The Career Development Process: Job Search and Networking
As you continue moving through your career, you’ll find that searching for a job and networking are both major components to landing that dream profession.
This installment of our career development process series will walk you through the two aspects that most people tend to shy away from when it’s time to make a career change: the job search and networking.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can leverage your resources and position yourself for success in today’s job market.
Do Your Research
Before you take the plunge into a new and exciting career, it’s important to do your research. You’ll want to make sure that you have a solid understanding of the industry you’re interested in and the companies that are major players within that niche. This research will assist in determining whether or not your new career is a good fit for you and vice versa.
One simple way to get your research started is to do a quick Google search for the top companies within your desired profession. For example, if you search for “top health care companies in San Diego,” you’ll more than likely get a list of some of the most reputable companies within San Diego’s health care industry. This simple search can get the ball rolling and shed some light on companies that you may have never known about.
Another tip is to research company reviews online. Glassdoor is a website that specializes in these sort of reviews. By visiting their site, you’ll gain access to over 8 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, and much more. Looking through this site is a great way to decide whether or not a company is the right choice for your new career.
Update Your Resume
It’s always a good idea to keep your resume up to date, but it can be difficult to stay on top of as time goes on. Life has a tendency to get in the way sometimes, but if you’re serious about finding a new career, then you should get serious about updating your resume.
As you begin to craft your new resume, look for any previous jobs you’ve held that may not be relevant to your new career. Use this opportunity to “trim the fat,” so to speak, and highlight aspects of your current career that relate more to your dream job.
You’ll also want to update your educational experience, even if you haven’t graduated yet. If you’re currently taking college courses, then list that on your resume so employers will understand that you’re serious about your education and that you’re a driven, motivated, and persistent individual. Regardless of where you want to work, these are all qualities that employers look for in new candidates.
Utilize Job Search Websites
The Internet is a great resource when it comes to searching for a job. Gone are the days of relying on the classifieds in your local paper. You now have millions of professional connections literally at your fingertips.
LinkedIn is by far the most popular job search website around. It gives you instant access to industry leaders, employers, and employees from around the world. But there are other online resources that you may not be as familiar with that could help you pinpoint a new career.
Take TechCareers for example. This website is dedicated to helping people connect with technology and engineering employers and industry contacts. Their job postings are specifically for professionals looking to advance their careers in these industries. Utilizing these types of job search websites will definitely assist with your career development.
As you begin to gain experience with using the job search websites, you should also start experimenting with networking online as well. These professional channels offer a great opportunity to reach out and make contact with influencers, industry leaders, and hiring managers.
When you begin interacting with people online, be sure to treat these connections the same as if they were in person. It’s important to keep your online collaborations professional and congruent with your career.
Network In Person
Even though technology provides some great networking resources, sometimes a face-to-face meeting can have a lasting impact. The personal touch of a handshake and conversation will almost always trump an email. That’s why it’s always a good idea to memorize a quick “elevator pitch” of who you are and what you do, so that when the time comes, you’ll be ready to efficiently communicate your qualifications.
Be on the look out for ways to network in person. Whether you’re at a cocktail party, a job fair, a company outing, or a social gathering. Anytime you find yourself face-to-face with other like-minded people, you should always try to connect and network.
As you begin to sift through this information, be sure to take things one step at a time. Your career is always evolving, but it takes time to reach a certain level of success. Remember to be patient, have a plan, and stay proactive during your career development process.
Written by Ben Cummings, Digital Marketing Specialist for Bridgepoint Education