For a job search to be successful, you have to know what you want to do. Here are six steps that lie between you and your new career.
1. Decide what you want to do
Do you like working behind a desk or
would you rather be visiting clients at their site? Are you a data person or a people person? Does location matter? Do you want to work from home? Identifying the job criteria that you want is your first step to career satisfaction.
2. Find companies that have the jobs you want
You may have heard about the big companies, but there are a lot of smaller companies that do the same work. Consider a small or medium sized company where promotion opportunities may be greater. Often smaller companies offer a broader career experience which allows you to have greater exposure to other jobs. The key is research, research, research!
3. Write your resume to match the job
A cookie-cutter resume is not going to stand out from the crowd. Your resume should be customized for each position for which you apply. You may need three or four resumes depending on the types of jobs you are considering. Each job description will have key words that your resume should highlight, and each company that you are targeting may have unique words or phrases. Format also matters. A recruiter may take no more than 10-15 seconds to look at your resume. Make each word count. Do a Resume Review to make sure your resume represents you. No typos, all tenses match, logical simple format, etc.
4. Describe your skills (your elevator pitch) to meet that job
If you were in an elevator with someone and they asked you to describe yourself, how would you do it? How do you describe yourself and your experience in 30 seconds? It tells the recruiter that you know yourself and your skills, can you get to the point and can communicate it.
5. Prepare to answer interview questions
What could be more stressful than an interview? What interview questions will they ask? How do you answer and when do you stop answering? There are many different types of interviews: text, phone, video, Skype, face-to-face and more to come. This field continues to change and being successful requires you to understand how to tell your story regardless of the format. Interviewing is more than just answering questions; they are evaluating multiple facets about you. Do you have the technical skills for the position? How do you communicate? How do you dress? How do you sit in front of an interviewer? What is important to you? What values do you bring? How creative are you? If you are not sure, get some Interview Coaching.
6. Close the interview the right way
Prepare at least three questions to ask the interviewer. Ask questions that you cannot find the answer somewhere else. Ask about culture, about your interviewer's experiences or what a typical day is like. It shows that you are interested in the job and the company. Ask what the next steps are and confirm that you are interested in the position. Thank the interviewer for the interview and follow up with a note as well. Email or handwritten notes are both okay, but do not wait too long.
Lindsey Levine was in the corporate world for 30 years in a Sales Management Position where one of his key responsibilities was hiring. He transitioned to his new career and is the principal of Lindsey Levine Resume and Interviewing Preparation.