The job search process involves many interrelated activities. Whether you are a young alumnus/a or an experienced professional, your first step is to determine your target. Then you’re able to develop your marketing materials and job search strategy. Use the checklist below, and its links, to get started.
Debra Franke, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement for Alumni Career Programs, is available for 1-1 individualized coaching. Contact her at 215-991-3582 or email@example.com.
Job Search Checklist
- What are the reasons you are seeking a new position?
- What have you done so far to find a new position?
- What have you learned from what you’ve done so far to find a new position? What seems to be working? Not working?
- Have you left or are you going to leave a toxic work environment?
- Did you leave the workforce for caregiving or other reasons, and are now seeking to re-enter?
What do you want to do?
- What kind of work?
- What kind of organization?
- How would you explain it to someone in the field?
- Someone not in the field?
What is your geographic preference?
- Are you open to relocation?
- If so, where?
- Do you want, not want, or don’t care if travel is part of the job?
- How much and what kind of travel?
List of 10-20 companies you want to target in your search. What companies would you especially like to work for/at?
- What is your passion?
- What would be your perfect job?
- What would you be doing?
Sample Job Descriptions
Find 3-6 job descriptions for the kinds of positions that interest you. They can be jobs that you applied for, or not; they can be from anywhere in the country. As long as they are ones that truly interest you. Use these to create your marketing materials.
What Makes You Distinctive?
- If I had your ideal job, why should I hire you?
- How do you help me make money, save money, achieve my mission?
- What do you have to offer?
- Who wants that?
- Business card – Do you have one?
- Email address: Is it professional?
- Voicemail message: Is it professional?
- Positioning Statement (Elevator Speech, 30 second commercial, Branding statement) – How do you respond when someone says, “Tell me about yourself.”?
- Departure Statement
- CAR stories
- Professional Bio
- Resume – See these tips for avoiding the Online Application Black Hole.
- Cover Letter – Additional excellent ideas and resources here
- References – Do you have references? Have you talked with them?
- Salary range
- LinkedIn profile (No LinkedIn profile? Start here.)
- Online presence- What do people see when they “google” you? What does your Facebook page (and other sites) presence say about you?
Advertised Job Market
(Job boards, niche job boards, company websites, professional associations, newspaper, trade publications, etc.)
- Be sure you understand the implications of the Online Job Search Black Hole.
- How/where are you finding openings?
- Be sure you know how to use Boolean searches to improve/refine your search results.
- Sign up for an account on Handshake, La Salle’s online job database.
- How are you applying? Your resume must be a targeted marketing document that presents your qualifications for the position.
- On LinkedIn you can privately signal to recruiters you’re open to new job opportunities.
- How much of your job search time are you spending searching for openings, and applying online?
- What do you know about Applicant Tracking Systems? (Good video on ATS here.) Be sure your resume contains the skills and keywords necessary to get past the initial screen.
- Increase the likelihood of a hiring manager seeing your application by creating internal advocates.
- Watch out for scams (article and infographic).
- Federal Job Search and Federal resume.
- La Salle’s Fall Career Expo, Spring Job Fair, Nursing Job Fair; Regional and Consortia Job Fairs – Log into Handshake and click “Events” then “Find Career Fairs.”
- Alumni Career Fairs
- Have you worked with any recruiters? Who, in what organizations? How has that gone for you?
- Learn more about the different types of recruiters and how to build and strengthen relationships with them.
- How to Work With Headhunters is an excellent guide
Entrepreneurship, Franchise Ownership
- Visit the La Salle Center for Entrepreneurship
- Learn about becoming your own boss through franchise ownership
Unadvertised (Hidden) Job Market
- What are you doing to access or create openings in the unadvertised job market? (See this article and this video.)
- Purchase The 2-Hour Job Search (2nd edition) by Steve Dalton. This book presents a step-by-step process to develop a prioritized list of target companies/organizations, identify people to contact, conduct a conversation by phone, and follow-up.
- To obtain access to recordings of The 2-Hour Job Search Boot Camp series from Fall 2020, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join the LinkedIn group, “2-Hour Job Search – Q&A Forum“
- Sign up for job search blogs/e-newsletters
- Peruse Nick Corcodilos’ blog
- Meet with people in your field
- Get to the decision maker (hiring manager) before the job is even open
- Don’t ask if there are any openings – ask for advice. Develop a relationship – get back to them regularly throughout your search
- Read here for a different approach to your job search; the article describes the Ask The Headhunter strategy and explains the main differences between ATH and the traditional approach to job hunting.
- What are the professional associations for people who do the kind of work you want to do?
- What organizations are potential hiring managers involved in?
- Are there local chapters? Do they have meetings? Have you attended?
Be sure to get the most out of networking events
- How have you utilized your alumni network?
- Meet with people in your field, individuals in target companies, and hiring managers
Managing Your Job Search
- How are you managing your job search? How many hours per week? How do you plan your week? Do you keep track of how you are actually spending your time?
- How are you taking care of yourself? What support do you have from family and friends?
- Consider participating in a job transition group (or two) for information, accountability, support and encouragement. Contact Debra Franke at 215-991-3582 or email@example.com for a list of groups in PA, NJ and DE.
- Download Joseph’s People Blue Resource Guide for practical help regarding financial, legal, healthcare, family/personal, housing, clothing and other needs. The guide also includes a wealth of job hunting resources.
Additional Questions and Resources
How have you educated yourself about effective job search strategies? (examples: job search blogs/e-newsletters, job search support groups, books, websites, talking with successful job seekers, etc.)
What are you doing to stay up-to-date in your field? To further develop your skills, knowledge and experience in your field?
- Time to brush up on your skills? Learn a new one? Check out these sites for free resources from short videos to full courses.
- Service Learning is volunteering with a goal in mind. And it’s a great tool to help you achieve your professional goals.
- On your resume, include a section “Professional Development” (probably at or near the end). Click here for some ideas.
Check out these additional resources.