I love me an alliterative title, and if you are looking for some solid advice when it comes to keeping your job search on target this should help you out too. Lindsey Pollack has written a revised edition of her classic book, Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World, and it will be published in a brand new, fully revised second edition on January 31st
In honor of her new book she recently posted what she considers to be the 7 absolute basics you’ll need for a successful job search. I recommend checking out the whole thing, but here is a sampling.
Ms. Pollack is a great resource for job seekers and I highly recommend following her.
1. Time. You’ve probably heard it said that job hunting is a fulltime job. I don’t believe that’s necessarily the case, but it is an activity that needs serious commitment. You’ll likely fail if you’re job hunting in your spare time, only on weekends or “when you get to it.” To get serious, schedule specific blocks of time in your calendar that are dedicated to your job hunt. I’d recommend starting with 30 uninterrupted minutes a day and adding time from there.
2. A Really Big List. A lot of people tell me this is their favorite tip from Getting from College to Career. A Really Big List is a collection of every idea you have that’s related to your job search — companies you’d love to work for, internships to apply for, people you’ve been meaning to talk to, blogs to subscribe to and anything and everything else. Start a list in a notebook, an Excel doc or in a file on your phone and keep it with you at all times. Your list will provide the assignments for the job search sessions you’ve now made the time for: employers to research, people to invite for informational interviews, events to attend, etc. It’s like a journal and assignment book all in one.
3. Friends. Notice I said “friends” instead of “a network.” This is so you don’t get scared. The reality is that your friends are your network, and a network is absolutely critical to landing a job. Your friends are the first people you should tell about your job search. Your friends are the people who can offer advice, ideas and connections to their friends who might also be helpful. Your friends are the people you should connect with on LinkedIn before anyone else (see #6 below). A job search doesn’t require reaching out to dozens of strangers. You’ll be more successful if you reach out to your friends first and grow your network organically from those relationships.