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Simplify Your Job Search

10 Steps to Simplify Your Job Search

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When you're just starting out job searching or have been out of the job market for a while, you don't need all the bells and whistles that are available to job seekers today. If you try to use too many job sites at once, you're going to end up spending too much time, duplicating your efforts, and making it difficult to keep track of your job search. There is too much information - and too many job sites - out there to be able to use them all.

What You Don't Need to Job Search

It's important to note that there's a lot you don't need to job search effectively, even if it's available. You don't need a video resume or YouTube videos pitching your candidacy. Many employers won't even look at them. You don't have to use Facebook and Twitter to job search, even though they can be helpful.

Keep it Simple

The best way to start a job search is to keep it simple.  You can always add a layer or two to your job search endeavors when you're comfortable with the basics and with managing your time. However you don't have to.  Start out slowly, get used to the technology and to managing the time you spend online. 

 10 Steps to Simplify Your Job Search

Back to Basics Job Searching

Copyright Johnny Lye

The best way to start a job search is to keep it simple. You can always add a layer or two to your job search endeavors when you're comfortable with the basics and with managing your time. However you don't have to. Start out slowly, get used to the technology and to managing the time you spend online.   If you end up spending more time figuring out how a web site works and uploading information than you do actually applying for job openings, you're wasting time.

 

Get Organized

Copyright LoBoCo

Before you even think about starting to job search, you need to get organized.  The first step is to set-up tools to manage your job search.  You'll need Internet access, an email program, a word processing program, a calendar management system, and ways to manage your job applications, so you can keep track of where you have applied.

Create a Job Search Plan

Copyright Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Ever job seeker needs a job search plan.  Do you know what type of job you're looking for? Are you qualified for the jobs you are interested in?  Do you have a geographic location where you want to work?  Do you want to move up - or down - the career ladder? If you're not sure what you want to do, you may want to consider getting job search help.  There are free and low cost services available or you may want to consider hiring a career coach.

 

Write a Resume and Cover Letter

Copyright PenelopeB

Your resume needs to be professional and polished, because if you don't have a professional resume, your application materials probably won't get a second glance from a hiring manager.  Our resume and cover letter guide is designed to assist job seekers who are prepared to look at their accomplishments, skills, and experiences in relation to a job target or targets. It will step you through the process of how to write your resume and cover letters. If you need more help, consider using a professional resume writing service.

Join LinkedIn

Linked In
LinkedIn is an online directory of professionals and companies. Individuals and companies use LinkedIn for professional networking. LinkedIn has millions of members in more than 200 countries, including executives from all Fortune 500 companies. You can use LinkedIn for career networking and job searching.

Select Job Sites

Copyright: Michal Rozanski

You don't have to use every job site that's available just because it's there. Instead, try out some of the top job boards, like Monster, CareerBuilder or Dice, to see which works best for you. Also check out niche job sites, which include job postings in specific industries or locations.

Use a Job Search Engine

Copyright LinkUp

Job search engine sites, including Indeed, LinkUp, and Simply Hired, allow users to search the major job sites, company sites, associations and other online job sites by keyword and location. You'll save precious job searching time by using a job search engine. Like you did with the job boards, check them out to see which ones generate the best selection of job listings when you search.

Connect With Companies

Copyright AllianceQ

Companies are increasingly using social recruiting to source candidates for employment, as well as to investigate applicants they are considering hiring. It's important to be aware of what companies are doing. You can use company's recruiting tactics to your advantage and position yourself to be discovered by employers seeking candidates.  Companies are also creating their own hiring models, outside of or in addition to posting jobs on job boards or their company web sites.  AllianceQ, for example, allows job seekers to get found by top Fortune 500 companies.

Tap Your Career Network

Jacob Wackerhausen

The importance of career networking shouldn't be discounted when you are in the midst of a job search. In fact, career networking should become a part of your daily job search and career-related endeavors.

Consider Job Searching on Facebook

Copyright Facebook

I said consider using Facebook to job search, rather than to definitely use it, because there is always the danger of employers viewing inappropriate information posted by you or your friends. That said, you'll find job listings on Facebook, there are Facebook apps designed for job searching, BranchOut provides a way to use Facebook for professional networking, and your friends can be viable sources to help you job hunt. If you do opt to use Facebook to job search, be smart in how you use it and what you post.

Avoid Mistakes

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What are the worst job search mistakes you can make? Some are major mistakes that can halt your job search before it even gets going. Others are small mistakes that, given a competitive job market, can be enough to knock you out of contention for a job. Be sure to avoid the top job search mistakes, so you're in the best position to effectively job search.

Avoid Scams

Copyright Matt Jeacock
One of the questions I get asked most often is how to tell whether a job posting is a scam or a real job. Even though it can be hard to tell the difference, there are warning signs. Job sites try to police the listings, but, it's hard to catch all the bad listings in a timely manner, especially when there are so many of them. Be very careful when reviewing postings to make sure that you're not taken advantage of by unscrupulous job posters. Here's how to avoid scams.

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