in common with everyone at the event – you all live the same area, and most likely have similar experience and professional goals!

Networking doesn't always have to be a formal undertaking. To get into the habit, talk with your friends and family about your job search goals and career ambitions. Your friends may be able to point you in the direction of someone who can further your search along.

Practice interview techniques

When you land an interview, preparation is key. A quick online search can reveal some common interview questions that you'll likely encounter. Practice your answers to these questions with a friend or out loud by yourself. Likewise, you should determine what level of compensation you are willing to accept. Remember, an interview is a two-way street. You're deciding if you want to work for a company in the same way as the hiring manager is deciding if you're a good fit for the job.

For more job search, interview and strategy tips, check out EBC Associates' candidate resource center today.