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Career Search Steps - Land your next job quickly with these practical actions
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Career Search Steps - Land your next job quickly with these practical actions


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Career transition can be an arduous, frustrating experience. Follow these practical steps to land your next position quickly. This slideshow includes step-by-step instructions to formatting your …

Career transition can be an arduous, frustrating experience. Follow these practical steps to land your next position quickly. This slideshow includes step-by-step instructions to formatting your resume, promoting yourself on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, making the most of networking opportunities, and how to score interviews after you have applied for jobs online.

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  • 1. { Career Search Steps Land quickly by taking control © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 2.  Style: keep it simple and clean Step 1: Update Your Resume  Content: keep it accurate and concise  Length: two pages generally, up to 4-5 pages for technical positions © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 3. Header: Name, city, state, email address, phone number, and personalized LinkedIn URL Update Your Resume Unnecessary: street or mailing address, additional phone numbers, frilly fonts © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 4. Professional Headline: Use key words to categorize your skills Note: you can tweak the key words in your headline for each job description Update Your Resume © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 5. Work History: be accurate, but highlight the skills that are relevant to your targeted job  Ten years of work history is the norm, go further if necessary to show additional relevant experience Update Your Resume  Adapt your resume by restating your accomplishments using the terminology in the targeted job description © Jason Fry September, 201
  • 6. Education: be accurate, highlight qualifications that make you a strong candidate Note: add in-school accomplishments such as GPA, summa cum laude, honor society, etc., only if you graduated recently. Update Your Resume © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 7. Technical Skills Summary List computer applications, platforms, operating systems, programming languages, etc. Update Your Resume Optional Resume Sections: Useful when applying for technical positions, but be sure you spell out how you used these tools in your work history section. © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 8. Education - Special Projects For recent graduates, listing and describing your contribution to research projects highlights experience that could substitute for work history. Update Your Resume Optional Resume Sections: Several research projects or teaching assistant positions relevant to a targeted position could substitute for one year of work experience. © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 9. Associations or Volunteer Activity These activities show an ongoing interest in the field, and show that you aren’t just looking for a day job. Update Your Resume Optional Resume Sections: Choose carefully which associations and which volunteer activities you list, because you want this section to increase your likelihood of getting invited to interview, not shut the door to being hired. Religious and political affiliations should be kept off the resume unless they are extremely relevant to the job in question; most hiring managers will avoid candidates who seem likely to foment arguments. © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 10.  96% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to contact candidates, and 92% use LinkedIn to vet candidates.* Step 2: Promote Yourself on the Web  65% of recruiters use Facebook to find candidates*  55% of recruiters use Twitter to find candidates*  Using social media websites opens doors to new jobs  Not using social media, or appearing to use it poorly, decreases your chances of landing new positions *source: JobVite Social Recruiting Survey 2013, © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 11.  Go to and create a new account Promote Yourself on LinkedIn  LinkedIn walks you through a step-by-step process so that you can complete your profile  Use your resume as a starting point for entering all of your past positions and education  Send connection requests to anyone you’ve ever met, with a personalized message: “Cynthia, it was great to meet you at the Project Management Institute networking event on Tuesday. Let’s connect on LinkedIn and keep in touch. Regards, Joe Applicant”  Personalize your LinkedIn URL and put it everywhere: your business cards, resume, etc. © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 12.  Take it offline: watch for networking events being promoted by your contacts or in your groups, and go meet people in person Promote Yourself on LinkedIn  Join LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to your professional objectives  Contribute to discussions in groups and in your newsfeed  Share interesting news articles or your own content in groups and on your own profile © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 13. Promote Yourself on Facebook  Go to and sign up for an account if you haven’t already  Ensure your photographs and profile present an image consistent with your career aspirations  Share an article on career transition once or twice a week to remind your contacts that you’re still searching  Facebook is meant for personal connections, but recruiters and hiring managers still may be able to see what you share, so play it safe  Only say things that add to, rather than detract from, your professional image © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 14. Promote Yourself on Twitter  Go to and sign up for an account if you haven’t already  Choose a profile picture that looks like you and describe yourself briefly but professionally  Choose a “handle” (Twitter username) that people can find easily and that is consistent with your professional image  Include your LinkedIn profile URL on your Twitter profile © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 15. Promote Yourself on Twitter  Search for people you find interesting, including celebrities, academics, authors, activists, and people you know, and “follow” them  Multitask with Twitter – login on your phone while you’re watching TV, in a waiting room, etc.  Look through the list of people that your influencers follow, and follow anyone new who looks interesting  “Retweet” what others say if it is of interest to your growing audience, and “tweet” fresh content that you find elsewhere or make yourself, e.g., pictures and news articles  “Hashtags” are searchable terms; use them to find job postings or topic-centered discussions, e.g., #jobs, #java, #stl, #scifi © Jason Fry September, 201
  • 16. Promote Yourself on the Web Going further Be interesting: Be an expert: or Be useful: Be present: or Be flashy: or Be helpful:,,, or Be resourceful: Be entrepreneurial:, © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 17.  In 2012, 5% of newly hired people landed by applying online only Step 3: Network, network, network !  The other 95% of people who found jobs in 2012 had to know somebody © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 18.  Knowing people has always been the best way to find a new job, but now you’re in the race against 50-100 other applicants for each position Network, network, network!  Getting an employee referral is often what gets you from the stack of resumes to the interview  Employee referrals could be from a good friend or former coworker, but could also be from your neighbor’s cousin – it doesn’t matter how closely they know you, they just have to say you’re worth interviewing © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 19. Find Networking Opportunities Network, network, network!  Search and for events, seminars, workshops, and programs that are up your alley  Industry and alumni associations publish newsletters and websites with calendars of upcoming functions  Nonprofit organizations have volunteer opportunities as well as fundraising and awareness events  Ask the local career center for a list of events © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 20. A Balanced Schedule Network, network, network!  “Finding a job is a full-time job” – you will spend at least 40 hours a week on career transition activities  Set measurable goals, e.g., in one week, attend five networking events, submit seven job applications, initiate at least two one-on-one follow-up meetings, and share at least three articles on LinkedIn and Twitter  Balance your schedule between job searching and your other responsibilities, like family and existing relationships © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 21. Choose Events Carefully Network, network, network!  ROI: you won’t know until you land which contacts helped you the most, but make an educated guess as to which events will have contacts who can open more doors for you – it’s not about the number of new contacts, it’s about the quality of contacts when evaluated according to your career objectives  Cost-effective: the people who can open the most doors for you may be at a $1000 per person fundraiser, but can you afford it on your current budget? Choose the events with the highest ROI in your price range.  Choose networking events based on cost-effectiveness and forecasted Return On Investment © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 22. Networking Events Network, network, network!  Bring business cards with your name, professional headline, contact information, and personalized LinkedIn URL – you can print them at home or go to  Bring a pen and jot notes on the back of other people’s business cards – something you want to send them, a topic you want to discuss with them, a common connection  Show up early and be among the last to leave  Most importantly, come ready to help others: make connections for the people you meet, point them towards helpful resources, and ask them good questions about their interests – not only will you feel energized and positive about helping others, you will reap what you sow when grateful people help you in return © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 23. Networking Events Network, network, network!  Ask other people what they do, then ask follow-up questions  Have your “elevator pitch” ready – 30 seconds of what makes you unique and what you’re looking for in your next position  Walk up to people standing alone, offer a handshake, say hi, tell them your name, and ask their name  If you’re in a conversation and you notice someone standing alone, wave them into the conversation and introduce the person you were talking to first, so that he/she can then ask the newcomer their name and what they do  Give business cards to people after you’ve conversed with them, so that when they look at the card later they will remember who you are © Jason Fry September, 201
  • 24. Follow-up with New Contacts Network, network, network!  Follow-through – if you told someone you would make an introduction for them or you would send an interesting resource to them, then do so within a day or two of the event  If someone said they would like to meet with you one-on-one, then invite them to have coffee to discuss their idea  Send a personalized LinkedIn connection request to everyone you met within one day of the event  If someone seemed to be a good connection for you in your career search, then invite them to have coffee to discuss how they got to where they are in their career and to get their advice © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 25.  Assume that any given job posting will have 50-100 candidates respond except for extremely niche skill sets Step 4: Apply and Follow-up  Recruiters are under pressure – they must find viable candidates for 10-20 job openings per week  To increase your chance of getting to the interview stage, you have to set yourself apart © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 26. Going Through the Front Door Apply and Follow-up  Plan to spend an average of 30 minutes per day searching for job listings and 1-2 hours on each job application  Before you click “apply,” record the company name, job title, and job number; if possible, copy/paste the entire job description into a document and save it  Find job listings: the #1 job listing website currently is, other useful sites are,, and  Before you apply, adapt your resume to the job description by rephrasing work history using the job descriptions terminology; highlight skills and experience that are mentioned in the job description © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 27. Going Through the Front Door Apply and Follow-up  Before you apply, write a cover letter that describes your fit for the job, mentioning the key qualifications  After you begin filling out the online application, save your work often! You can usually take a break and come back to the application later if necessary  If required to provide your target salary, assume this is the beginning negotiation number and shoot slightly high; research salaries for your target position on and  Remember that you are willing to relocate and travel – if the company makes it worth your while © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 28. Contact Your Connections Apply and Follow-up  After you apply, you should contact:  Current and former employees of the target company whom you are already know well  LinkedIn first-level connections who are current or former employees of the company  Mutual connections of your LinkedIn second-level connections who are former or current employees of the company  Tell your friends, neighbors, and other personal connections about your recent job applications whenever you talk to them – you never know which of your contacts might know a decision-maker at your target company! © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 29. Contact Your Connections Apply and Follow-up  If you know the person well, say something like: © Jason Fry September, 2013
  • 30. Contact Your Connections Apply and Follow-up  If you don’t know the person well, say something like: © Jason Fry September, 201
  • 31. Follow the Career Search Steps 1. Update Your Resume 2. Promote Yourself on the Web 3. Network, Network, Network! 4. Apply and Follow Up …and land your next job quickly. For more information, contact Jason Fry, © Jason Fry September, 2013