Beginning a Job Search

Starting a job search can be a daunting task, but if you do your homework and are prepared, it can be more manageable. To make sure your job hunt gets off on the right foot follow these six steps before your first interview.

Ask yourself what you want to do. Is this an industry job switch or do you simply want to work for a new company? Are you looking for a salary increase or wanting to move to part-time? Depending on your answers, do your due diligence and see what the current market looks like. Know when it’s a good time to make a career move and start following the companies of interest.

In the accounting and finance world, employers aren’t interested in the tasks you have performed. They want to know what you actually accomplished. Make sure to include your accomplishments and results.

In today’s digital world, companies don’t just Google you, they look at your Facebook profile and search for you on LinkedIn. Update your LinkedIn profile with your resume, ask for recommendations, and start making new connections. Besides doing the fun stuff, go through and clean out any unwanted Tweets or Facebook photos. Remove anything you don’t want a prospective employer to see.

Searching for jobs is difficult especially in today’s market with so much specialized competition. Working with a recruiter means they do the work for you. They already have the connections and can offer advice as well. Just make sure to choose a recruiting firm that is specialized for your industry. They are paid by the hiring companies, not by you, so it’s a low-risk opportunity.

Today many companies are not advertising their open positions. This is due to budget cuts and working the community they already have. This means it’s very important to have in-person meetings, go to networking events, and get involved in your industry organizations.

With the social networks, it’s now easier than ever to build relationships with the people who already work where you’d like to work. If you follow them, friend them, or connect with them, it gives you one step up on your competition who doesn’t know those people.

While the economy is beginning to turn around, it’s still important to do your homework and prepare for every interview. The competition is fierce so anything you can do to set yourself apart helps.