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Focused Job seeking Article - Focused jobseeking A...

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Focused jobseeking: A measured approach to looking for work
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Spring 2011 Occupational Outlook Quarterly 3 F or many people, the only thing harder than being out of a job is searching for one. The difficulties associated with finding employment can wear down even the most resilient jobseekers. Applying for dozens of jobs each week and getting few or no replies can slowly erode jobseekers’ self- esteem. And this loss of confidence can prove detrimental to those trying to market their skills to would-be employers. Jobseekers can avoid many of the mis- takes that keep them from winning a job. They can learn how to choose the best chan- nels for applying, why they shouldn’t rely on online resources exclusively, and how to use their contacts effectively. By demystifying the job search process, informed jobseekers improve their chances for success—provided they’re willing to put in the hard work, time, and patience required. This article gives jobseekers guidelines for taking control of their employment search. The first section talks about the importance of research and preparation. The next sec- tion explains some details of the application process in depth, such as pitfalls and informa- tional interviews. The third section describes how candidates can use the job interview as an opportunity to impress the hiring manager. The final section provides sources of addi- tional information. For more experienced jobseekers, the box on page 10 describes some strategies for a suc- cessful search. Research for job readiness The Internet has transformed the job search process, changing the way jobseekers find job openings and research potential employ- ers. Few organizations advertise job openings exclusively in printed classified ads, and some may not use print media at all. Today, infor- mation about employers, including job open- ings, is most often found on the Internet. Research takes more effort than just surfing the Web, however. “Any candidate who relies on mass-marketed job listings to get in the door is almost certainly doomed to failure,” says Nick Corcodilos, an executive recruiter and consultant in Lebanon, New Jer- sey. To make the most of research, jobseekers must focus their search, use online resources wisely, and develop their network of contacts. Focus the job search Before beginning their quest for work, job- seekers should complete a personal evalua- tion of their goals. In particular, they should determine the type of work they want to do, where they want to do it, and for whom. Only after they have that information can they start a focused search for work. Although many people know the type of work they want to do, others need help matching their interests and skills with a specific career. Skills self-assessment guides are particularly useful to jobseekers who are still exploring career options. One source for self-assessment tools is O*NET, a resource for career exploration and job analysis spon- sored by the U.S. Department of Labor. More information about O*NET appears at the end of this article.
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