Looking for a job is, in itself, a job. It involves more than looking at ads and figuring out how to make your resume work for you. Think of your resume as a key to unlocking the door to a phone call, or ideally, an interview. To be able to insert the key (your resume) into the lock, you should do some preliminary work.

  • Do not apply for every position out there – Instead, look for positions you truly want, you are qualified to have, and fit the description of your skills and experience you have listed on your resume.
  • Identify target companies – Companies that already appeal to you will make it easier for you to talk during an interview. If you are excited about a company, it will show in your discussions with hiring agents.
  • Use your network – If you are applying for a position at a company where you already have contacts, use them to help you move your resume to the top. The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” can be a huge benefit to pushing your resume to the front of someone’s desk.
  • Call the hiring manager – If you have been able to discover who is doing the hiring, call and introduce yourself. Tell the hiring authority you have sent in your resume, let her know the position you are applying for, and communicate your desire to meet in order to further discuss the opportunity.
  • Get prepared – You’ve made contact via your resume and you want the interview. Now is the time to research the company website, read press releases, and learn more about the company so you are prepared when an interview occurs.
  • Practice, practice, practice – Rehearse your interview. Plan questions to ask and answer. You want to feel confident when you enter the interview room so your comfort level will be high and you will come across more professional to the hiring agent.
  • Have your materials ready for an interview – Have an extra copy of your resume, questions you may want to ask written down, company research completed, and interview clothing prepared ahead of time. Then, when you get called for the interview, you will be ready and not feel rushed or unprepared.

Once your resume is completed, your energy needs to be spent searching for possible jobs and planning for your potential interviews. The process of searching for a job need not be intimidating or overwhelming when it is broken down into smaller steps.