Tips to Help Organize Your Job Search

Job searches are no easy feat. While most will recommend that you treat it as a full time job, sometimes you already have one of those. As soon as friends and relatives get the feeling you are looking around, a slew of advice will come falling your way, so it’s important to keep your priorities organized. Here’s how to deal with situation one and two.

Situation 1—Employed

You’re going to have a tough time making sure that the right people know you’re looking, while the people you’re working for don’t—that is until you’re ready. Your plan should be rather discrete, all while making sure you are able to give your two weeks’ before leaving. You might have to dedicate less time, so it is all the more important that you use the time you have wisely.

  1. Don’t send emails at work, unless it’s during personal time (i.e. lunch) and definitely do not use your job’s computers. Same goes for making calls on company time, unless you know that there is absolutely no other time.
  2. Don’t lying about where you are going, this is almost worse than not giving two weeks’ notice.
  3. Contact a recruiter, they can be an extra set of eyes for you and they know how to handle these situations discretely.
  4. Put away an hour after you get home, preferably after you have dinner. In this time you will send out two/three resumes and personalize your cover letter for each one. You’re doing this to get to the next best thing, so make sure you focus on making the best impression in each of those. Time is tight here, make sure your search is specific. After all, you’re already working, so you must have figured out what you don’t want to encounter at your next job.
  5. Schedule interviews either early in the morning or second half of the day after 3 (pending you’re currently working a 9-5). This will insure that you cause the least amount of disturbance at work and your absence might be perceived as a doctor’s appointment.

Situation 2—Unemployed

Well you’ve got all the time in the world. Sure, you might want to sleep in. Maybe indulge in some ice cream if you’re current situation is due to a lay off and not your fault. After your morning period is over and you are ready for your search, you have to treat it as though it’s you job. Get yourself up at the time every day. Use job search engines and off you go.

  1. Figure out your application style. Do you need to go on job boards and click on every job you like, save the links and then spend time applying to each one? Or maybe you just need to take it one at a time; using one on Monday, on Tuesday (etc.) and so it goes every day until you’re employed? Now is the time to figure out how you work. Everything at once, a little bit at a time—you pick and take that route.
  2. Narrow down your search. This is the most important thing you can do. Before you go crazy and apply to everything out there, you have to know what you want. Whether you got fired, or left voluntarily, you should spend some time self-reflecting and figuring out what you don’t want to do. Find your passion and pursue it. Now is the time.
  3. Do research about apps, web browser extensions and facebook, reddit pages that will help motivate you and give you advice as you look. We have a few ideas. For example, our page is filled to the brim with ideas, tips and current openings. Find some more facebook pages like that, and you’ve got yourself some positive information. On reddit, like on many discussion boards, you can find like-minded individuals in the same situation as you. Don’t go through it alone, you don’t have to. There’s 7.9% more of a nation out there (based on December 2012 unemployment numbers, and that’s just the U.S.) of people in you same situation. Support is all around, talk to people. There’s also web browser extensions for reddit r/jobs that will keep a ticker of the jobs currently out there. There’s an extension called morning coffee on Firefox and Daily Links on Chrome that can help you open all the right links when you open your browser. You can program it with job boards to keep yourself focused.
  4. Tell EVERYONE. You have nothing to hide. Remember that person you once spoke to at a café that did something you thought was interesting, email them. You’ve been meaning to tell your aunt you would love a career in her field, tell her. Is there a staffing agency nearby? Find a way to talk to one of their recruiters. You once saw a brilliant speaker? Email the place where he performed and get his contact info. The more people know, the bigger your network, the more likely you’ll be connected to the right person faster.
  5. Freelance in the meantime. For those of us who need to get paid to purchase food and other necessities. Sitting around and waiting for the right opportunity might sound ridicules. This is another way your local staffing company can help. There might be a temporary assignment in your field that could help keep up your experience until you find your dream job. Have you been meaning to write a blog? Do it now. You’ve been meaning to start a website? Now’s the time. Not only will that get you motivated again, it could connect you to more people as you find the means to do so and it will definitely help you display what you’ve been doing in the meantime. Who knows? It could even be a big hit and it become your full time income.

Final point is, whether employed or unemployed, job searchers are doable. If you’re motivated, eventually something will turn up. And don’t just apply and send your resume by the tons. You would think more throws leads to more hits, but not if you’re looking to throw into the wrong places. Don’t use a bat to cut through brick, it will be much harder and you’ll feel like you’re putting in all this effort without results. If you use a screwdriver or a hammer however, you’re more likely to at least make holes and finally crack the thing (your job search) open.


Three Big Interview Questions and What They Mean

If you ask for interview advice, you will always hear: “ask questions” as an answer. It shows you are interested. But what are you interested in? Why are you asking questions? Often, you are so nervous and eager to start working that you just ask things for the sake of completing the task. The whole interview is a routine: enter, smile, shake hands, sit straight, hair out of face, answer, ask, follow up and finally (hopefully get the job). What we are quick to forget, is that there is (or should be) a purpose to everything we do during an interview. The interviewer does his job to make sure you are a good fit for his company. You should be looking out for yourself, making sure that you are a good fit. You might counter me, stating that a job is a job. That’s understandable in this economy, but if you are looking for a career, you cannot just settle for “a job.” Asking meaningful questions will help you find out if you’re interviewing for a job or a career. Here are the best questions to ask and a breakdown of why you should.


Question 1.

Is this a new position? If so, why was it created? If not, what kind of expectations do you have for the next employee?

This will accomplish a few things. First, you will find out if the company is expanding and if so that could mean a few things. It shows economic stability. It’s a large commitment for a company to decide to take on new hires. Before you go in, research if the new position is part of larger contract the company signed for a year or more, which will dictate if the position will be around for a while or just a test. The second half of the question should give you a good idea about what your work will be like, day-to-day and lead to more questions about your role. With that idea, you should be able to determine if it’s something you would enjoy doing during 40+ hour weeks for at least a few years.

Question 2.

What do you expect the new hire to accomplish within the first month, 60 and 90 days? Do you expect there to be a learning curb, how long?

This question should solidify your expectations. You will find out if there will be a lot of pressure and multitasking expected. If you’re not a person who can handle that, it’s better to focus your energy in pursuing something else. Basically, can you handle this position or will you be running out cursing after a month of work? Perhaps the company wants to spend a month time training you at first and that’s something you know you need when you start a new role, then congrats, continue in this direction.

Question 3.

What do you enjoy most about working for Company X?

Your Interviewer should be able to name at least one thing. If they are interviewing you, they are likely in a senior position and should have a good reason they have stayed with their company. On the same note, if the person interviewing is rude and short with you and you did not warrant this type of reaction, it might be sign they are not happy with their situation. Interviewing you is just another nuisance they have to do to fulfill their job requirements. Someone who is smiling and welcomes your warm attitude (which you undoubtedly brought with you) will certainly have a thing or two to say about why they love their job. Hopefully their enthusiasm will be contagious and get you excited to work with them.