Insight News

Feb 10th

Strategize to jump start your job search

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Job seeker Jan asks, "What do I need to do to find a new position? I can't begin to tell you how much I want to be in a better situation." Job seeker Jan asks, "What do I need to do to find a new position? I can't begin to tell you how much I want to be in a better situation."

Once a job search is launched, landing the right position can seem to take forever. Like buying a car or house, changing jobs is a high impact activity involving sifting through a wide array of options, negotiating cautiously and possibly compromising in order to get most of what you want. Having a search strategy in place and revisiting that strategy occasionally will keep you focused when the right opportunities seem just out of reach. The trick is in knowing what questions to ask yourself about your own situation, using the information you uncover to move forward in your career.

Is your search limited to one industry sector or a specific company size? Your small company background might translate well into a division of a larger entity, possibly affording opportunity for career development in the future. In addition, if you wear many hats in your current position, you might be able to combine these experiences into a management role at a different company.

Consider your salary range. Is it competitive? According to Dave Piltz, Graduate Business College Chair at the University of Phoenix, people often advance within an organization on the basis of demonstrated abilities and successes, only to find that another company would require an advanced degree or more training for the same position. Do you need to continue your education in order to move up the salary ladder?

What's missing? While waiting for that next big break, consider volunteering for a project that will add experience to your profile. Participating in a Sarbanes Oxley audit in your department or working with the IT group on a system implementation will add depth to your resume and could make your current situation more appealing.

Think leverage: Do you have supervisory experience? Have you been involved in business development or leadership outside of your job description? Are you an acknowledged expert in a certain product line or computer program? Take a bird's eye photo of your resume, looking for the unique mix that employers will see as valuable to their bottom line. What can you offer to benefit this organization? Remember, the right job fit is only partly about you; it's also about what you can do for somebody else.

Does anyone know you're looking? Former co-workers, family and close friends are excellent sources of job leads. These people already know you, probably like you, and may be willing to pass on a lead if they know you're on the market. Lean on recruiters, too, for introductions, job leads and strategizing; their services are free and their networks are endless.

If you've been looking all summer for something new, you'll be glad to know that hiring picks up after Labor Day. But why wait? Your best publicity agent is yourself - get busy!

Julie Desmond is an Executive Recruiter with Hunter Hamilton Professional Resources. Send Career Planning questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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