How to Sharpen Your Job Search

Posted by Patra Frame

Been hunting for a new job for awhile? Or thinking of starting a job search? Summer is a great time to ‘sharpen your saw’ to quote an old proverb.

Too many people just update an old resume, tell all their friends that they need a new job, and look at ads online. Not the best methods! Times change, technologies change, and job hunting becomes a whole new effort. You need to know what works now. To learn how to present your best self for the work you want.

First, learn about job search now.

There are a lot of great online sources. If you prefer to read articles and do research, start with the ClearedJobs.Net blog and search for the topics you are interested in.

Then, check out:
* for a wide range of information and assistance. Follow them at @JobHuntOrg on Twitter too.
* Executive Career Brand is great if you are looking for management positions. And @MegGuiseppi gets you more.
* Need resume ideas or assistance? Check out or look for her on LinkedIn groups where she answers a lot of resume questions.

Read a book! Consider the classic “What Color Is Your Parachute” for a full career check-up. Or check the wide range of books on specific issues within job search for those which match your needs. And, if you are targeting federal jobs, take a look at Karol Taylor’s “Guide to America’s Federal Jobs. “

Look at some videos. ClearedJobs.Net has its own YouTube channel with a wide range of great help from recruiters, hiring managers, veterans, and more. You might also check out’s videos – such as 3 Things Hiring Managers Want to Know About You.

Second, look at your job search so far.

If you have been searching for weeks or months, review your records. What is your process? Where does it work well? Where is it inadequate?

Example: If you are getting contacted by recruiters who have received or seen your resume, you know your resume is fine. If not, it is not.

Looking at your efforts gives you the ability to see what you are doing right and what you could improve. How effective is your research and target selection? That’s a critical step many do poorly. But most people can improve their process in several ways – few of us are terrific at every step. And consider how much time and effort you are actually putting into the job search. Periodic breaks for fun are important, but do not be diverted for long.

Third, pay attention to the most productive activities.

Where are you spending the most time? Do you know how organizations are actually hiring? Don’t focus all your time online searching for jobs. Do consider setting up job agents to search for you. Online research is valuable to help you pick and understand your target jobs and organizations, which is critical to success.

Remember: people get jobs through the people they know more often than any other method! So building your connections, attending professional events in your field and job fairs are good uses of your time. Reconnect with people from past jobs and activities. Ask each for a specific type of help with your job search activities. Developing a good LinkedIn profile or learning how to use social media for your job search is also worth considering.

Understanding the job search process will make your search more effective and faster.  Human connections are going to play a huge part in your job search and career success – don’t scrimp on that time and effort!

ClearedJobs.Net HR Specialist Patra Frame

Patra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Specialist. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.


This entry was posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 7:00 am

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