If you have been searching for a while, or are planning to start searching for a job, there are several methods you can use to increase your chance of being successful. Following are some points outlined-
1. Plan ahead
Trainees often ask about the best time to begin a job search. My answer to that question is always the same: It is never too early to begin searching! Same is the reply to experience people in transition.
2. Know what you want
It is critical to make a decision on what type(s) of career(s) you are targeting before you search. It is a waste of time to sit in the lab, on your computer, searching endlessly through job listings.
3. Create a support network
To assist you throughout the job search process, consider starting a job search support group with friends or colleagues. In this setting, you can brainstorm ideas with one another, offer encouragement, share job leads or networking events, etc.
4. Use many strategies
Do not limit yourself to using one or two job search strategies. Use a myriad of approaches, as this will increase the likelihood of finding out about job openings. Consider using the following strategies for your search.
- Tap into alumni/databases at undergrad and grad (and potentially postdoc) institutions, previous work colleagues.
- Join professional associations.
- Join local networking groups in your area.
- Network online, using LinkedIn and other resources. There are over 360 FREE social networking sites available for a job seeker, networker. And be sure to complete your profile on LinkedIn—and keep it updated with any changes.
- Identify specific organizations
- Be aware of trends in career fields of interest. To do this, use local and national journals linked to your areas of interest.
- Check broad, sector-based organizations for employer listings by geographic area, such as biotech council sites.
- Once you have identified specific organizations, apply for jobs directly on their sites. This strategy is more effective than applying on mega-job listing websites.
- Consider temp to perm
- Think about applying with several temporary agencies. Working as a temp gives you a chance to check out the organization, and vice-versa.
- When you apply, ask agencies about their record of temp-to-perm hires.
- Attend local job fairs
- Check local newspapers and community journals for listings.
- Consider professional fellowships
- This strategy may provide an introduction to—and help you to develop substantial experience in—different career fields.
- Volunteer to work for your professional/ community associations.
- Contact placement agencies
- Most agencies assist job seekers with several years of experience – and this may include postdoctoral work.
- If you do opt to put an application on file with a placement agency, be wary of fees, as these organizations are well compensated by the firms that employ their services and should not be charging you, the candidate.
- Resume/job listing banks, databases, boards
- Consider the pros and cons to using these mega-sites:
- Pros: easy to use, free
- Cons: time drain, one of the least effective job search methods (so don’t spend much time here!)
Here are some final tips for a successful search:
- Get organized! Create a system to keep track of your search: notebook, online, etc.
- Use a calendar and set short-term, achievable goals every week.
- Keep in touch with people,
- Follow up on leads and contacts.
- Keep positive thoughts...remember this poem?
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley (1849- 1902).
And check out the resources below. Best of luck in your search!
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