Job-searching can be a nerve wracking and stressful process, but it shouldn't have to be! OFJS is here to help you through the process and to make finding a job easier than you thought.
Ever been to a family event and all your relatives ask you what you are doing after college, and you have no clue what to say?
They say that once you are out of high school and college your life is over because you do nothing but work. They also say, if you love your job you never work a day in your life. OFJS’s goal is to help you through the job search process so you find a career you love. Finding the right job for you is a process and it does not happen overnight, but you will feel like a kid on Christmas when it happens. Here is a guide to make sure that your job search ends just the way you wanted.
Finding the Right Job/Career
The first step in the process is all about you. You cannot land the perfect job for yourself if you do not know what you really want. It is important to take time to self-reflect, figure out what you like and what you do not. Would you rather work in an office or out in the field? It is also important to consider skills, things you are good at and not so good at. Naturally, if you are good at something, you tend to enjoy it more than something you are not so skilled in. Early on in this process you want to consider your values by distinguishing between necessities and nice-to-haves. Commute, salary, benefits, holidays, and working weekends are all things you need to evaluate. Figure out your boundaries for each one and look for a job within those means. OFJS has many tools that help you figure out who you are and what you want. You can access them here: Finding the right job for me — Our First Job Search. Getting organized and creating a job plan will help you keep track of everything. This process can be overwhelming, staying organized is key to being able to move onto the next steps. One way to stay organized is by creating a job plan. What do you want to achieve and what job will help you achieve it? Think, 'what can this job do for me?' Jobs can provide more than just a paycheck, such as career goals, new challenges, and networking opportunities. Many entry jobs are not the final endpoint. They are called entry jobs for a reason. You could use that job to work your way up in the company or use it to complement your resume for your dream job. There are many routes to take to reach your goals.
Job Search Tools
Let us start off with what is a job search tool. A job search tool is anything that helps you land a job. There are many different tools with different purposes, when used correctly these tools aid you in finding a job. Some examples of job search tools are resumes, cover letters, networking, dress code, and social media such as LinkedIn. The list goes on and on. You can find more on the OFJS website: Job Search Tools Overview — Our First Job Search. It is important to know how to use all these tools because the more you use them, the better chance you have at landing the job you want. The best tip I can give you is to use all available resources. In the digital age that we live in, most if not all resources can be found on the internet. You are not limited to newspaper ads like our parents were. Look around the web, get on LinkedIn, start a network with those you interact with, the options are endless. Job boards are popular in today's age, but job boards come with pros and cons. Job boards are great because if you have your heart set on a job you can search the area and industry and find the exact job you are looking for. The downside is that thousands of other people can do the same exact thing. Job boards can be cluttered, and your resume may be buried and never viewed by the employer. I am not saying job boards are not worth it, but you should explore other options at the same time and not rely on job boards to score your dream job. Once you have found a job worth applying it is immensely helpful to do some research and tailor your resume and cover letter. Do some research about the company, know who you are applying to and what their mission is. After you know more, tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your skills and accomplishments that will help you get the job based on your research and job description.
Networking is huge. If you only take away one thing from this blog, let it be the difference networking can make. Some people have the jobs they do today solely off networking. They did not have to take part in any of the other steps because they had a strong network that helped them land a job. Today it is easier than ever to network with the internet and social media at our fingertips. You can network with people across the world within seconds. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, especially if you have something in common, such as the same degree, live in the same area, or graduated from the same school. Do not hesitate to reach out to old contacts either, such as old co-workers or someone you were in a group with in class. They could be in the same boat as you and you could both benefit from the interaction. After a connection has been made it is important to maintain the network. You do not need to do this with every interaction as some will be dead ends, but others could be lifelong networks. Stay in touch with your good connections, you never know when they could help you and vice versa. For more on networking visit: How to Network Overview — Our First Job Search.
Job Interview, Follow Up
You have a big interview coming up, first things first, you need to prepare yourself. Just like when applying, do some research, learn about the company, try to get an idea of how the company will use you. This will help you prepare for some of the questions that they are about to ask you. Arrive early, punctuality is important because it lets them know you care. Go into the interview with confidence. You will not know everything there is about the job at this time. If you show up confident, with an eagerness to learn, most of the time that is enough to attract an offer. After an interview it never hurts to send a thank you letter; let them know you appreciate them giving you a shot. Do not write an email as it is seen as being lazy, handwrite a simple letter to earn yourself some extra points.
Congrats! You got the job offer, but your job search process is not over yet. Negotiating is the last step. Do some additional research on the company, find out what they are paying others with your job or a similar job. Do some additional research on what the industry average is and what other people in the area are making that have the same job for a different company. It is important to know what you are getting into before you start throwing demands at your new company. Be resilient and know your worth. The company picked you out of everyone else that applied, which means they saw something special in you. Use this to your advantage but do not be too aggressive. It is very rare for them to pull the offer during this time, but you do not want to seem arrogant and get off on the wrong hand already. Last but not least, be patient. Odds are this is not the only position you applied for. Just because you have an offer does not mean you have to accept it right away. Give your other opportunities a chance because chances are the first option will not be the best every time. Being patient can also benefit you if companies know you have other options. If you are the right candidate for the job, they might raise your incentives to persuade you to come work for them.
Do you know how to answer all of your relatives' questions now?
Hopefully, this guide has answered some of your questions and has given you hope for your job search journey. Remember, as stressful as this process seems, it should be an exciting time. You are moving up in life, building your career. Have fun with it but take it seriously. Job Searching is a job in itself, without the pay. The more time and effort you put in, the more you will get out. I wish you the best of luck!