Saturday, June 18, 2016

How to Conduct an Effective Job Search

Looking for a job is an extremely exhausting and time-consuming process. You send out tons of resumes, fill out multiple job applications, and constantly alter your cover letter to better fit each new position. And at the end, you don't even remember what you have applied for, when and why.

I will take a bold guess and assume, that many positions within your interest probably essentially focus on the same set of qualifications and have very similar job descriptions, but their fancy names sometimes can throw you off and turn you away from applying completely.

How not to let your dream job (that you deserve and definitely are qualified for) get away?

To make your life easier, I decided to share my approach to job hunting that I took after graduating from college.

The heroine from the Sex and The City show couldn't be more right. Within almost 10 years of living in New York I have lost count of the resumes sent and interviews completed.

This time I have decided to keep track!

So I created a Google Spreadsheet and started documenting my efforts.

Screenshot of my job hunting spreadsheet

I took down positions i applied for, names of the companies and their websites, and sources where I saw the job listings on. I consider the last one important. On a numerous occasions I've been asked how did I hear about the position. And when you don't know what to say, it becomes obvious that you have applied for too many jobs and probably are desperate. No one wants to hire just to fill the spot. Employers are looking for the perfect fit regardless of the level of the position.

It takes a little bit of patience having to record your every effort but I believe by doing so you can become much better at interviews and actually develop a sense of what you want in life aside from the monetary compensation to pay the bills.

Fast-forwarding my story, in less than two months and five interviews later I scored a job.

If I were to look for a job now, I would add to my existing job hunting spreadsheet two more fields such as:
- The questions I was asked and wasn't confident I answered well;
- My answers that were accepted favorably;

We learn from our mistakes, and You can improve upon referring back to your experience 

Another important part of your job hunting process is to keep prepared 3-5 questions to ask at the end of an interview. A job interview is a two-way-conversation, and asking questions makes you look engaged.

Here are some of the questions that will make you sound generally interested:

- How will my performance be evaluated?
- What do you expect from a person in this role?
- What are the top three skills an employee should have to succeed in this role?
- What are the opportunities to grow within the company?
- What kind of training does the company offer?
- Does the company offer mentoring?
- Who is successful in the company and what does he do different?
- It also doesn't hurt to ask about the career path of your interviewer!

And of course, the general questions about the hiring process such as:

- How does the recruiting process work?
- When will you hear from them?
- What are the next steps?

Here are your top 10 job websites you should look into especially if you are in communications like me:


And last but not least, don't disregard joining various topical Facebook groups. In my case, I am a member of NYC Ad Jobs & Networking, FindSpark Community, and my college alumni group.

Here is my final advice to you summarizing everything above - keep sending resumes, keep the notes in the spreadsheet, and keep improving upon reviewing your efforts.

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