Monday, December 3, 2012

It’s Time To Stop Sucking at Your Job Search

by Brazen Careerist

If you’re limiting your search to major job boards like Monster and Indeed, you probably aren’t making much progress.

If you’ve filled out more than 25 job applications or if you can’t keep track of how many applications you’ve submitted, which companies you’ve applied to or who you need to follow up with, you probably also suck at applying for jobs.

Lucky for you, we’ve compiled some tips to help you improve your current job search strategy:

1. Do Your Research

Most industries and cities have niche job boards and communities dedicated to certain areas of the market. For example, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has a job board dedicated to each city where companies looking to hire PR professionals can post their openings. Sometimes these openings are also posted on major job boards like Monster, but sometimes they aren’t.

By researching and finding these niche communities, you can stay tapped into what’s going on in your industry. You’ll have access to different, more targeted job posts and be able to make valuable connections in your specific market. You’ll also have a leg up on the competition by seeing job postings with a more limited audience.

Ask your professional contacts for suggestions if you’re having trouble finding these niche communities. You can also ask if they know of any job opportunities that would be a good fit for you.

2. Slow Your Roll

While it can be tempting—especially with form applications and fill-in-the-blank fields—to apply for each and every job you come across that seems like a decent fit, don’t do it.

Although it seems like casting a wide net would be a good job-search strategy, what you’re really doing is akin to “spraying and praying.” You can’t possibly keep track of all of those applications, follow up with every hiring manager or do enough research to impress every single company you’ve applied to if your net is 100 companies wide. Instead, you should…

3. Do More Research. Yes, MORE

Take the time to look up each company before you apply for their position. See if they have a company culture that you would work well in. Research the name of the hiring manager and look at his or her Twitter feed. Check out client reviews and testimonials. Click around on the website and make sure you like what you see. Look at your social networks and see if you have any connections who work at the organization.

Not only will this give you a better idea of what it would be like to work there; you’ll also be able to write a much better and more individualized cover letter explaining to the hiring manager exactly what it was that attracted you to the company. Once you’ve done your research and identified companies and opportunities that seem valuable and desirable, you’re ready to move on.

Tips 4,5 and Complete Article

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