It’s important to approach your job search thoughtfully by being selective about what you apply for. Take this time to make sure that the job you end up in next is something you enjoy. Stop and think about the following questions:
- What should be the next step in my career path?
- What are my values?
- What did I learn from my last role?
- How do I want to continue to grow?
Recruitment is a selection process with a series of steps before you get the job. You need to understand each part of the process to prepare for them properly.
You’re probably reading these blogs for tips on how to get a role at Immersive Labs. We know that, but we’re not arrogant enough to assume we’re the organization for everyone! We might not be the right place for you, and we’re okay with that.
We’d rather you end up in a job you can thrive in, not one you just survive in. By helping you shape what you’re looking for (and some tips to help you on that journey) we hope to help you secure your dream job – even if it’s not with us!
Step 1: The search
If you’ve thought about the above questions, you’ve probably got a vague idea of where to start. Hop on to Google and type in the role that you’re looking for. When you find some job listings, read through each position then find out a bit about the company. Another method is to search for the type of company you want to work for, then browse their vacancies.
Some useful sites to search are:
– Otta: roles with exciting start ups
– LinkedIn: a lot of recruiters use LinkedIn, so make sure your profile is up to date if you’re using it to apply for jobs
– Glassdoor: this site shows current roles along with real reviews from people that work there. However, remember that some people write fake reviews, so cross reference any that seem particularly bad or too good to be true.
– Great Places to Work: Take a look through this year’s list of great workplaces and read how they made the list.
– Built In Boston: this is an online community of start ups and tech companies in Boston. They also have a number of other state-specific sites that you can check out here.
– Indeed: a lot of organizations advertise their roles on this site. It’s a good place to see the majority of positions available.
Another good way to approach your search is to utilize your existing networks. Reach out to previous managers and colleagues and see if they know of any roles in the industry. It’s also worth doing some research and selecting an agency or two to support your search. Ensure they always get your permission before approaching companies with your resumé, and make sure they truly partner you on your search.
Step 2: Your resumé
We can’t over-emphasize the importance of reading a job advert thoroughly and tweaking your resumé to match it specifically. Don’t just attach the same resumé for every role, customize it. Look at your resumé meticulously to ensure that every key element of the advertised role is mentioned somewhere on your resumé – but only if you really have experience in it!
As skilled as most recruiters are, they aren’t mind readers, and can’t always speak directly to everyone who applied for the role. They go based on what you’ve written in your resumé, if you have experience in something relevant, make sure it’s on there. As much as people hate writing resumé’s, it’s the key to unlocking the next stage of the process – so much so that we’ve created a support blog specifically to help you with this.
Set aside some time to apply for the roles you’re interested in. The time you invest here is crucial to break through to the rest of the recruitment process. You’ll want to tweak your resumé, and there might be forms to fill or assessments to complete. Ensure you’ve fully understood the brief to help you update your resumé and complete these forms or assessments.
Step 3: Being approached
If you’re approached about a specific role, be receptive towards conversations. Do your research and decide if it’s a good fit for you. If not, politely decline the approach. There could be a role that matches you better within the same company, or a recruiter might find a different role for you somewhere else. Either way, responding politely and having direct conversations are very important for your personal brand and building networks.
Don’t be afraid to say that the role isn’t right for you. You can continue by saying what sort of roles you are looking for, then ask if something more in line with that is available. You could even request a recommendation for other employers and recruiters that could help your search.
Step 4: The interview process
Research, research, research. You need to find out about the culture, the history, and the future of the business. Where is this company going? Where did it come from? What is the lifeblood of this business? It may seem fairly labor intensive, but if you’re truly passionate about your career, then this investment is crucial. If you’re conducting your job search methodically and thoughtfully, you should only really be exploring a handful of opportunities at a time.
Read the job description, then re-read it. Get under the skin of this role. Make a list of questions that the job description doesn’t tell you. Look at each element of the role and think about how you demonstrate that you’ve done these things previously. What elements of it have you not done, but could demonstrate something similar, or perhaps studied but haven’t had the chance to put into practice yet? Have lots of examples in your head to demonstrate that you can do this job. And not only that you can do it, but that you’ll smash it out of the park.
Have lots of questions prepared to fill in the blanks of what’s missing in the description and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
Step 5: Decision making
Contrary to popular belief, recruitment is a consultative process. This is your career, so the position needs to be right for you. Your interests are just as important as the company you’re interviewing with. If you’ve asked the right questions and researched thoroughly, then you should have a feeling whether this is the right move for you.
Think back to the beginning of your search about what type of role you’re looking for. Reflect on your list and think through everything you’ve heard about the position and the company. Is this the move you’ve been waiting for? Does it hit the most important aspects of what you want next in your career?
Then think about your values – does this company align with them? What about the manager? Perhaps money and supporting your family is your number one priority right now. Consider carefully if this move gives you that security. Other career search criteria might need to take a back seat in terms of financial security, but do consider them alongside your life priorities.
Searching for jobs isn’t fun and can be a vulnerable process for everyone. It’s time consuming, and so it should be – this is a major life decision, so treat it as such. A good recruiter understands that it’s scary and wants you to succeed, while also trying to find the right person for their organization. Your role is to always demonstrate what you can bring to the table and gather information, and their role is to consult with you, ease your nerves, and help guide you through the process.