By Janette Smith, Director of Career Services
Broadview University – Layton, UT
As the Director of Career Services at Broadview University’s Layton campus for nearly five years, I feel I have the background experience to analyze the job search process in a world of recession. I can assure you, finding a job takes time, energy, and work.
I am approached daily by current and prospective students struggling to find employment. I typically ask three questions; “Do you have a resume I can review?” “What type of work are you looking for?” and “Where have you applied so far?” More often than not, I get the same answers; “I don’t really have a resume.” “I will work anywhere and do anything they need.” and “I have applied everywhere.” or “I haven’t had time to.” Really?
If you are serious about finding a job, you need to stand out amongst the masses! You need to find the time, put in the energy, and work on the following five steps- at minimum!
1. Decide what type of job you would like, and qualify for – and target it!
You may be happy working anywhere and doing anything, but honestly, if an employer knows this they will likely not be interested in hiring you. They want someone who “wants” to work for their company… not just someone who wants to collect a paycheck.
2. Prepare a portfolio that backs up your qualifications – and make it enticing!
(A) A cover letter that introduces you to the company, why they should consider interviewing/hiring you, and how you can be reached easily.
(B) A targeted resume that clearly shows you are qualified for “that” job and would be of value to the company. Not a one-fits-all approach.
(C) A reference sheet with quality individuals; both personal and professional.
(D) Letters of Recommendation (minimum of one).
(E) Copies of your diplomas, certifications, work examples, etc. to back-up your written words.
3. Target employers seeking your qualifications – find a good fit!
Research, research, research! There is nothing more frustrating than landing a job (you think you are going to enjoy) and finding out the company is nothing like you thought it would be; if only you would have done the research. Be sure and take a look at the following: Mission Statement, Company Values and Organizational Chart. This will give you an idea of who they are and what they stand for. Also, an internet search often brings up things like complaints to the Better Business Bureau and any other legal issues that should be of concern you.
4. Brush up on your business professionalism – oral and written!
I visit a number of employers on a weekly basis to see what they are seeking in a quality employee, and although the words used are slightly different, they all come under one heading: PROFESSIONALISM. This will one day be an article all by itself… or two, or three. Again, you can easily research professionalism on topics such as the following, with a click of the mouse:
- Networking Professionally
- Job Search Etiquette
- Business Etiquette
- Interviewing Techniques
- Business Writing
5. Treat finding a job – as a job!
Create a schedule, set goals, develop a tracking sheet, and stick to it! Finding a job can be extremely stressful, especially if you have recently lost your job. Don’t forget to schedule yourself some “vacation” or down time to relieve the stress. You may want to read up on how to manage that additional stress load of Job Loss and Unemployment Stress.
Well, I think that is enough food-for-the-brain to start with. Good luck, and keep an eye out for additional blogs to come!