It’s in the air — the back-to-school commercials are in full swing, and autumn is just around the corner. And although you may be tempted to spend your days watching college football, fall can be an excellent time to jump on your job search.
Joshua Waldman is an MBA consultant and entrepreneur who teaches technology and marketing skills to job seekers to help them get noticed and land jobs — and he says, “Many job seekers may not know where the start when seeking employment, as it can be difficult to navigate what seems to be an endless sea of tools and tips for landing the perfect job.”
Waldman says that a new strategy called FIRE offers an easy-to-remember, proactive method for successfully running your search. “After all,” he says, “Having an online profile isn’t a beauty contest!” Check out Waldman’s steps below.
1. Finding. One of the first steps to job searching is to find and target a list of companies, key people, and hiring managers to narrow down your search. Sites like Monster.com, as well as many other career-related sites, offer databases of employer profiles, which you can filter by industry, location, size, benefits information, and more. Once you’ve pinned down a list of companies you’d like to work for, search for contact information for their human resources department, and check them out on professional networking platforms to see if you have any contacts who work for them.
2. Identifying needs. After you’ve identified companies you’d like to work for, do your research! Check out their website, their clients’ websites, and any recent news articles about them. A major component of the job search process is identifying the company’s needs, then assessing how your own skills fit into those needs. Social media can be an excellent way to understand the industry, company, and employees.
3. Reaching out. After you’ve identified companies and completed your research on them, it’s time to put your efforts to the test. Reach out to professionals in the industry or company and ask them to meet you for an informational interview, where you can pick their brain about their work and how they got where they are. Informational interviews are a good way to build a network of professional contacts, uncover leads, and gain insight into your target company or industry.
4. Engaging. Engage with potential contacts and hiring managers on social media sites like Twitter. These resources offer valuable insight into the company and how they operate. Observe their pages to learn what they’re all about, then feel free to jump in with some feedback or comments. Engaging with their content will show your interest in the company’s mission and goals.
What are some strategies you employ for beginning your job search? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.