Job Search 101

Whenever I get a new referral for someone looking for a job, I always tell them to start with these four steps in order to get their job search going...

1)      Update your resume.

This should be a no brainer, but a lot of people that contact me are in panic mode or are very overwhelmed and unhappy with their current work situation. Now is the time to focus your energy on your job search and you can’t do anything without an updated resume.

Make sure you fill in all the details of your most recent job and review older parts that you haven’t looked at in years. Then have someone else look at it. Like with all writing, you need another pair of eyes to catch typos and grammar errors.

2)      Sign up for a LinkedIn account and fill out your profile COMPLETELY.  Make connections and join Groups.

I am a big follower of Lewis Howes, who has written the book, “LinkedWorking: Generating Success On The World's Largest ProfessionalNetworking Website”. Lewis has an amazing story of how he spent months on his sister’s couch with a broken wrist figuring out all the secrets of LinkedIn and how you can use it to network and get noticed.

Here is Carlos Gil's 8-minute video on how he used LinkedIn and his recommendations:

The key to using LinkedIn is to fill out your profile completely and with specific key words in your industry. I have learned that recruiters like to search on those keywords in order to find prospective candidates.

Once your profile is filled in, using information from your resume (you can even copy/paste), I then suggest networking with as many people as you know.

Also, another advantage of LinkedIn is the "Groups". Type in your field in the search box and select "Groups" from the drop down list. When you join Groups specific to your field, it's another way to network as well as view job postings. You can set the e-mail notifications of postings to either daily or weekly.

LinkedIn now lets you notify recruiters that you are looking (excluding the recruiters at your own company). Click here for learning the steps to take:

Here is a good daily, weekly, and monthly checklist to follow to keep you active on LinkedIn:

3)      Use job search websites and set up searches so that job postings get e-mailed to you directly.

I usually recommend “the big three” when it comes to general job search websites:,, and Those are good places to start and I have set up my accounts so that I get weekly e-mails with job postings that are similar to what I do. This way the jobs come to me!

But there are still far more job search sites out there, and you can find my list here:

In addition to job websites, reach out to temp agencies like Kelly Services or Robert Half International (RHI). The best way to get your foot in the door is to act as a temp or contractor.

If you are in between jobs, a good way to get experience and networking is to volunteer. This will give you motivation to get out of bed and out from behind the computer.

4) Networking, networking, networking...both online with companies and in person with your friends!

-- What are the companies in your field? Go to their company website and see if they have a careers page or a “Contact Us” page.

-- Go to LinkedIn and search for HR representatives that work for that company and ask to connect with them.

-- Search for former coworkers on LinkedIn and see where they have ended up and ask them if there are openings.

-- Attend monthly meetings or conferences for your field and talk to as many people as you can!

-- When you’re hanging out with your friends and they ask what’s new, tell them you’re looking for a new job. You never know…they might say, “My company is looking for someone like you!”

-- Here's a great blog post that talks about it further:  How to Network Your Way to a New Job

Your network is bigger than you think!