By: Emily Bihm
Whether you are a recent college graduate or have been looking for your career for many years, you are no stranger to how tough job hunting can be. Never fear! These tips will help you organize your job search efficiently and get you prepared for the day that you finally start your first real job.
When you first start looking for new jobs you have to identify where you want to be. Would you rather find a job in the city you already live in, or would you prefer to move to a different state? Weigh the pros and cons of a new vs. current location. What sort of activities (cultural, physical, mental, etc.) does the city offer? How much are flights back to visit loved ones? Do these other cities offer better apartments? What is the cost of living? Is there public transportation? How far is the commute? Although these questions may not seem significant while hunting for a job, it is important to love the city where you live…. otherwise working there will not be worth it. Lastly, use Salary.com to find average income for your job in the various cities you are interested in. This will help you determine where you can afford to live and what kind of lifestyle you can support within that chosen city.
After you have figured out the location, decide which resources you will use to help you find the best job opportunities. One good place to start looking first is the career center at your alma mater. As an alumni, most universities and colleges will offer you career counseling, resources, and training to help you attain your employment goals. If your university does not offer these services, you can move on to the next step which is finding job search engines online. Google job posting sites or consider using sites like Indeed, Monster, or Career Builder to find listings in your desired location. You can also consider using a head hunter to do the work for you. Note: Do NOT pay for their services. Your future company pays them a percentage in the form of a finders fee once you are hired. Head Hunters are usually for the more seasoned job seekers, but don’t be afraid to reach out to one and try it! Also, use Salary.com to find average income for your job in the various cities you are interested in.
Once you know what types of jobs you will be applying for, do some research on the companies themselves. You may have just found a job that sounds perfect, but the company may not be reputable or you may simply not enjoy working for certain people. Some good resources for looking up information on companies include Career Magazine, your cities Chamber of Commerce’s website, or Glassdoor.
After you have completed all these steps and have a list of places you have submitted applications, to it is time to organize all the information. Consider making a spreadsheet which has each company’s name, the position you have applied for, the date you submitted your application and a phone number that you can call to speak to someone about the position. It is important to always contact someone in the hiring department so that you can show your interest in the job, but also to have updated information on to whether or not the position has been filled. This way you don’t spend weeks wondering whether you will be contacted by them.
Hopefully now that you have had a successful job hunt, you are on the road to getting hired and starting your first career. Once you sign the dotted line, take time to be proud of your accomplishment and reward yourself! And, in your first few months, remember that you are going to make mistakes at some point, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Find someone within your company to act as a mentor towards you. Be yourself and speak up, just because you are the new person, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have valuable insight. Socialize with your co-workers and never be scared to ask questions. Even CEO’s of multi-billion dollar companies started at the bottom. As long as you put in the work, your efforts will be rewarded.
If you remain dedicated and follow these steps, the right job for you is within grasp. Never get discouraged; happy job hunting!
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About the Author
Since graduating from college two years ago, Emily has been working as a waitress at a local breakfast restaurant. She enjoys writing and reading in her free time and hopes to have her own column in the future. She loves music, watching Netflix, spending time with friends and loved ones, and walking her dog Ollie.