I know, I know. Some of you might be thinking, “Look, I need to be out there submitting my resume on-line, not sitting around getting organized.” I understand, but let me explain why getting organized now one will actually benefit you in the long run.
When starting a job search, people usually have an unfocused strategy. They might email a resume to a few companies online, perhaps even post their resume on a job board, or bring a printed resume to an employment agency and wait. They may follow-up, but many times they don’t.This process will be repeated in a fairly disorganized way, without any real consistency and when there are no call backs, this can make the job search process very frustrating and unnecessarily difficult.
Day two of this job search process may feel like nothing, but is going to be really valuable in laying the groundwork for the rest of your job search. What we are trying to do here create a foundation so that you are attacking your job search from multiple angles and avenues.
Today we are going to get focused, and gain clarity.
Clarity affords focus.~ Thomas Leonard
- Print out your resume–be prepared to mark it up now and throughout the days to come.
- Get a notebook that you will only use for your job search, or the job search process
Now that you have your notebook in hand, what I want you to do is answer these questions:
1. Why am I looking for a job?Why Did I leave this Job
You’ll want to start with why you are looking for a job. Were you laid off? Are you still working, but you want something different? If so, why? This is important because when you get to interview stage, employers will ask you why, and you want to have answers ready for them. You will also want to list, for each job why you left each job, and also why you accepted that opportunity. We will get more into why this is important later.
2. What type of job am I looking for?
Why is this important? Sometimes when we’ve asked people what types of jobs they are looking for, the answer will be “anything”. This can pose a major problem because if a recruiter looks at your resume and sees a receptionist, but you’ve submitted your resume to a cashier job, you probably won’t get a call back. We’ll deal with how to make that work later, but you will want to be focused and make sure that you are going to be applying for jobs that make sense. Whether you are a cashier, night manager ,or Product Marketing Manager, you should know what your job is called, and what kind of work you are seeking.
3. What industry have I worked for consistently?
As you look at your resume, try to name the industries that you have worked in consistently. I will use an extreme example: Let’s say you worked front desk at a hotel, then you were a blackjack dealer in Vegas for a while, and then you were a ticket taker at a theme park. Though you have had many different jobs, you have been in one main industry-hospitality. This will help you when we work on your resume and you start to apply for jobs. When you have a target industry focus, your industry will recognize this and it increase your chances of call backs.
4. What skills do I have?
This is the piece where people will sell themselves short. Sometimes when we have been doing a particular job for so long, we forget how valuable our skill sets are. Here is another example. Let’s say you were a cashier at Burger King, you may be tempted to think that you only have one bullet point-cashier. But let’s take a deeper look at what a cashier really does:
- Maintains a solid and working knowledge of product additions and changes
- Responsible for up-selling a customer and therefore increasing the amount of each sales transaction (in other words, it is the “Do you want fries with that?” technique)
- Handles customer complaints and concerns, and acts independently to resolve issues
- Responsible for all cash transactions, and electronic data processing (counting out your register at the end of the night)
Do you see from the example above how valuable the job title of “cashier” now becomes? You can also begin to see how there are several functions that a cashier may be able to perform: Customer Service, Sales, data entry.
If you have a hard time trying to really list all of the things that you do, you can cheat by looking up YOUR job description. For a list of job descriptions you can look here and type in your job, and get more ideas on how to list what you do.
Lastly, on day 2, I want you to have a positive attitude. Here are a list of DONT’s during your job search process:
- DO NOT speak negatively about the economy. Believe that you have what it takes to get the job you want. If you have been employed before, you will be employed again. Hold on to THAT belief.
- DO NOT allow friends or family to discourage you. If they start to move the conversation in a negative direction regarding your job search, change the subject or get off the phone in a polite way.
- DO NOT discuss every interview that you go on with everyone. Sometimes there is power in silence. It can be discouraging to tell friends, and family about a wonderful interview only to have to come back and say you’re not sure how it went. Move in silence.
Make sure that you are keeping yourself motivated during this time, read inspiring texts, positive quotes etc.
If you have any questions about today’s guide, don’t hesitate to ask-either on twitter, Facebook, or leave some comments below.
You will be successful, and every day is a new day to begin!
Together in excellence,
The Working Diva