By: Andres Guerrero
Want to find the best job for you? Once you love the job you’re doing you’ll love it every day. That’s what we want to help you find. Passion that helps you wake up every morning and love what you’re doing.
What is Your Situation
Start by deciding what you want in a job. Spend some time reflecting on what has prompted you to look for a new job. Asking yourself questions about your motivations will help you narrow down your search. It helps keep you from spending a lot of time looking for things that won’t fit your passion. The following aren’t questions an interview would ask. Instead they are a way to focus on what you want.
- Are you interested in doing the same job for a different employer?
- Do you need to consider family issues?
- Are you looking to get new skills and move up at your current employer?
- Are you still in school?
- Are you thinking of switching career paths?
- Are you entering the job market for the first time?
- Are you returning from an employment gap?
Research to Find the Best Job for You
Students often find that the job market is larger than they think. You’re gonna find, for example, that if your a business student it’s a broad topic. Research will help when you’re trying to get your feet wet and find out what you want to do. Simply by putting “business” in the search engine you’ll see some options. Or if you are a medical billing student you could try “Medical Office Jobs” to help find the options and the requirements.
Once you get several results you then narrow down your results with parameters: job title, keywords, company. Also you’ll want to look for jobs that meet your requirements such as city, salary, date posted, or experience level. You don’t want to start filling out applications and realize you don’t meet some of the requirements. Reading postings carefully will help you find the specified job in your area with the salary you want.
Preview Salary Trends
Use tools to help you see the trends in compensation for specific jobs. Different cities are going to pay more because of the different cost of living. Different companies may also pay different from each other. Take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics or O*NET to see salary trends.
Identify your must-haves
Make a list of the things you require from a job. For example, you may need a job that makes more than $X. Perhaps you are unable to travel more than a certain number of miles or work for more than a certain number of hours. Make sure you always know what your limits are before going to an interview.
Examples of non-negotiables may be:
- The industry or discipline you want to work in
- A wage or salary you can’t go below
- Benefits such as health insurance or paid time off
- Location and commute time
Examples of negotiables might be:
- Job title (associate, specialist etc)
- Added non-essential benefits such as telecommunicating
- Working at a small business versus a large company
- The amount of travel your job entails
Experiment with different job searches
When starting a new career, being flexible is important. Finding jobs is like fishing. If you cast a wide net, you’ll catch more fish!
Use connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other networking sites. LinkedIn is really the Facebook of professionals. Companies may advertise there before doing an official job posting. It’s a great place to look. Follow people in the industry you want to work in. Read more about LinkedIn
Try Company Websites
Check company websites for career section. Most companies have a career section. They may have additional job openings that are not on Indeed or other job posting sites.
Use advanced search tools on job posting sites to avoid the noise. This helps cut down on jobs that won’t meet your requirements. Be sure to read postings carefully.
- Add job notifications to get updated on new job postings
- Filter your searches
- Narrow down the number of job postings by salary, company location, posting date
- Make sure to add distance and location
Read Job Postings Carefully
When you find a job posting that you think is a great fit for you, make sure to read the entire job description and follow directions.
There is a difference between preferred and required. For example, they may say it’s preferred for someone to speak Spanish, but if you meet other requirements they will overlook it. If it’s required to have a certification or degree then you’ll want to make sure you have it. Sometimes items in the preferred column can be things you work towards in the first few months of the job.
Conduct Company Research
Where you work is just as important as the job you’ll do. Look for companies that share your values, research employee benefits the company provides. Learn about the company’s business operations. Research the company’s leadership. Check the company website. What’s their mission? What is their culture like? what do they stand for?
When you apply to a company you must make sure they match your values. For example if you’re a hard believer in recycling you’ll want to match up to a green company. Read company reviews, what workers and managers are saying. Read what their customers say. This might give you more information than the company website. When you work for an employer you’re investing in yourself and the company. You want to make sure the company is investing in you too.
The 70% Rule
Make sure you’re what they are looking for. Make sure you’re a pretty good match to the company and the posting. Things that aren’t a match will come out in interviews so don’t stretch the truth too much. Look at the posting and description and match with your skill set. If you’re about 70% of what the description requires, then go for it!
You just want to make sure that with your education you have the foundation to do the job. Once you go into a company they’ll say, “Okay you know the foundations and the basics and we’ll train you to how we do things.” If you’re not sure, ask questions. Ask your network. Ask your program director and instructors.
Now is the Time
Even though the pandemic has brought changes to the job market, there is no time like the present. Be sure to visit with the Career Services Department regularly for help and start looking for jobs now. Don’t wait. New year, new you, new opportunities.
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