Your job search

Look at your job search as a process of self-discovery … because it is.

MatthewSome people are so lucky: they’ve always known what kinds of jobs and careers they’d like to do. But if you don’t have a clear vision yet, don’t let that stop you from moving ahead. Look at your job search as a kind of self-discovery, because that’s exactly what it is.

CarlosYou’re right. Your job search can help you bring your personal goals into sharper focus. But you need to make a plan for your search and then follow through on it.

MatthewWhat should be in your job search plan? Three key things are networking, following-up on advertised job openings, and directly contacting some employers in your target industry.

Strategies to use

Adopt a plan
An effective job search is usually not a once in awhile, hit-or-miss thing; you need to be organized. To create your plan, talk to career counselors at your school or look for job-hunting advice online and in guidebooks. Determine what your job search process will be and follow-through on your plan.

Connect with people who can be of help to you (and vice versa) to uncover work-related opportunities. Talk with people in different industries and professions and visit their work sites if you can. Ask them questions about how they got into the field and what their experience has been. You’ll begin to get a sense of which opportunities you find exciting — and which environments you’d rather avoid.

Pursue advertised jobs
Look for jobs that fit your goals. Remember that while you’re searching for your “ideal” job, you may need part-time or short-term work to cover your expenses. Consider what skills and talents you have that might be marketable, whether it’s building Web sites, tutoring students, installing audio equipment, cooking, or carpentry. Meet with one or more temporary job agencies and submit your resume. They can help you find short-term jobs that can both bring in cash and add to your job experience.

Target employers directly
Consider what industries and types of jobs interest you and research specific companies.

Read tips about starting a job search.

Click the Next button for tips on acing a job interview.