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How to Narrow Down Your Job Search

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Anyone looking for a job knows there are literally a thousand options of where to start. Yet, most people are looking to find a job, not just continually scour the Internet for more and more “opportunities.” Starting a career, switching a career, or advancing a career is a stressful time that doesn’t need to be prolonged. Our recruiters pulled together the best ways to focus your job search to yield results faster. Follow these tips:

Know the position you’re looking for

It’s one thing to be drawn to an idea of day-to-day activities and another thing to know a title and department. Spend some time looking up different positions in the area you’re looking for. Marketing, sales, and business development have a surprising amount of different roles. Determine what aspect of the timeline you enjoy the most, whether its finishing a product or sale, meeting a customer, or brainstorming how to spread your marketing.

Find the right industry

Whatever aspect of a business you’re interested in, every industry offers different challenges. Sales for a product differ dramatically than for a service. Business development and marketing also require different skills depending on whether or not you’re dealing with a tangible product. Determine your strengths and your interests ahead of time. Do you feel comfortable talking about something that a consumer can’t see? Are you able to demonstrate the use of something before its fully functional? Can you follow technical jargon and boil it down to common language? Make sure you know the answers to these types of questions before diving in to job boards.

Look for appropriate experience level requirements

Just because you’ve been working doesn’t mean all of your experience will carry over. Compare backgrounds of different professionals doing similar roles to the one you’re most interested in. Do you match up? If not, you need to be willing to take a lateral or lower position until you can advance. Especially if you’re switching industries or departments, being aware of how your professional background correlates will set you up to apply to the correct positions. Sending your resume to positions that need more than you have to offer can waste your time.

Set out the basics ahead of time

Although you don’t need to hammer out exact answers, make sure you know the hard lines to the important questions before even starting a job search. How long is too long of a commute? What’s the bare minimum salary you need to maintain your lifestyle? What kind of hours can you work? How expansive do your benefits need to be? These questions should have answers that can be applied across all positions. Understanding your hard lines ahead of time steers you clear from loving a job but not being able to make it work.

Tap your network

The fastest way to get a job is through an introduction. Applying through job boards, LinkedIn, and company websites can put your resume in an abyss of job seekers. Taking the time to go through your network for viable contacts is a great way to set yourself ahead of the curve in a job search. Recruiters are a great option to expand your network as well. A contact with an inside connection is the ideal way to get in for a job interview, where you can then get a position based on merit.