Steps to Take to be Successful in Your Job Search
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- Know Yourself: Begin your job search by taking a thorough inventory of your interests, values, skills, and accomplishments. Be sure and include experiences from college, including projects, group work, research, major assignments, and technical skills pertinent to your field. Make a detailed list. The key to a successful job search is what makes you unique and communicating this effectively to a prospective employer.
- Research the Company/Organization: Interviewers like candidates who are familiar with the industry as well as the company’s mission, products/services, and competitors. Study the position description and how it functions within the company. Research the company’s anticipated growth, and career paths within the industry. Informational interviews, job shadowing, the Internet, the Career Center’s Resource Library, and the Yuba College Library are all excellent resources for this type of research.
- Consider Transition Experiences: Consider positions that may be a stepping stone to the one you are seeking. Research what the career ladder is for a position and what the realistic path is for a new student just completing a degree. Often your dream job is one or two positions away. Be realistic, ask for assistance and research the company/industry to obtain suggestions from professionals.
- Narrow Your Options: Identify what you want in a job and specifically what your target occupation and industry is going to be. Your job search plan should include your preferred geographic areas, selected industries and functions within each industry, as well as specific positions of interest. You may prefer to target a specific company or industry first and learn what occupations are available later. Some companies decide where you will be placed after learning about your skills and experiences.
- Prepare Your Paperwork: Tailor your application packet, including your resume and cover letter to the requirements of the job. In addition, it is important that your application packet be presented professionally, free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Your reference page should include people that can address your skills, attitude, and abilities in relation to the position for which you are applying.
- Practice Your Interview Skills: Consider fine-tuning your interview skills by scheduling a practice for interview session in the Counseling Center. Getting feedback on how you interview is a valuable way to learn what not to say and do during the interview, as well as a service to learn new interview techniques and strategies.
- Be Organized, Proactive, and Assertive: Organize yourself during your job search. Keep careful records. Maintain a calendar, a binder or file to organize your materials, including copies of all the paperwork you submit to each employer. Be prepared with a job search contact list, stamps, a conservative, businesslike email address and voice mail message, resume paper/stationery, your job search business card, and a traditional interview suit and accessories. You will need access to a computer, email and printer to complete your application materials. Remember to follow-up on every employer contact and to send a “Thank You” letter to the interviewer.