Searching for jobs can be a relatively easy task. You simply ask people if jobs are available, if you can complete a job application, or you go online and look for open positions. Most people, when they learn of jobs and positions they may like, they readily apply. This simplicity works for some people, but not the vast majority. If you’re looking for more than just a job, but more of a career where you’ll work in positions that truly drive you, then you might consider a more productive approach.
Looking for a great career may be a job of itself. It takes patience, yet perseverance; strong work ethic; proactivity over reactions; and, regular attention. It’s best to launch your job search when you’re truly ready. This starts with creating your career plan.
Below is a checklist of items to incorporate into your career plan.
Make a list of career interests. These include specialty areas (accounting, marketing, engineering), industries (aviation, construction, health), and locations (cities, states, countries).
Make a list of your skills. Focus on your hard skills (knowledge, technical), soft skills (characteristics, behaviors), and any certifications.
Craft a resume. Routinely update a “template,” which you revise for each job you apply.
Create a professional network roster. Add names, contact information, and notes for each of your professional connections, references, mentors…anyone with whom can open doors for you. Manage it regularly.
Craft Why statements. Why do you want this particular job? Why do you want an incredible career? Why do you wake up in the morning?
Develop an elevator pitch. Do so by crafting a 30-45 second overview of you, your interests, and what you want to accomplish. It’s roughly 75 words of who you are, your career why, and what you’re seeking.
Build a LinkedIn profile. Much like your resume, update your career interests, experiences, skills, and its other features regularly. Recruiters are searching and reviewing profiles for potential hires.
Assess your social presence. Review and clean (if necessary) your social networks (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for messages and photos which may be offensive.
Create a timetable. When do you want to start your career search? When do you want to secure employment? You might include milestones, such as dates of application, interviewing, and conversations.
Make a list of desired employers. Add contact names, websites, career page links, specialty areas, and information that will help you become more informed, track progress, and find available jobs.
Craft answers to interview questions. There are many possible questions that will be asked in job interviews, but start with the typical questions. Preparation is everything.
Utilize multiple tools. These include job boards, career resources (like Pathways to Aviation), tracking mechanisms (like CRMs, Excel, Google docs), and employer research websites.
It’s quite the checklist, but we’re talking about your career. It’s not something to be taken lightly. And, when you land the job, the checklist is still in play. You may unfortunately lose the job, need to move, or wish to advance your career. By maintaining the checklist, you’ll be ready any and all career opportunities you encounter.
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