If you’re preparing to start a job search, you’re probably combing through books and websites in an effort to learn all you can about the dos’s and don’ts of conducting an effective job hunt. There is a ton of information to read and process, so it can be overwhelming. However, a clear plan can help guide you along.
“The first few steps of the job hunt focus on choosing a direction, setting goals, and deciding on a strategy for reaching those goals…careful planning at the outset will ensure better results,” said Susan D. Greene and Melanie C.L. Martel in The Ultimate Job Hunter’s Guidebook.
The Cheat Sheet received some useful advice to assist you with finding your next gig. We reached out to career coach Juanita Hines to get some of her best career advice and tips on how to put your best foot forward.
The Cheat Sheet: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Juanita Hines: Learn how to be open to feedback. It was one of the hardest things for me because I am extremely hard on myself and when other people would tell me that there are things that I need to improve, I would be offended or disappointed because I felt as if I was letting them down. But we all have room for improvement in one way or another and we should make a constant commitment to growing and developing.
The Cheat Sheet: How did this career advice affect the way you approached the job hunt?
JH: It helped me to do more honest self-evaluations without beating myself up and I could more honestly identify the areas that I needed to grow within and utilize that to improve myself as well as those around me. It also helped when I was asked about my weaknesses.
CS: What advice do you have for job seekers who have been unemployed for a long time and can’t seem to get an interview?
JH: Truly look at your job search from an outside perspective. Have you been applying for any and every position? What type of roles have you applied for? Are you qualified for those roles and have you demonstrated your transferrable experience? Also, are you a serial applicant (do you apply for all the positions that arise within the organizations that you’re most interested)? Have you been customizing your résumé for the employer or do you just send the one-size-fits all résumé?
CS: What else can job-seekers do?
JH: Then job seekers should do a self-assessment of themselves to identify the areas they have excelled as well as those where they have not, identify the jobs they liked and didn’t like, as well as the reasons they felt as such and identify positions that allow them to do more of your “likes” versus “dislikes.”