6 Steps To STart Your Job Search
"The Lord has commanded us not to be idle. Developing the desire and capacity to work helps us contribute to the world in which we live. It brings an increased sense of self-worth. It blesses us and our families, both now and in the future." - LDS.org, "Why is work an important gospel principle?"
Finding a job really means you find a career that matches your unique skill set with your needs and wants that will be fulfilling and rewarding.
Below are 6 steps to help you get started. Visit the Find A Better Job Self-Reliance Initiative page for more information and resources. If you want additional help, your local Self-Reliance Center has missionaries to give personal help as well as others resources and supports.
1. Develop a Career PATH
Choosing a career is a big decision and can be a big investment. Like any smart decision, you will want to do your research into potential career options and qualify for guidance from above.
"7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."
Investing time now to understand your career options may save you years and thousands of dollars by avoiding the wrong path. Many tools are available to help you in researching careers.
Career Exploration and Planning Resources
How Do I Choose A Career?
You must know what career you want so that you can match the skills you present about yourself to the skills the employer needs. Sometimes a career path will need to include short-term goals that will lead to the long-term career you desire. Such goals could be additional training or education. Joining a LDS stake-sponsored Education for Better Work group with the Self-Reliance Initiative is a powerful way to explore your path. Through the group process you will evaluate options as outlined in the spreadsheet templates below.
Career and Education Evaluation - Template (Microsoft Excel)
Career and Education Evaluation - Template (Google Spreadsheet)
2. Build A NETWORK OF CONTACTS
Recent research from several sources suggests about 70% of job seekers find work through networking, 15% by placement agency and approximately 10% through a job post. To network effectively, you will need to reach out to those around you for help in your job search activities. Those you know may be the best door to your next job.
Through networking you gain access to the Hidden Job Market. This all of the stages of job creation, before a job is posted on all the public sites where the masses are your competition. Networking is the best way to find a job and is done by talking to people who can help you find the people and organizations that need your specific skills. Networking can be done anywhere and everywhere and can include family, friends, neighbors, church, work, teams, trade associations, clubs and other groups you belong to.
Express gratitude for everyone you contact in your network or during your job search. “Gratitude is a characteristic of a noble soul.” Ensign, October 2001, Elder Joseph B. Worthlin, "Live in Thanksgiving Daily"
3. Match Your Skills and Talents To Employer Needs
The Lord has given you certain gifts or talents. You must understand what these skills are so that you can showcase them to a potential employer. You are unique in your experiences and skills, and you need to help your potential employer see this. If you don’t learn to tell them about your skills, who will?
Your employer is unique as well. They have certain needs to meet so that they can grow successfully. Therefore, you match your skills with the employer’s needs and they will be excited to have you as an employee. Taking an empathetic view of the needs of the hiring manager is a very powerful way to understand how your being hire can help them accomplish their goals.
See additional resources - What Do Employers Want?
4. Create Your Super Power Brand
A Power Statement is a concise, dynamic statement that showcases your previous experiences and accomplishments by sharing a specific example and result. It is not what you did on a job, but how well you did it or what you achieved at your job. Make sure your verbal and written statements matches the needs or goals of the organization.
Consider using the 3-part C.A.R. formula as the vehicle to get you there:
(1) Characteristic – represents a skill using powerful action verbs, i.e. developed, implemented, created, etc.
(2) Achievement – specific and quantifiable accomplishment using #s, $, %, time or positive benefit.
(3) Result – describe the economic or realized value in numbers, dollars, percentages, time, or positive benefit, i.e. 120% increase, 10 minutes down to 3, repeat customers, etc.
Example: Developed an internet marketing campaign for a technology services company that increased their customer base 125% in 3 months.
See additional resources - What is Your Super Power? What is Your Kryptonite?
5. Make Powerful Impressions
The power statements you create about yourself to sell yourself need to be focused. You will frequently want to adjust and improve your power statements based on the jobs you’re applying for.
You will want to follow 3 simple principles:
Accomplishments – make sure you highlight your accomplishments. You are your skills. Prove credibility. Any skills claimed after proven skills become more believable.
Applicable – showcasing your skills relative to what the employer is seeking will greatly increase your potential value as a new hire. Put the most important information for the employer at the top or front. You may only have about 10 seconds to make an impression.
Attractive – the design and format of your written materials should be tailored to the employer. Your personal presentation and how you dress show show the best you and be one step above the dress standard of the organization. Professionalism is critical.
Resumes and written materials must be free of any errors and well written.
Consider following 5 Principles of a good resume format:
1. Pique the reader's interest
2. Establish credibility using power statements to showcase skills and accomplishments
3. List additional skills
4. List experiences
5. List education, if applicable
Resume Templates with Instructions (Microsoft Word)
Resume Templates with Instructions (Google Doc)
6. Match Your Skills and Talents To Employer Needs
The Key to a Successful Interview is: PREPARATION
Most interviewers will ask a combination of common interview questions and job-specific questions. You already know how to identify the employer’s needs, so you can use that skill to figure out what the employer will probably ask you. A list of the most difficult questions can aid you. You can better prepare by formulating good answers to these questions. Write out you answers to help polish the language and your answers. You can see where it would be important to:
• Prepare Power Statements
• Spend time becoming familiar with the company or organization
• Learn all you can about the job
• Consider how you can contribute to the organization with your talents.
It is also impactful to have some good questions prepared that you want to ask the employer. Remember that you are also interviewing them to assure that the employer is a good match for your skills, wants and the goals that you set when considering your career path.
See additional resources - Prepare for the Interview and Master the Art Of the Interview.
Request assistance from your local Self-Reliance Resource Center
Church Service Missionaries stand ready to help. Please submit the request for assistance below.