How Do I Get Started With My Job Search?

Dear Resume Survis Lady,

I’m just starting my job search and not really sure how to get started.  Can you make some suggestions?

The start of a job search can be scary and a bit intimidating but it can also be exciting and a little fun if you do a little research and planning.  There are a lot of questions you need to determine the answers to at the start such as:  Are you staying in the same field?  Are you looking for a lateral move or a promotion?  Are you looking for a higher salary?  Are you open to relocation or do you prefer to commute from your current location?  Is your resume up to date?  Once you have the answers to these questions you are ready to move on to the next step.

The next step in starting a job search is once you’ve determined what you want to do and what type of position you want to target, start doing some research on companies that you are interested in.  When I say research, I don’t just mean going to their website and looking t information and open positions listed there.  I mean also going to LinkedIn and looking up employees that work there.  You will want to take special note of any that appear to be in the field or department you are interested in or Human Resources/Recruiting for later use.  Take a look at their  LinkedIn profiles to find out what their upward mobility has been with the company.  Do they appear to have an upward trajectory or do they seem to be stagnant in their current position?  That will give you a good insight the list of companies you are interested in to 10.

Once you have your top 10 companies identified, the fun begins.  Visit their career websites to see if there are any positions posted that you are qualified and interested in.  While on their career website, check to see if you can create a profile and set up agents to be notified of new  positions as they become available.  Once you’ve found a position, make sure to submit your resume and cover letter, YES COVER LETTER with both of them customized to the position.  Congratulations, you have completed the first step in the application process.

What?  Only the first step?  Yes.  Once you submit an application, you’re not done.  Remember researching LinkedIn to find people that work at the company?  You will want to use that information here.  Use LinkedIn to email those that appear to be a part of the hiring process for the position that you applied to and network with them.  Send them you resume and let them know you are interested in what they do for the company and what the culture is there.  Build a relationship with them.  It’s always a bonus if you have an internal cheerleader!

Best of luck on your job search!

To have your resume or job search questions answered by Resume Survis Lady, send your questions to: or on twitter: resumesurvisldy or connect with her directly on LinkedIn by sending her an invite to connect:


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renee
    May 09, 2011 @ 09:33:13

    Great tips, Billye….there really is no excuse not to know who you should be directing your coverletters and resumes to these days. There is a plethora of info out there for the taking. One of my peeves is seeing a cover that begins with Dear Sir or Madame. Really?


  2. Mina Joshi
    May 10, 2011 @ 05:35:32

    Came here through Linkedin. Some great articles on your blog.


  3. Catarina Alexon
    May 10, 2011 @ 13:12:23

    Excellent advice Billye!


  4. Susan Oakes
    May 11, 2011 @ 02:14:18

    This is very good advice Billye and I can see doing what you advise could make the whole job seeking process more productive.


  5. Jeannette Paladino
    May 11, 2011 @ 22:11:23

    You can’t stress enough how important LinkedIn is for a job search. I was just with friends — one is a top flight IT consultant — he did a job search on LinkedIn and saw a consulting assignment posted by a recruiter. Within less than a week he got a lucrative project at Yahoo. It doesn’t get any better than that.


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