Experts say that people today, on average, change jobs once every four years and change careers an average of three times during their working life. We no longer live in a world where you can stay in the same job for your entire career, retire and collect your gold watch. Workers today are constantly faced with corporate restructuring and layoffs, forcing them to face constant change and upheaval.
Companies today are in business to make money and their only loyalty is to the bottom line. When their bottom line suffers, they layoff employees and this can happen to anyone at any time. Martin Yate in his book Knock em Dead states that "job change is an integral part of modern life that comes around about every four years, making change and job search a constant factor for everyone."
Searching for a job today then has become a job in itself that requires planning, management and strategies in order for you to be able to conduct an effective job search.
Learn how to take charge of your life and career by studying the importance and benefits of creating a Career Management Plan. A career management plan will help prepare you to take the necessary steps to make your career goals happen and to look for ways to improve your job skills.
Take a skills assessment to help you find job options that match your skills, interests and values. Skills assessments help you learn about yourself, make better career and education decisions, present yourself better to employees, interview better, become a better employee and gain confidence. You will be happier if you choose a career that matches your unique skills, your interests and values.
When you have completed your skills assessment, establish your short and long term goals. Your short term goal may be to find a job in which you are currently qualified for and can succeed in today.
Your long term goals should be established by documenting what skills, knowledge and experience you need to gain to move forward in your career path.
Based on your career goals, establish a professional development plan and start taking the courses you need. Office skills are transferable skills which means you can use them in any company. Office Skills that are in demand by employers today include Keyboarding, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases and Presentations.
Document your job objective, achievements and education using a Resume Questionnaire. Once you have your experience outlined on paper, you will be ready to make a digital copy. Analyze different resume and cover letter formats and create your resume and cover letter using Microsoft Word or other word processing program. Access to free word processing software is now readily available at office.com or openoffice.com. You will also need to know how to save your resume in different formats such as .pdf and .txt in preparation for uploading. You will also need to know how to quickly modify your resume and cover letter for different job skills
Search for and apply for jobs via traditional networking channels such as company websites, college career services & job fairs, job sites, internal hires, recruitment advertising and employment and local agencies.
Use social networking in your job search campaign. Create a professional Linkedin profile, explore how to apply for jobs and expand your social networking circle by connecting with people and joining groups.
This is also a good time to find three people who will give you a positive recommendation. Most hiring managers want at least three reliable references.
Preparing for the interview is an important part of your job search. Learn how to dress like a professional and demonstrate the behaviors that employers are looking for at the interview. Also, the key to a great interview is to review and practice answers to tough interview questions and also be prepared to carry out phone interviews/screenings. Lastly, learn what questions to ask and not ask of the hiring manager during your interview.
One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to participate in a mock interview. Most job search classes or job centers may offer this service or you can practice with your family and friends. The mock interview gives you the opportunity to demonstrate preparation for the interview including exhibiting proper business attire, using concise and articulate language and demonstrating positive and confident body language.
Following up after the job interview is an important of the job search process. Effectively contact and follow-up with Employers, headhunters and networking companies by sending a thank-you note and following up with a phone call.
Motivate yourself by sending out at least 2 letters and emails each day In response to job postings to the contacts you identify within target companies.