Plant Your Flag: Job Search Pointers

Searching for a job can feel even more challenging than working. It comes with no guarantees and no paychecks! Yet, it’s a necessary task. And the sooner you find success, the better. Leveraging any available information and every available tool to your advantage is crucial for your success.

1 Introduction

The moment has come: you’ve been conscripted into the job search battle. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Human Resources will ship personal belongings to you. You return your pass card and then go home, seemingly in slow motion – heavy with thought. Dejected. Disjointed. Discharged from service. Now what? What do I do and don’t I do?

You need to embark on a job search to find another, hopefully better role. But where to start? What to do? This task is always daunting; first lay-off or not. It takes preparation and effort to push up that hill, especially when staring at it from the bottom – contemplating the inevitable challenges ahead. The darkest part of the journey – the nadir; the crux – is in inky shadows at the foot of the hill.

Searching for a job while employed differs from searching while unemployed. When employed, you can carefully plan and seek out the most beneficial roles and suitable organizations. When unemployed, while this is also true, the urgency to find a job can feel overwhelming. Treat your search like preparing to enter the battlefield; wield information like a weapon to your fullest advantage.

Despite the ubiquitous use of technology, job searches remain challenging. Like warfare, it’s a strategic numbers game with numerous barriers to success. Keeping your resume and other documents up-to-date equips you for the battle ahead. If not, it’s never too late to ensure everything is current. Otherwise, you risk perilous combat for which you are unprepared.

Fortunately, as a newly conscripted job seeker, you have ample opportunity for preparation, updating your resume, and preparing your key weapons, which are described next.

2 Elements of a Successful Job Search: Weapons of Choice

The following sections discuss essential elements of a job search, what to do or not do, and strategies to successfully summit the hill.

2.1 Use Personal Connections

Do                Leverage personal connections for job search success.

Do this        Increase focused socializing. Your connections are soldiers in arms. Reach out to family, friends, and former colleagues who can help with their connections and suggestions. Inform them about what you can offer to a new organization or role. They can also provide encouragement and support, refer you, and share opportunities. Maintain regular, polite contact. Use this friendly intelligence at your disposal.

Don’t           Engage in more chit-chat and unfocused socializing.

2.2 Update Resume, and Cover and Thank You Letters

Do                Ensure you have an updated, polished resume with cover and thank you letter templates.

Do this        Even if you’re assured of a job, these documents are probably the most important weapons in your arsenal. Decision-makers are likely assessing and considering other candidates. If your resume is boring, confusing, or outdated, hire a professional to make it impressive. Your resume represents your professional self. You should genuinely be excited to show your resume to others. If you are not, ask yourself: why not?

Don’t           Spend excessive time on more editing and writing.

2.3 Use LinkedIn

Do                Use LinkedIn for networking and research.

Do this        Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date because this allows other professionals to see the hills you have conquered in the past. Seek feedback from a professional resume writer. Download your profile data occasionally from the Settings & Privacy page to safeguard against data piracy and loss.

Don’t           Engage in generic social media activity.

2.4 Use Head Hunters and Recruiting Agencies

Do                Use head hunters and recruiting agencies.

Do this        Consider recruiting agencies that align with your interests because they are also your soldiers in arms and usually have significant experience capturing hills. Signing up and uploading your resume usually takes just a few minutes. Some organizations require you to enter data from your resume into their database or format, which often takes longer. While this is frustrating, it’s often necessary.

Don’t           Waste time on irrelevant information and tasks.

2.5 Participate in Events and Networking

Do                Network with industry peers and the like-minded.

Do this        Attend industry events and technical presentations, and participate in volunteer activities. This is like attending an arms exposition before deploying for battle; these activities often lead to invaluable connections. Especially in the future. For those who find networking challenging, this social channel offers a more accessible way for the inexperienced and shy to benefit from, improve, and practice networking skills. Free or low-cost events are full of opportunity. Also, consider also more expensive events, with the associated audiences and influential networks they may draw.

Don’t           Engage in busy-making activities without purpose.

2.6 Communicate with Email and Messages

Do                Communicate effectively via email and other platforms.

Do this        Set up a dedicated email for your job search. Opt-out of unnecessary newsletters to reduce clutter. Communicate on the platforms your contacts prefer, ensuring your messages are seen. This is key. If communication is lost, so too is the battle.

Don’t           Increase the quantity of your communication at the cost of quality.

2.7 Manage Economic Uncertainty

Do                Stay adaptable and optimistic.

Do this        Remain positive and proactive. If finding a similar role isn’t possible, consider a geographic or lateral move. Once employed, continue to advance your career from a position of strength; atop the hill.

Don’t           Dwell on economic downturns or seasonal trends.

2.8 Prioritize Self-care

Do                Maintain a balanced routine that includes self-care.

Do this        Replace your former work routine with beneficial activities. Focus on exercise, mental health, and nutrition. Engage in cost-effective and productive activities like reading and self-improvement. Reflect on how to be a better candidate, colleague, and person. In battle, chance favours the prepared. Stay fit and ready.

Don’t           Neglect your well-being.

3 Conclusion

A successful job search doesn’t start with a termination or even at the completion of education or training. It begins at the start of your work life and continues every day until retirement.

In this campaign, you must always be battle-ready. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are tactical gear – keep them polished and up-to-date. Continuously build and reinforce alliances through existing and new network connections. Keep your soldiers in arms close‑by. Helping others with job searches draws good karma and strengthens your position as you ascend upwards, to the summit.

Be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances, fight from the trenches, and strategize your battle up the hill with precision. With determination, the right tools, and support from others you will overcome the resistance. You will succeed. You will plant your flag on Employed Hill. You will.

4 Figures

  1. Derek Rosner. Correspondence, Rendered using Co-Pilot AI and SnagIt (TechSmith). June 25, 2024.

5 Notes

This article was published by the Oilman Magazine,

6 About the Author

Roy O. Christensen founded the KT Project to save organizations significant money and time by providing key resources to leverage expert knowledge transfer for successful project execution.

6.1 Contact

Roy O. Christensen

Email:                    [email protected]

Telephone:         +1 403 703-2686