3 Steps to Create a Winning Job Search Strategy

As a professional, develop a job search strategy. Identify companies with the "right" culture and the "right" role so you can achieve your career goals.

As a professional, develop a job search strategy. Identify companies with the "right" culture and the "right" role so you can achieve your career goals.

Are you looking for a new job? Before you waste precious time, let’s talk about your job search strategy. You may be ready to get the hell out of your current situation and thinking that anywhere is better than where you are right now. You're searching multiple job sites.  You’re trying to peruse LinkedIn connections faster than Tinder swipes.  You're looking at a few companies. But, what's your process? What's your strategy? If you don't have one, you might need one. Otherwise, after getting the hell out of you current nightmare and the luster of your shiny new job wears off you realize that other than the location and the cool ass industrial vibe, the company culture sucks, your manager is an absolute Neanderthal, and the boys club is rampant. So, what's a young professional to do? 

1. Figure out what matters to you

Whether you're looking to bail now or in the future, take the time to figure out what is most important to you. Look beyond just job and salary, think about culture, leadership and growth potential. A good way to start is to make a list of the pros/cons of your current situation and take it from there. What do you want in a new opportunity?

2. Narrow it down

Once you know what's important, do your research and identify companies that you want to work for and that are deserving of your talent. It will take more time in the short term, but in the long term you'll have more career opportunities by staying put for a while.  Amazing how that works. People who keep changing jobs all the time never figure that shit out. Anyway, the good thing is the research is already done. All you have to do is read it. Start with the  100 Best Workplaces for Millennials published in 2016. Fortune publishes the lists of 100 Best Companies To Work For,  100 Best Medium Workplaces and 50 Best Small Workplaces which are great resources this year.  Once you compile your list, visit company websites to apply directly. Then, target a couple of job search sites.  I recommendLinkedin and Indeed.com and be sure to set up notifications.

3. Don't be too judgmental

As you do your research, refrain from being too judgmental. You'll find some of the results are surprising. Like, WTF kind of surprising. As in, you would just skip right over their job postings "Ehh, I don't want to work there".  If team members rave about their employer, give them a chance. Oh, and don't forget about local periodicals that publish Best Companies to Work For lists. I live in Austin and the Statesman publishes a list, or they did until so many people started moving here. Just kidding! We still have the list of top companies for our area too.  I think you'll find there are many resources if you search.

The point is, as a young professional you should be just as choosy about where you want to work as an employer is about who they want to hire. Be selective if you have the time to be. If you are going after an internal job know how to compete with external candidates to get it. And, improve your job search strategy with these tips!

Do you have any job search tips or advice? Please add your comments below. Good luck in your job search!