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Job Searching – the how to, the where to, and the who to….

Job Searching – the how to, the where to, and the who to….

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Job searching is one of those moments in life that is loaded with emotions. There is of course the fearful aspect – when you think that you are not capable enough compared to the guy next door who has a loaded resume, phenomenal network, and captivating charisma. There is the excitement – I mean this is a new step in life that’s full of opportunities and different possibilities. Then there’s anticipation – job searching is tedious and takes time. And finally there’s frustration – it’s not easy and usually you don’t get a job on the first try. But with all this said keep in mind that were 5.8 million job openings in July, 2015. So, be hopeful but rather than keeping it an emotion turn the hopefulness into action.

Before you’re ready to jump into job searching, there are a few things you should know:  

The first place to begin would be your resume.

Everyone needs a resume that is up to date and ready to share whenever an opportunity arises. Yes, times are changing and many recruiters are looking at materials other than resumes, but this is the most basic, foundational layout to showcase your past experience. This is the first impression a stranger will have of you so make sure to clean it up, emphasize your assets, and rather than making general comments be specific about what you actually did. To help here are some tips from a top recruiter. Another way to showcase your work is blogging. It might sound intimidating and maybe writing isn’t your forte, but choose topics that interest you and start writing as if you were talking to someone about it.

Now that you have your resume ready…what next?

You know people and those people know people so start making connections. Reconnect with those you’ve drifted from and strengthen those you’ve stayed in contact with. Make a plan for yourself and set goals. Reach out to 2 people you’ve lost contact with and one person you’ve stayed in touch with monthly – whatever plan works for you. Hold yourself accountable and check in to see if you’re meeting your goals. Go through the list of people you know and find your most influential contacts and reach out for advice or guidance. Even outside of your immediate network there’s thousands of people who are connected to you in ways you may not have been aware of. Check out who’s in your alumni list, look for new connections through connections you already have, be proactive in searching for people that are relevant to the industry you are interested in.

The question is how do I reach out?

With the help of social media, connecting with people near and far has become a breeze. So, make use of it. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all great ways to reach out to people and get connected. LinkedIn in particular is a great way to find recruiters, people within your industry of interest, and have people find you. Here’s a list of 5 ways to most effectively use LinkedIn.  Another great way to reach out is attending events. Seek out career fairs and networking events. There is very limited time once you get to the event so make sure you prepare. Check out this list of Do’s and Don’ts at a career fair.

Now that you have the tools and the preparation under your belt, implement them!

As many Innovators-in-Residence at The SearchLite are transitioning out of academia and into industry, we decided to hold our second IIR Focus Group meeting on Job Searching. An array of questions related to anything from resume to interview to recruiters were asked and we all pitched in from our personal experience to come up with helpful tips…Check out some of our personal experiences and advice we came up with here!  

Also, check out our other blogs on how to transition out of academia!

Please forward this onto your friends and colleagues if you think that they could also benefit from participating in the program. For more information about our IIR Program contact me at or click here.

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