Sunday, 10 March 2013

Step 14 - 3 Steps for Mastering the PR Job Search

Be Prepared for After Graduation

Job searching is one of the most time-intensive and stressful processes of graduating. This time last year, I was relieved to not have to search for a job, knowing that I would be going back to school. Now that my postgrad is coming to an end, job searching has become a must. I have to say that I began the process a couple months ago, and now that I am in the midst of it I can share with you some of the things I have been doing and some of the interesting tips I have learned along the way.

Job searching has its ups and downs. It can become overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. This is why you need to know your career goals before you throw yourself into the search for the perfect job upon graduation. Check out my post on assessing you career path.

#1 - Where to Look
The first step in my job search involved answering the question: “where will I look?” One of the most obvious answers was job search engines, but even these can be confusing. There are so many to choose from. So I discovered that the best ones to use are the engines that compile job postings from various sources, which saves you a lot of time.

#2 - Hidden Market 
Another question I needed to answer was: “where else am I going to look?” Because in this day and age you can’t rely on job boards and search engines. Thousands of people are looking at these sites as well, so your application can get lost in the process. A better place to look is LinkedIn jobs, which will suggest jobs that match your career field. Twitter is also quite useful, as people in online networks often tweet job opportunities. Also, I have been keeping a keen eye on certain career pages of company websites. I like using RSS feeds for career postings or even job alerts. These deliver potential jobs straight to your computer.

Ultimately, knowing where to look is important as it will make the job search more effective, but remember, only 20 to 30% of jobs happen this way (the rest is from networking). So you may need to take a more proactive approach.

#3 - Timing of Search
Another thing that I have figured out is that timing is important for job searching. Certain times of the day are better than others, and certain days of the week yield more job search results. When you find an opportunity you like, you also have to keep deadlines in mind. I like to leave time to research the company so I can personalize my application. I keep track of the dates I apply on, so I know when to follow-up. And following-up is essential.

Job searching is not easy. Start out with these simple steps, and work from there. This is how I am making this process work while I am in school. With more time I would take more active approaches. Regarding the proactive approach remember that networking is an asset. Every once in a while I will reach out to companies I like to let them know how I can be an asset to their team. I also think letting people in your network know that you are looking is a good thing too.  Proactive strategies will compliment more passive approaches and make your job search efforts worthwhile.

So I would like to ask you, how do you go about job searching, do you have some tips to share?

P.S. I love PR.