Take Control of Your Job Search Print E-mail

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

In any job search there will always be uncertainty. While economic factors that affect hiring are beyond the control of individual job seekers, you still have complete control over your job search’s strongest asset – your plan! If you are not getting the results you want, it may be time to revise the direction of your job search.

Expand Your Search to Similar Functions

If you don’t feel ready to make a geographic move, expand your search beyond the one or two job titles you have targeted in your search to date. Brainstorm jobs that share similar skills with those you have built during your career. Job sites are an excellent source of exploring alternative job opportunities. The US Department of Labor and local job search offices have reference manuals that list all occupational titles. Use these resources to help expand your thinking about how your skills fit into the job market.

Avoid a Shotgun Approach

It is tempting to send out a resume to every employer within driving distance of your home. But this “shotgun” approach is more busywork than business. You keep yourself busy sending out applications, but what about results? A shotgun approach to job applications can also attach a bad reputation to your name as hiring managers feel their time has been wasted if your skills don’t match the available openings.

Identify Emerging Industries

Developing industries are often great sources of new job opportunities. Emerging companies typically demonstrate more flexibility in hiring and management styles. Your enthusiasm about being part of a new industry may be just what you need to open doors. Continue to emphasize your skills, but think in terms of transferring accomplishments from your industry to a new area.

Research Companies of All Sizes

Keep your job search open to opportunities wherever you find them. The local business news may help you identify companies that are just starting up in your area, as well as local entrepreneurs who may be expanding. Small companies may offer you more options than large conglomerates. Keep your finger on the local business pulse to be prepared and use face-to-face networking to your advantage.

Target Temporary Opportunities

Temporary positions can develop into permanent jobs. Many employers hire consultants to help a company transition or meet short-term goals. Use your resume to show your accomplishments and demonstrate your ability to create solutions quickly to meet temporary corporate needs.

Continue Professional Development

Workshops and continuing education may be your best options for networking when you are on a job search. Take advantage of the coffee station at the back of the room to strike up conversations, expand your network, and find out about opportunities.

Consider Relocation

Every geographic region in the US is not created equal. Opportunities may exist over the state line or across the country. Review job boards to see where current openings in your field are located. Be open to the possibility of relocating and you can boost the results from your job search. If you are not getting interviews in a 100-mile radius of your home, branch out!

Reclaiming control over your job search will create new opportunities. In addition to making things happen, taking action increases your confidence. Confident job candidates control the job search and certainly win interviews!