When to Start Your Job Search

Job seekers have plenty of details to worry about, like what to include on resumes and cover letters, how to dress for interviews, and what to say when they’re asked the tough questions like “Why do you want to work for this company?” But there’s another concern that many job seekers don’t even consider: when to start looking for a job.

For some, the answer seems obvious: when you’re unemployed. However, there are many underemployed and unhappily employed people who are searching for something better—and if this is you, it’s important to factor timing into your job search.

So, when should you launch your search? These tips will help you figure out the most beneficial time to start sending out your resume for the career you want, instead of the job you need.

After you’ve done your homework

There are three keys to a successful job search: research, research, and research. You should be spending a significant amount of time looking into the industry you want to enter, the companies you’re thinking of applying with, and the position itself.

Hold off on sending out resumes until you’ve learned everything you possibly can. This not only helps you prepare for interviews, but also ensures that you’re pursuing a position you’ll truly enjoy.

Before you get sick of what you’re doing now

You may not need a new position right now. You might even enjoy your current job. However, unless you landed a fast-track career at your favorite company in an industry you love, and you’re already halfway to CEO, chances are you’ll eventually want to branch out, even if only within your current company.

Spend some time reviewing your long-term goals. Are they achievable in your current position? If not, start looking for opportunities inside and outside of your current employer that will allow you to get where you ultimately want to be, even when your employment situation is stable. This way, you’ll be prepared when you’re ready to make the change.

Once you’ve completed a major project

Work experience is a great thing to have on your resume—but responsibility and results are even better. If the future of your current position includes a big project in which you’ll have a primary role, it’s a good idea to stick around and get the experience before seeking greener pastures.

Potential employers are impressed by candidates with proven results. Make it your goal to achieve major project experience in your current job. If you’re ready to move on afterward, use that experience as leverage to get your foot in another door.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing can help you hone your job search and place you in the career you’ve always wanted. We’ve worked with top employers throughout Southern California for more than 40 years, and we have access to unique career opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else. Contact us to find out more about how Helpmates can further your career.

The Job Search Strategy You May Have Forgotten – Cold Calls

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an unsolicited call, you know firsthand that it can be annoying.  Someone you don’t know is asking for your time, and usually even more than that.  That is why cold calling, whether it is by telephone or via email, is a difficult art to master.  But it must work when done properly, or it would have died out long ago as an effective method for sales and information gathering.  If it works for them, it can work for you.  But you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

Remember, the call is about them.  It’s not about you.  If you start out the call with all the reasons you are the person he’s been looking for, you’ll lose him.  Turn that idea around and ask about a need or a problem his company may be faced with.  Then explain how you can help solve the problem.  Keeping the focus on the company and how you’ll fill a need is the way to keep his attention and get your message across.

Research first.  It’s a cold call, yes.  But you should not simply call up and ask to speak to someone in HR.  You’ll get nowhere fast.  With a little research you can find out with whom you should be speaking, and ask for that person directly when you call.  Once you have the name of your contact, delve deeper and see what you can find out about her on LinkedIn and other resources to make your conversation more personal and give you an initial connection upon which you can build.

Warm up the trail.  Before you even pick up the phone, try to make connections with these companies via the more benign channels of LinkedIn groups and Twitter feeds.  Find them and follow them.  Comment on and compliment their company posts.  Begin to interact with the companies through the relative safety found online.  These actions let them know you are truly interested in the company and make you less of a stranger.  Hopefully they will remember your name and even begin to enjoy interacting with you, so when you do call or email, it is no longer a cold call.

Make friends in the right places.  Many times, the person you want to speak with will have someone within the company who runs interference for them, screening their calls and only letting approved people through.  You need to get on this list!  By being honest and sincere with the “gatekeeper”, you may just get through.  Put it this way –“I am hoping you can help me.”  Then very briefly explain why you are calling.  Keep in mind, these individuals are usually very hard working and loyal to the people they protect, so remember her name, use it frequently in conjunction with “please” and “thank you” and you should be able to build a valuable rapport.

These can be tricky waters to navigate.  Contact Helpmates and we can steer you through this process and assist you in making some valuable connections to future employment.

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