According to career research done recently by About.com, thorough planning a job search greatly increases a candidate's chance of landing a job.
It's always important to make sure that a job search has been thorough at every level. While sending out resumes regarding published job openings is obviously important, there are several other steps that need to be taken to make a job search complete and effective.
Job candidates could be best served with a list of "do's" and "don'ts" that help navigate the job search.
For example, the list of "do's" should include:
· Prepare ahead of time. If certifications, licenses, and diplomas, need to be gathered or copied, this is a great time to do the footwork. Many times a resume never gets updated because the candidate cannot find the time to gather needed documentation.
· A candidate needs to realistically identify what they want to accomplish in their professional career. If the list of goals is longer than one, the goals should be prioritized. Job goals could be a new job, a new career, a promotion within the same organization, etc. Establishing what one is after helps make the rest of the decisions easier.
· Action plan. After establishing and prioritizing career goals, this would be a list of the required steps to take in order to get underway. The list needs to be written, and each step should have a realistic timeline. Putting a date on the day an updated resume will be done gives more teeth to the task.
· Brush up on job skills. Even if a candidate is good at what they do, they can take the time to become better at it. If a perspective employer sees that the candidate has the latest training and expertise, their resume looks all that much better. Options include brushing up on skills from a local community college or an online learning center.
· Interviewing. A candidate needs to arrive ten minutes early for an interview, and be dressed for success. One tip is to drive to the interview location the day before so there is no chance of getting lost.
· Follow-up. Following-up on an interview or a sent resume is critical in a job search. Hiring managers see hundreds of resumes when they advertise for a job. Keeping in touch, whether it's through a phone call, email, or a card, keeps a name and face in front of the hiring manager.
· Stay on top. Reading the latest business journals and industry news will keep a candidate informed of what is going on in their respective field. When an interview comes up, a hiring manager will keep candidates in mind who know the latest news and findings in that particular field.
· Tenacity. It is very easy to get discouraged when looking for a new job. It doesn't take long for doubt to creep into the mind of the most qualified candidates. But anyone who has been through the job wringer will share their story, and the word tenacity will come up. It's never easy to achieve lofty goals.
The list of "don'ts" should include:
· Do not leave out salary history or requirements when it is asked for on a job application.
· Do not fail to send a customized cover letter with a resume.
· Do not leave large gaps of unexplained time between jobs in employment history.
· Do not fail to follow employers’ directions explicitly in job applications.
· Do not have typos or grammatical errors in a resume or cover letter.
· Do not use gimmicks or outlandish tactics to draw attention.
· Do not show up at an employer’s place of business without an appointment.
Much of this is common sense. But hiring managers often tell tales about candidates who have violated every one of these. Some candidates cover the entire gambit in one nightmare interview.
Professionalism is the key. Hiring managers do not always hire every qualified candidate, but they remember the ones who conduct themselves in an organized, professional manner. And more jobs will always become available.