You should look at the job search as a marketing campaign, with you, the job seeker, as the product. Every product, even the best ones, won't succeed without a strong marketing strategy. This begins with a comprehensive, yet flexible plan. First you must know to whom you are marketing. You must identify the types of employers who would be looking for an employee with your qualifications. Are they all within a certain industry? Are there many industries that hire employees with your background?
Locating Job LeadsNext, you must decide what sources you will use to locate potential employers. Everyone you speak to will have a different opinion on this. Some people feel that classified ads are a waste of time and that networking is the only way to go. Others believe that executive recruiters will get them the job they want. To use an old cliche, you should leave no stone unturned. Use all methods of tracking down potential employers.
Contacting Prospective EmployersYou will then need to decide how you will contact your job leads. Generally a resume, accompanied by a cover letter, is the way to go, especially if you are responding to an ad. If you are working with an executive recruiter, he or she will set up the meeting between you and the employer. If you find out about a job lead through a friend or other contact, you must decide whether to telephone the person who is hiring, or whether you should send a resume and cover letter, generally via email. Often your contact can advise you. Remember, if you want to use email, send a introductory message first and ask if it is okay to send your resume as an attachment. Most people won't open an unexpected attachment.
Getting OrganizedA very important aspect of the job search is organization. If you don't keep yourself organized you will misplace important names and telephone numbers. When you later need this information to follow up on resumes and interviews you will have to spend your valuable time searching for it. The Minnesota Department of Economic Security has placed on it's Web site an array of worksheets to help you keep your job search organized.
Once you've established a strategy for your job search campaign, you can begin to move forward. Your next step is to put together a great resume, and to start preparing for your job interviews.