Hi Then Heather Said readers. My name is Liane, and I blog over at Please Bring Wine.
As the days wind down in 2010, many people start setting goals for the upcoming year. Last year, my big goal was to move to a new city, and to make that happen, I had to do a lot of job searching. I am by no means an expert but I thought I could share with you some of my finer ideas.
- Approach your job search LIKE a job. Set aside time each day (or every couple of days) to search through the new opportunities posted and bookmark, print, or email to yourself postings that are of interest to you. If an organization will email you when new positions matching your criteria, take advantage of that!
- It make take some time before organizations get back to you, so make sure you keep a copy of the position postings as you find them. Make a folder in your email or on your computer to hold the copies of the job postings.
- Maintain an inventory, by spreadsheet or regular word document, of websites that post job opportunities in the career field/area of interest to you and in the location you are willing to work.
My spreadsheet contains:
- the name of the organization;
- the direct link to their career site (nothing frustrates me more than organizations that hide the career section in some far off corner of their websites. If it takes me more than 6 clicks of my mouse to find your career section, that’s 5 clicks too many);
- username and password if the organization uses an online application process that requires registration;
- any additional information I might know about the organization. Do they post jobs on a regular schedule, i.e once per week? If so, list the day. Do you have friends or acquaintances that work(ed) there, what is their “insider information”?
How to build the organizations/websites on your inventory:
- Large employers in the area, different government levels (federal, provincial/state, municipal, cities), Universities and Colleges, School Boards, Health Sector, etc…
- Organizations on your “wish” list. Places you would love to work for, whatever the industry sector. I have about 5 organizations on my wish list. Seriously, I’d work stamping envelopes, just hire me! please!
- Websites like workopolis or monster are good, but can be overwhelming. I tend to use their advanced searching options and limit my search to the past three days (or whatever period since I’ve last searched).
- Depending on your area of interest, there may be sites that compile postings from a pool of employers. I have an interest in working for a non-profit and visit Charity Village as one of my thrice weekly searches. Health organizations tend to work together and post all their jobs on one site, this in turn reduces the amount of websites you need to keep track of.
- Top Employer Awards compiled by magazines or newspapers. Um, hi, the news organization just did the legwork for you in regards to employment perks and offerings. In Canada, there is a yearly list of Top 100 Employers. And then there is a Top 50 list by Province.
- Find out who the major placement agencies are in the area and link to their posting sections. Most placement agencies have a temporary and permanent jobs available, and may have different sites for each.
I know, the whole process seems overwhelming and daunting. I can honestly say that keeping everything organized and on a schedule has reduced job searching stress. Really.
When organizations call you for an interview, you aren’t blinding going to interviews not knowing what you are in for. Being able to reference back to the posting gives you ideas as to what kinds of questions to ask them during the interview and you can reference the research you did on their organization when answering their questions.
Of course, nothing will prepare you for a fire alarm in the middle of your interview but, if all else fails, laughter and a couple glasses of red wine help immensely
If anyone has any specific questions, I’d be happy to answer them as best I can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org