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February 11, 2008

How To Attack Your Job Search

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How To Attack Your Job Search

By Brad Karsh,

It's never an easy decision to change jobs, but here's the inside scoop on exactly how to take the next step.

1. Put your house in order
Resume, cover letter, interviewing skills. You'll need to have all of them brushed up and in top-notch shape.

Update the resume. You can do it yourself or work with a professional resume writing company. Just make sure it's in great shape, accurately reflecting your accomplishments. The same goes for interviewing.

You may also think that you're great at interviewing, but you may be shocked at the mistakes you make following a mock interview. Perhaps you're an excellent speaker, but that doesn't mean you do well in an interview. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect.

2. Reassess your career
When you decide to look for a new job it's typically for one of two reasons. 1) You don't like your current job 2) You lost your job

Our first inclination is to get another job doing the same exact thing, as quickly as possible. Take some time to think. Do you like your career? Do you like the field you work in? What might make you happier? The earlier you do this in your career the better.

One lament I hear from more experienced job seekers is that they feel trapped. Because they are senior and because they've only worked in one area, every new job needs to be in the same exact industry and job title. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case. And now that you're changing jobs, reassess your priorities and make sure you're not just blindly jumping into the next job.

3. Get out there
You have more tools than you think when it comes time to see what jobs are available. Take our exciting quiz to determine if you know the best way to land work. Select which is the most effective way to score your next job:

a. Check out online job postings
b. Distribute your resume online
c. Work with an executive recruiter
d. Scour individual company websites
e. All of the above.

Yes folks, the answer is "e". If you are serious about landing that next job, you want to go after it with vigor. Like anything else in life, the more effort you put into the something the more you get out of it.

4. Act with professionalism in all you do
The way you conduct your job search is a reflection on you. Don't be too quick to get into bed with your new company. Don't betray company or client confidences, don't bad mouth your former company, and don't give less than the industry-standard two week notice if you do quit.

Getting a new job can be an intimidating process. But if you go about it with a plan on how to do it the right way, it can be incredibly rewarding.

Brad Karsh is president of JobBound, a career consulting and corporate training company. He is one of the nation's leading experts on landing a job and author of "Confessions of a Recruiting Director" (Prentice Hall Press, 2006).

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