When you’re ready for a new job, it’s as easy as applying, interviewing, and getting hired, right? No, of course not. The job search process can be a challenging one, that many don’t anticipate on the front end. Basic questions like where to start, how to look, and who to contact all emerge. Not to mention, each process varies by company and position, which can be daunting to adapt to. The process for one person is not synonymous to another’s.
Right now though, the hiring market is a candidate’s market, so if you are interested in making a change, it is the perfect window of time. Many companies are looking for great talent, and you can really take the time to find the best culture and role fit.
To help job seekers get started, we’ve pulled together tips for navigating the job search process.
1. Pinpoint the motivation behind your search.
When you decide you are ready to make a change, you are typically spurred by something. Maybe it is the state of the hiring market, but more than likely it stems from something else. Think about why you are looking for a new position – maybe poor management in your current role, misalignment in company ethics, a company layoff, or a desire for new flexibility in schedule or location, growth opportunities, or different compensation. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but understanding your desire for change can help you figure out what opportunities will be most worthwhile in your search.
2. Make a list of your priorities.
As you consider your “why”, think about what you are looking in the process, too. Make a list to prioritize what you are looking for in a new position – including wants and non-negotiables. This list can help you to navigate your search, hone in on more appealing positions, and weigh certain criteria against different options. Remember, this is a working list that may evolve throughout your search. Consider the basics like salary, health benefits, and location, but also don’t forget to consider things like growth opportunities, workplace style, and company culture in your list.
As companies continue to shift workplace models, job seekers need to think about the culture and environment that aligns best with their situation. If you are highly independent, remote work might make sense. But if you have a high need for collaboration, make sure you look for companies that offer an in-office element. Also pay attention to culture and how a company supports employees, how teams work together daily, and what the overall company dynamic is on a macro scale.
3. Leverage your connections.
Network, network, network! You can utilize your network to get your resume in the hands of the right people or even meet someone who can recommend other positions or employers. Networking offers the opportunity for creating a great first impression and can present avenues for your search. While traditionally networking is done in person, you can leverage digital platforms like LinkedIn to foster connections. You can also use job boards and community networks like a local chamber of commerce, for example, to help make connections in-person and digitally.
When you apply to jobs, consider who you know there and don’t be afraid to ask them to share their experience. You don’t want to overuse your connections, but they can provide real insight and value when tapped into in a meaningful way.
4. Stay organized.
Looking for a new job involves a lot of research and contact with many people. Be very organized in your search: keep a running document of who you have spoken to, details of your communication, a timeline of your search, any positions you have flagged, miscellaneous notes, etc. Being structured in your search makes it easier to navigate the process, saves time, and as mentioned previously, provides clarity of wants and needs.
As you navigate the process, you will find that it’s true – you really will get out of the process what you put in. Be true to yourself and listen to your intuition, including your wants and non-negotiables. If you don’t, you can end up in a job or with a company that won’t work long-term. If you’d like to connect with a recruiter at FGP to help guide you through the job search process, please contact our team today!