Searching for a job takes multiple steps
Searching for a job has multiple steps that may be competed several times before you are able to finally land the job you wanted. The steps in a job search include:
- Assessment of your career goals, experience, skills and abilities
- Research to find the available jobs and potential employers that interest you
- Writing resumes, cover letters and follow-up thank you notes
- Completing applications and other required documents
- Arranging interviews, both for open jobs as well as with prospective employers to find about opportunities that may open in the future
- Negotiating compensation packages; salaries, benefits, vacation & sick leave
- Accepting or declining an offer of employment
When looking for jobs in an area, if is helpful to understand the best opportunities and where to find them. Many jobs are posted publicly on job search boards, such as NCWorks, and on employer websites under links listed as Work for Us, Apply, etc., which is considered the Open Market.
Many jobs are often not posted publicly, this is called the Hidden Market. Why would an employer not post jobs publicly? There are many reason, but some include that the position requires specialized skills that may not be possessed by a large number of people, the company is small and they don’t have the ability to go through a large number of applications that could be received, etc. The only way to find about these Hidden Jobs is to network.
Networking is reaching out to your family, friends and acquaintances, basically anyone you know, to let them know that you are looking for a job. If you know what kind of job you want, think about anyone you know who works in that field, or anyone who works in a company that hires those jobs. Ask them to help you by seeing if there are any jobs available, recommending you for any open positions or asking their manager to speak with you about any opportunities that may open in the future. To think about and identify your existing network, use the Networking Activity Map worksheet.
Networking doesn’t have to be done face-to-face, using social media is another great way to reach out to your network. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all platforms that can be used. When using social media, there are some things to be aware of, everything you put online can be seen by everyone, be sure that you only post items that you want everyone to see. Surveys show that as many as 90% of companies check online profiles of their candidates. Also, be sure to not share personal information with people that you do not personally know.
Other places to look for jobs:
- School and university publications
- Government publications
- Professional or trade organizations
- Community bulletin boards
- Business and trade newspapers