Job Search

Once you have completed a personal assessment and evaluated the job market, it is time to begin the job search. Though it is much more efficient to have a proactive search strategy using a network of contacts, searching and applying for existing job opportunities can be helpful if done correctly. It is worthwhile responding to published job openings if they appeal to you and match your skills.

Job postings are advertised in many different avenues. The newspaper and other print media are what most people associate with job ads, but the Internet is increasingly becoming a goldmine for job seekers and employers. Whether applying to print or Internet ads, respond within the first week that they are posted. This will give you a better chance of being noticed as most advertisements are likely to generate hundreds if not thousands of responses.

Always focus on the employer's needs, as described in the job opening and gathered through your research. Include a personalized cover letter that indicates the specific job posting and includes an overview of your skills and experience. Take the opportunity to tie in your skills and experience to a need within the organization. Also include an updated copy of your resume, again personalized for the job being applied for. The personalization may include added focus on specific skills or past experience that may be more relevant to one company than another.

Do not include a reference list or salary history with your initial application. If the job ad specifically asks for this information, simply state that your compensation requirements are flexible depending on the nature of the job position. Following up on a job application can be tricky, especially since most companies are likely to be flooded with relevant resumes. If you know the identity of the hiring manager or have contacts within the company, follow up by sending an email seven to ten days after applying for the job.

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