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As you begin the process, figure out what you want, collect job titles you enjoy & prepare your application to best suit the position you desire.

Know What You Want

Author Richard N. Bolles (What Color is Your Parachute, and The Job-Hunter's Survival Guide) states that the number one way to find a job is to "Do homework on yourself, taking inventory in detail of all you have to offer and what you're looking for." Bolles goes on to say that while this research takes time, there are payoffs for using this method:

  • By identifying your skills, education, background, and passions in a succinct description, you're able specifically to state the type of position you're seeking.

    • For example, "I am looking for an entry-level counselor position working with adolescents or young adults seeking help in overcoming addictions."​

  • You can accurately describe to your family, friends, and others in your network exactly what you're seeking, in detail. With a specific position in mind, your network can better help you find that type of job.

  • You're also well informed to the extent that you can precisely articulate to employers what is unique about you, why your background fits a role, and project confidence because you've done your homework and know what you want to do with your life.

Discern & Collect Common Job Titles

An internet job site such as the Denver Seminary Job Board is a great place to start matching your desired position with appropriate job titles. Select 5–7 jobs of interest and see how your education and experience match the responsibilities. Employers usually look for candidates that fulfill at least 80% of their defined qualifications. If you consistently don't meet the minimum qualifications for jobs that pique your interest, consider widening your search. Finally, begin to highlight the skills and experiences that are consistent, and identify a short list of job titles to guide your search.

Create a 30-Second "Elevator Speech"

If you're actively searching for a job, it will likely be something you talk about with friends and acquaintances. When people ask, "What have you been up to?" it's helpful to have a brief statement prepared so you can share that you're on the job hunt and can ask if they know of any openings or any referral opportunities.

 

Be ready to share the following:

  • A quick summary of your career or educational history

  • One or two sentences about your career goals

  • A description of a career accomplishment that relates to your desired position or why you are passionate about your chosen field

Getting Organized

Start by finalizing a customized resume that fits each type of position you intend to pursue. Employers need to see the correlation between your background and the job qualifications, so this approach allows you to have basic templates that can easily be tweaked for each new application you submit.

Next, designate times on your calendar to focus exclusively on job search activities. To guide you during these blocks of time, organize the tasks you want to accomplish, and set goals for each scheduled time. You can organize tasks such as:

  • Who you want to contact and with whom you want to network

  • A schedule to check job boards and listing for new opportunities

  • Collecting job postings for which you want to apply

  • Gatherings in your area that you can attend for networking purposes

  • People/organizations you want to follow up with and research

  • Keep accurate records in order to recall your activity with all contacts during the job search process

Preparing Supplemental Documents

When responding to a job posting or a referral, you'll need to provide a variety of requested attachments. Some postings may require a list of references or a letter of recommendation, others may require a portfolio of work samples. As you read job postings, take notice of the supporting documents being requested. Once you create them for a particular application, save them to have on hand for future requests.