Finding a new job can be an intimidating process. From researching jobs and companies, updating your resume, applying, interviewing, and even accepting an offer, there are many factors to consider. At our employment agency, the team of professionals at Palmer Group understands the ins and outs of the entire job search and employment process. We’ve highlighted some lessons we’ve learned along the way and offer important questions to ask before applying and accepting a position, along with advice on how to evaluate job offers.
Consider the Big Picture
When looking for a new position, consider why you are open to a change in the first place. Have your skills developed in a way that makes you more of a fit for a different role? Have your professional goals shifted? What are your top priorities or “must-haves”? What are your negotiables? Take the time to write these thoughts down. Reach out to other professionals and friends who can offer advice in these areas. They may mention aspects of company culture or benefits you have not yet considered. The more clearly you know what you are looking for, the better you can stay on track toward your goals throughout the research and application process.
What Lessons Have You Learned?
Another critical factor is to understand the reasons you left previous positions. Think through your entire work history. What did you learn from those experiences? How can these lessons help you in moving forward? Did you find you enjoy being part of a big team that excels in collaboration, or do you thrive on independent work? Your goals in this process may change some of your expectations and “must-haves” in your next job.
Why Are You Looking for A New Job?
Common reasons for looking for a new position are often centered around job growth, salary, benefits, vacation time, or the culture and personalities in your office. Which of these items are most important to you? Which ones are negotiable? The more specific you are from the start, the more you will recognize the right position when it comes along.
Is Now the Time to Make Your Move?
The best time to undertake a job search is before you need one. While you may be content in your current position and confident in your ability to advance your career at your current employer, it’s good practice to keep a pulse on the job market because of factors outside your control. Even just keeping your resume up to date can be of value if you come across a job opportunity that you can’t pass up.
Take a Strategic Approach to Your Search
Once you have analyzed your search, developing a strategy that aligns with your goals and a method to help you remain on track throughout the process is essential. Track your progress and analyze the results of your efforts. It's the best way to determine which strategies and tactics are working and which may need to be adjusted or replaced.
Are you ready to take on the many challenges and rewards of searching for the job that will advance your career?
Connect With Your Network
Networking is a crucial aspect of any effective job search. Build relationships with people in your industry, attend networking events, and reach out to people in your professional circle. Networking allows you to learn about job opportunities that may not be advertised publicly and can also help you get your foot in the door at a company that you are interested in working for. LinkedIn is also a great platform to build your business connections, whether you are looking for a job now or simply open to possibilities in the future.
Assess Your Job Search Strategies
Look at the jobs you've applied for and the results you've gotten. Are you applying to the right types of jobs? Are your job search strategies working? If not, try something new or consider consulting with a career counselor or recruiter. By analyzing how your search is progressing, you'll be able to identify what is working and how you can improve. This will make your job search more efficient and effective and increase your chances of finding the right job for you.
Analyze Your Resume and Cover Letter
Examine your resume and cover letter from the perspective of a hiring manager. Are they well-written and tailored to the specific job? Are there any errors or inconsistencies? Make sure to update your resume and cover letter to specific opportunities to improve your chances of getting a job, and check out our tips for formatting a cover letter and refining your resume.
Take Time to Prepare
Preparing for an interview is common sense, but preparing takes longer than you think if you want to do it well. Be sure to research the company and industry and practice interview questions and answers. You can start your research by evaluating the company’s website and social media accounts; even looking up the company page on LinkedIn can show you if you know anyone in the company who can give you insights. You can also look up the hiring manager conducting your interview to learn a little about who they are before you walk through the door.
Once you have an interview scheduled, make sure that what you plan to wear to your interview is ironed, clean, and in good repair. Check out the travel route to ensure there is enough time to arrive on schedule. Re-read the job description and research the company to ensure it stays fresh in your mind, as well as practice answering common interview questions and thinking about how you can highlight your skills and qualifications.
Evaluate Your Interview Performance
After each interview, you should reflect on how it went. What did you do well? What could you have done better? Use this information to improve your interview skills and make a better impression during future interviews.
Avoid These Common Job Search Mistakes
When you're in the market for a job, it's easy to run into drawbacks you may not have considered. Here are some common mistakes people make when looking for a job and suggestions on how you can avoid them.
Having Unclear Goals. Your search may be challenging if you're unsure what job you want. This can complicate selecting a company to apply to or choosing from several available roles within an organization. Some people apply for every open position in a specific division or company, but doing so can seem unfocused to potential employers.
Using a One-Size-Fits-All Resume and Cover Letter. Your resume and cover letter should be specific to the job you are applying for. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the position. Customizing your resume and cover letter for the job post will help you stand out to potential employers. Include specific examples of how your skills and experience align with the position's requirements.
Focusing Too Much on One Company. While having a target company in mind can be beneficial, it's also important to have a backup plan(s) in case things don't work out. If you get your heart set on a specific company, it can be discouraging if you don't get that job and could lead to you missing out on other great opportunities.
Not Asking for Help. Most job seekers will find there are many people invested in their success. Reach out to family and friends to let them know you are job searching. Talk to people in your industry to ask for advice. Consider a career coach for help if you’re thinking about a career change or working with an employment agency.
Be Patient and Persistent
Finding a new job can take time. Keep going even if you don't land the ideal position immediately. Keep applying, networking, and learning new skills; eventually, you will find the right opportunity. Ultimately, the motivation behind your desire for change will show you why you are seeking a new opportunity and, most importantly, see the “must-haves” you will strive for in your next role. If you have further questions about this topic, reach out to us today. One of our recruiters will be happy to follow up and help you with the specific needs and questions of your career journey.
If you’re in the market for a new job, you may not have considered the advantages a staffing and recruiting firm may have to offer. You might be pleasantly surprised. They have access to jobs that are not advertised, know who is hiring and can help ensure you have no gaps in your employment. Find out what partnering with a staffing agency like Palmer Group can do for your career. If you’re ready to get started on your search, browse our current jobs.