- What type of position do you want?
- What type of positions are you qualified for?
- What type of company do you want to work for:
- Large Corporate, Small Family, Government
- Tech company, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Publisher
There are so many different companies, start with the companies that you have an interest in, ie you love to read try Kobo
- Where do you want to work, big city, closer to home, remotely?
- Are you willing to travel for your position?
- Permanent or Contract?
You need to answer all these questions before you even start looking. The answers to these questions will give you a starting point.
The Cover Letter, Resume and your Thank You Notes are your “sales presentation” and the product is “YOU”.
- If there are spelling or formatting mistakes your resume will hit the trash bin.
- You need to use key words or the “ATS” (Applicant Tracking System) will never find it.
- All 3 documents need to be fine tuned for each position and company you are applying to.
- Have a friend or family member proofread each document before you send it. An extra fresh pair of eyes can save you all sorts of trouble. Having a colleague in the same position read it over is especially helpful as they will be able to help you fine tune it to suit the position and bring out your strengths as they relate to the position.
- Keep them simple and short
- 1 page for your cover letter
- 2 to 3 pages for your resume
- note sized for your Thank You note
It only works if you “work at it”. Networking takes effort. You can’t be shy!!!!. Again networking is a form of sales and this time you are asking people to be your salesmen/lead generator.
- Friends, Family, Colleagues, Acquaintances. How many times have you heard “I know someone who knows someone, whose cousin is …”. Be prepared to take advantage of all of these leads. Sometimes it is easier for you and someone not directly related to you to help you out. So “talk, talk, talk” to everyone. People genuinely like to help each other.
- Social Media
- LinkedIn is the best for connecting with people in the industry you want to get into.
- Twitter – follow the companies you are interested in. Jobs are posted on most company twitter accounts and as soon as you see it send your resume over lickety-split.
- One word of warning with Twitter, Facebook and Google+, etc, if you don’t want hiring managers seeing your personal information then set up professional accounts just for job hunting
- Recruiters – find the right one. They have a wealth of information, but a number of them specialize whether in a field (accounting, technologies, finance, administration), or an industry (Government, Health, Manufacturing).
- Direct to Company Webpages or Job Boards. This is the best way to find out if your favourite company is looking for people. Then you can try and connect with someone from the list above. Getting through the Company ATS system is very difficult, but it gives you a good starting point.
Now it’s all up to you. Be Prepared. I can’t stress this enough:
- Research the company, research the position, find out as much about the person that is interviewing you as you can
- Study your resume, know it inside and out. Be able to expand on the points in it in a clear and concise way. “umms” don’t work in interviews.
- Be prepared for
- Telephone Interviews – a quiet area, a charged phone, no distractions and dress for it, don’t be all slouchy in your pjs.
- The 1st Interview is frequently with HR/Recruiter. Are you a fit? Do you have the qualifications you say you do? How are your communications skills? There may even be a technical test.
- 2nd and 3rd Interviews are usually with the group you will be working with. This will get into more of the nitty gritty of the position and they will also want to know if you are a fit for the group.
- First Impressions are important – smile, firm handshake, cleanliness – are way more important than you might think.
It goes without saying that you need 3 business references and they better be saying positive things about you.
- Make sure you have up to date contact information for them
- When is a good time for the company to call them, ie work or home, morning, evening
- Send them a copy of your resume and the position you are being considered for.
6. The Job Offer/Resignation
Woohoo!!!! How excited are you? I bet crazy excited. But not so excited or crazy that you would resign without having the offer in WRITING. Yes make sure you have the offer in writing before you resign from your previous position. Read every word and make sure that everything is in there:
- Benefits – dental, sick, pension, etc
- Start Date
Check out my powerpoint/slideshare presentation for a few more tips.
Now relax, pour yourself a glass of your favourite nectar and get ready for your new adventure.
Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programing and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment. Absolutely love social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!