How to Search for a Job and Find a Job

Tips and advice on searching for a job effectively, finding a new career opportunity, job board strategies, social media marketing, and getting help from a recruiter.

Searching for a job can be a daunting and sometimes downright frightful undertaking, especially if you are without a job and source of income. But if you analyze the hunting process and break it down into pieces that you can manage, it can be easier (and more fruitful) than it may at first appear. Here are some simple and effective steps to help you get started:

Set a Goal/Take Inventory

What is it that you want? What is it that you are qualified to do? And what type of position do you think you would you like to have? Take a mental or written account of all of your past business experience, and consider as well the things you love to do on the weekends that may somehow be a benefit to a potential employer. For instance, do your buddies call you up at home to get answers to their ‘how to’ computer questions? Then how about looking into taking a position as a trainer? If you are creative enough, you can parlay almost any passion into a moneymaker. Think also about what you’re going to do before you set out do it. You know the saying, “Work smart, not hard.” Don’t waste time doing things that are not going to benefit you in the long run.

Check the Job Boards

There are plenty of job boards where you can find pages and pages of job openings. Often, your best bet is to start with the big name, well-advertised job boards; but this is not necessarily always the case. There are many, many smaller (but just as handy) niche sites that are geared toward a particular group of people or industry skill. For instance, there are sites that offer information and resources especially for IT professionals, or specifically for JAVA programmers, or just web designers, etc. There are also many sites that post jobs for just one particular city or one particular state, and many city newspapers also list their classifieds online. A search for “jobs” in any major search engine will turn up hundreds of more websites.

Connect on Social Media Sites

Navigate the world of social media by getting plugged into networking websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and AOL can help you find out how these sites work and how to get started.

The whole concept of social media exposure is to be found, to stand out, and to set yourself apart from all the other million-bazillion job hunters out there on the World Wide Web. What you are doing is no different than someone promoting their business on the web … except your business is you. So be diligent to maintain a positive online presence. You can be well publicized on 23 different social media websites; but if the only thing being viewed by potential employers are your college spring break pictures or your derogatory flaming comments on Twitter, then you have a problem.

Make sure your online profiles are consistent. Resume matches LinkedIn profile etc. Search your name in Google, Bing or Yahoo and see what comes up. Do your best to eliminate any negative information that might be hindering you from getting a job.

Next, update or change your job titles so that you can be found easily in Internet search strings, and make sure your job title accurately represents the work that you actually did. This usually means downgrading your titles to match your responsibilities or just making them simpler.

Here are some examples of job titles that should be changed in order to be found more frequently by potential employers:

Less Likely to be Found in a Search: More Appropriate:

Window Solar Control Technician Window Tinter
Underwater Ceramics Technician Dishwasher
Director of First Impressions Receptionist
Quality Assurance Consultant Tester

Think about it … if you were a recruiter or employer who needed to hire someone and you were pressed for time, which title would you search for? Obviously, hiring agents tend to search the more common titles in order to obtain a larger amount of search results and thus the most potential candidates to call. So you want your titles to be visible and to be found so that you will get the calls.

Also, your titles should be changed to reflect your true scope of responsibility. Certain company titles are designed to make us feel important; but at the end of the day, a Fortune 1000 company is not going to call you about a VP of finance position if you were merely a banking center vice president. And if they did, shouldn’t that set off some sort of red flag? Be honest about your title. It’s not about ego and titles; it is about getting the calls that lead to getting a job.

Here are some examples of job titles that should be changed to reflect responsibility:

Less Indicative of Resposibility Level: More Appropriate:

Talent Acquisition Guru Recruiter
Banking Center Vice President Branch Manager
National Director of Client Channel Services National Account Manager
Chief Rock Star (Really?)

Most available jobs are filled by people who were recommended by a friend or peer. Update ALL your social media sites (including your status, image, or profile) to reflect “Seeking New Opportunity.” Use those words exactly. Why? Because the really good recruiters and hiring managers will type that exact search string in on a weekly basis, especially those using LinkedIn. Your friends, peers, and possibly your competitors will see the status change and they might reach out to you.

Discuss your job search via your Facebook account. This is like calling all your friends and telling them that you are looking for a job. If you are creative enough, you can remind them once a week. Most people tend to want to help others when they can. Let your contacts know when you are going on interviews as well; you might be surprised to find out how interested some people are in knowing how your job hunt is coming along.

On LinkedIn, reach out and send an invitation to connect to hiring managers and recruiters. When you do, and they accept the connection or view your profile, they will see that you are “Seeking New Opportunity,” and may contact you.

After you have changed your heading to reveal you are “Seeking New Opportunity,” reach out on Twitter to about 40 or so people a day within your city or industry. Send out four tweets a day throughout the day (one stating you are looking for a new opportunity which should include a link to your online resume or to your LinkedIn profile, and three other tweets about things related to the industry you are trying to enter).

Get the Help of a Recruiter

A recruiter can help you tap into a wealth of unadvertised job positions. And since it is the norm for the employer to pay a fee to the recruiter in exchange for finding qualified talent for their company, you as a jobseeker should not ever be charged for the services of a professional recruiter. So you won’t be out a thing, and you can even benefit from their expertise regarding issues such as the current business trends as well as resume advice. If you are a recruiter or staffing manager seeking work within the staffing industry, Global Impact Staffing specializes in finding jobs for those people who are usually helping others find jobs.

Know Your Industry

Know the trends of your industry. If you are coming out of an area that economists don’t expect to thrive in the next year or two, then you may need to adjust your job search and begin thinking of other options for your future. Conversely, if you have experience in an area that is expected to thrive in the near future, lean your job search in that direction for the best potential for a successful career. Decide on an industry direction (one that is expected to thrive, one that you enjoy, and one for which you are qualified), and then research the companies that specialize in that line of work. When you find a company that offers positions in the type of work that you would like to do, learn what you can about it (such as whether they have an office in your city and the name of the hiring manager or decision maker). Also research that company’s competitors. For instance, suppose you are a human resources professional looking for work due to a layoff. And let’s suppose that you are interested in continuing in that same line of work. Find the names of the competitors of the company for whom you formerly worked. Typically, this company will be requiring the same type of personnel, and they may have an opening that suits your skills.

Network, Network, Network

Everyone knows somebody that you don’t know. So ask around (discreetly, if you are in the position of having to be careful about who knows you are searching.) Opportunity often shows up in the strangest places, and you just never know what unexpected break might be just around the corner. So talk to people … either in person at trade organization meetings or business networking lunches or in online user groups. Be around people who can help you get where you want to go. It is also important to remember that your character and integrity in your daily life can be one of your most important tools. If someone you know comes across a job opening for which they know you have the skills, it will be your integrity and work ethic that will help that person decide whether they will put their own name on the line by recommending you for the position. The saying, “What goes around, comes around,” is true, especially in the corporate world; and how you help others will to a large degree determine how people help you.