This post has been in the works for 2 months and I am so excited to finally be able to share it with you! Two months ago, after teaching my get unstuck course and helping others get unstuck, I realized I was very stuck myself. This is part of the reason that you haven’t heard too much from me on this blog over the last few months because I have been relying much more heavily on guest posts. I felt like I lost my voice because I wasn’t practicing what I preached. The whole get unstuck course was about doing what you are interested in and motivated by according to your purpose and mission in life. I also started teaching a new course at my company called Navigate Your Career where I taught others about how to use things they learned in their assessments to their current jobs. How could I teach these things and not do what I felt like I was called to do?
So lately I asked for some changes at work, which are happening, and I am much happier. And as I said in yesterday’s post about what I learned about my summer job search experience, my bosses are aware of how frustrated I was over the last couple of months and things are working out much better now. Although I am much happier now, I have been doing some job searching over the summer and learned a lot that I just had to share with you!
Set a deadline
When I realized I needed a change, I set a deadline for 3 months to give myself before I would be moving on. After I set a deadline, that entire weekend I was motivated and I did even one of the biggest mistakes that people make when applying to jobs over and over again online. But actually it worked even though I know I say networking is the key to finding a job. For me, Networking was the way that I realized what I wanted to do with my life. I networked for 2 years and finally I knew what I wanted to do.
Here are the steps that I took to get 5 job interviews and an offer:
- Self-awareness: Networking and informational interviews helped me determine what my interests and motivations are and to narrow down my top interest in what I wanted to apply in. You will be relieved once you figure this out because then you have a direction to head in. This part takes the most time. For me it took 2 years. Don’t just apply to any old job on the Internet without self-reflection. And don’t go for your back up plan because you think your dream job will be too hard to get. Start with your dream job, you might be surprised at what you find!
- Keywords: From what you narrowed down by networking, make a list of 5-10 keywords that match your dream job. If you wanted to be in the career development field, here are some keywords you could use: Career manager, Career Advisor, Corporate Trainer, Adjunct Faculty, Professor, Career Coach, Trainer or Faculty
- Search: Go to your preferred job search site. I chose indeed.com since it compiles job openings from many different job search sites so I only need to look at one. I found it very easy to use and it remembered my previous searches so I didn’t need to type in the keyword each time. It also has an app so you can job search anywhere. I also used Linkedin because it allowed me to see who is already in my network that worked at a company if I found a job that I liked. Remember never to tell anyone you work with that you are on the job hunt. You don’t know how long this job search will take so always stay on the safe side! (And of course you might need them as references – remember my tips about references in my post yesterday?)
- Email Yourself Opportunities and Be Efficient: Search each keyword and when you find a job description you like, DON’T read every word and apply right then and there. This needs to be an efficient job search. If you think it might be a good fit, just email it to yourself, that way you can review it later. Try to find 20-30 jobs that are potential fits like this before even applying to any of them. Once you start applying is when you really start wasting time answering stupid questions that take forever. Many people find one job and spend an hour applying and then they are done. They miss out on so many potential opportunities! So skip that part and focus on gathering as many potential opportunities as you can, emailing yourself and applying later all at once in the next step. Now take a little break. You have done a lot of hard work already!
- Create Resumes and Cover Letters: Now that you are rested and ready to job hunt again, create a resume and cover letter for each of the keywords. You can use the same resume for each keyword but you will have to change your cover letter in a few areas for the job name and name of company. So if you are searching for the career field, you could start with Career Manager and create one awesome resume for all Career Manager job openings. Then create an awesome cover letter that would fit all openings with this keyword. Focus only on all Career Manager job openings at one time and apply, apply and apply. Remember to always re-save and change the name of the company and the job title on each cover letter before hitting submit. And then the next day, go to your next keyword, Adjunct Professor and change your resume and cover letter to match that opportunity by using keywords that you found in the job descriptions for these opportunities. And then hit submit, submit, submit!
- Be Patient: This is when I got frustrated with the job search. Because of the large amount of opportunities I applied to using this method, I got a lot of automatic rejections right away. I honestly doubt they even looked at my resume. Maybe they had the position already filled. Maybe they didn’t like my name. Who knows. But it was frustrating. But I learned that I shouldn’t get frustrated because the good opportunities that actually still have the opening are just reviewing your resume and waiting for that time when they can close the opening and start interviewing all the applicants. That is when you get a call back. I didn’t start getting calls back until 2-4 weeks after I submitted my resume when I got asked to come in for interviews. The timing could not have worked out better because not only was I interviewing for similar jobs (same interview questions were even used!) but I was in the interview mindset and it made it really easy. Another plus is that this way all the offers will hopefully come at the same time so you will be able to pick with all your options on the table.
I really hope these tips help you organize your job search better and give you the efficiency that you need to find and apply to the perfect job for you. There really is no perfect way to conduct a job search but the key is that the more jobs you apply to, the better your chances! So put in the time and you might be surprised where you end up!
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