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Activating a job search

The job search process can be overwhelming and, for many, downright frightening. The thought of putting yourself out there for employers to see, awaiting for their judgement to see if you’re qualified to work for them, can drive anxiety. You could also fear that, if one employer does not find interest in you, that it could happen again and again with other employers. Our first piece of advice, be resilient!

If you have a career plan and follow it closely, the act of job searching can be productive and enjoyable. Here are ways to position yourself in a very positive light for employers to consider your candidacy.

Have fun
We start with having fun because approaching the job search with a defeated or negative attitude will always lead to failure. Approaching with enthusiasm, a smile, and confidence will guide you in the right direction.

Prep your resume
Don’t start a job search without having an informative and compelling resume. This document will serve as a template from which you’ll tailor a new version for each job you apply.

Update your LinkedIn profile
Many employers are using LinkedIn to find great hires. That could be you. As you do with your resume, spend time updating and revising your profile. It should replicate the information found on your resume, as well as provide additional information about your skills, interests, goals, and connections.

Use multiple search engines
The engines in this case are online job boards (like the board on Pathways to Aviation website), LinkedIn, and your personal and professional connections. Do not stick to just one. Each “engine” will generate exceptional and diverse job opportunities. And, remember, not every job is posted online!

Don’t immediately apply
When you see great job possibilities, be patient, take a breath, then be wise about your next steps. This is not a race, where the first application received will land the job interview. Before you complete the application, take time to find any connections, read the job announcement, conduct research, and tailor your resume.

Conduct research
We can’t stress this enough. Research the position and employer through Google, the company website, professional connections, and staff members. The information you collect will be instrumental in framing your resume, cover letter, and interview.

Finalize your resume
Before you finish the tailored resume, give it a thorough look-over. Make sure it is free of any typos and grammatical errors. Be sure to use position keywords or industry buzzwords, that will catch the attention of the recruiter or computer, if it goes through an ATS analysis. Do the same for your cover letter. And, be sure you address the correct name and contact information!

Follow directions
When you begin to complete the application or craft the resume and cover letter, be sure to follow the directions presented in the job announcement. Most announcements will identify the items to send or submit and where or how to send them.

Notify connections
Before you complete the process, reach out to anyone who is connected to this employer, especially if they’re currently on staff. Send them an email, informing them that you are applying for the position. Be sure to include the resume you crafted for this position.

Don’t sit
When you mail, email, or submit your application, do not sit by the phone or computer waiting for the employer to contact you. Give it a day or so after the application is received to call the employer to confirm receipt, verify your interest, and answer any questions.

Track everything
If you are applying for one job, it’s possible that you’re applying for others. Be sure to manage the job openings and your actions, so you don’t get lost in the process. This will help you keep track of each opportunity, allowing you to have full control of your own job searching efforts.

Our last bit of advice is to look for jobs when you’re not eager to seek employment. It’s always best to find new jobs while you have a job. Same goes for students, who are months or a year or two away from working. Looking for jobs when there’s no urgency allows you to understand who’s hiring, what’s being offered, what requirements they’re seeking, and more. This information will allow you to prepare for job searches, when you’re ready.

Informing, inspiring, and engaging aviation's next generation.