Designing a Job Search
At this point, you probably don't need anyone to tell you that "it's a jungle out there." The challenges of job hunting have been discussed by talk show personalities, documented in newspaper columns and magazine articles, dissected by a variety of book authors, and, no doubt, been the subject of some debate in your household.
The truth is that college graduates can and do find jobs, although the process is neither quick nor easy. As a matter of fact, if the job search had a mantra, it would be: It's a process. Your movement through the process will be greatly enhanced if you invest as much time and energy in the planning as in the doing.
The following suggestions are a blueprint for both the design and action phases of your job search:
Understand your interests, values, skills and personality preferences, and use them as criteria to identify work that will be satisfying.
Know the world of work
Research your career options. Read trade and professional journals, newsletters, newspapers and employer publications. Search the Internet.
Set your goals
Target the industries and employers of greatest interest to you.
Build a network of personal and professional contacts
Notify family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances that you are job hunting. Ask them for search suggestions. Participate in professional associations related to your area or areas of interest. Gather information through conversations, meetings, seminars, workshops or any vehicle that enhances your opportunities to interact with others who understand your search and are willing to assist you. Discuss your career goals whenever the occasion arises.
Strengthen your I.Q. (Interview Quotient)
Sharpen your interview skills through practice. Stage mock interviews with someone whose feedback you trust. Develop accomplishment-oriented responses to those "typical" interview questions.
Register with the Career Development Center through RamblerLink
Keep your profile information current, especially your e-mail address. Make sure that your latest resume is uploaded and published in an employer searchable web resume book.
Follow-Up, follow-up, follow-up
Phone, write, e-mail and fax. Keep in touch with interviewers and all your network contacts.
Build pleasant personal activities into your day. Meet a friend at the gym or for dinner as a reward for working through your job search to-do list. Take time for yourself. Keep connected to people who will provide you with emotional support throughout this process. Manage your stress in positive ways.
Expect ups and downs
Remember, every step you take in the job search process is one step closer to your goal.