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Starting the Job Search

It's not breaking news that the job search process is daunting and can be a bit draining. We're here to try and make it just a bit easier for you - hopefully by the end of this article you think so too.

Consider Your Preferences

When starting to search for a new opportunity, first - Consider Your Preferences. Ask yourself:

  • "What type of role do I want - a more technical-based role or a leadership role?"

  • "What industry do I want to work in? Do I want to branch out and pursue one I have no experience in?"

  • "Do I want to work in a manufacturing environment or would a desk role be better for me?"

Not only should you think about what you want your day-to-day work responsibilities to look like, you also should establish what your other nonnegotiables are. Ask yourself:

  • "What type of work flexibility do I want - WFH, Hybrid, or In-Office Only? Am I willing to change my choice if I'm offered a certain salary? What does that compensation number have to be in order to change my mind

  • "Do I only want to look at companies that will pay for training and professional development programs for me? If a company doesn't offer these types of programs, am I willing to pay out-of-pocket for these?"

  • "Am I aiming to avoid any and all travel? Do I want a job that'll give me some variety and let me travel depending on project need?"

Update Your Resume

After you've decided what type(s) of role you're interested in, Update Your Resume to include information that's relevant to those position types. A good way to start going about this is looking up job postings for similar roles and reading through what qualifications companies look for in candidates. You can understand what verbiage and wording hiring managers use in these postings and leverage them in your resume to catch their eye. Don't forget to update your LinkedIn profile with the new material in your latest resume as well.

Conduct Comparative Research

Next, you should Conduct Comparative Research to establish what salary ranges and benefits to expect for this type of role. A few things that might cause some fluctuation in compensation ranges that you should keep in mind are; job location, candidate's years of experience, and any certifications the candidate has obtained.

From this information, you can learn what type of compensation and benefits you should be expecting. Going into this process with a desired salary value in mind will eliminate unnecessary interviews for roles you wouldn't consider pursuing. Salary is usually discussed during the initial introductory call, but not always. You can avoid getting caught off guard if you have an idea of what you will and will not accept in an offer.

Create a Job Application Tracker

After understanding what the market looks like, I suggest to Create a Job Application Tracker to keep the process organized. Here is where you can download our Job Application Tracker Template for free.

Within the tracker, you can keep track of all the positions you've applied to and the ones you've been denied from (but hopefully not too many!). Holding onto the information even after receiving a denial can help avoid duplicate applications.

Here's a screenshot of what our tracker looks like:

It's pretty straightforward, so we won't dive into much detail about it in this post. The one thing to note about the tracker is add your interviewer's name and contact information as soon as possible. The worst thing is finishing up a panel interview and waiting a few hours before sending the follow-up thank you email and you have no recollection of who is who. All of a sudden you start making yourself believe you talked to 3 Linda's - oh, wait - Brenda's at once. Email follow-ups are easy "bonus points" that you don't want to accidentally miss.

A few platforms you can find job listings are:

One recommendation is to make a separate email that it strictly dedicated to job search use. This can be an email you create accounts with on the above job board sites so you can ensure your inbox is only streamlined with emails relating to your search - not Zara's latest sale. It'll help limit the

likelihood of missing any important emails from recruiters. Creating a separate email will serve as more inclination to sign up for job alerts since they won't be cluttering your main, personal inbox.

At this point, you're well on your way into the interview process. Hopefully, the next issue you have is figuring out which offer to accept! Comparing multiple offers is something we'll dive in during another blog post.

In summary, here are the steps we recommend breaking your job search into:


Stay tuned for more articles about dealing with the job search as a STEM professional - be sure to subscribe to our email list to stay up to date!


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