We all know a jobs search can be daunting. Where do you start? How do you go about it? Is there someone out there who needs or wants someone like you? Here’s a sure-fire system for your success.

First, consider your attitude. You might need to adjust your mental approach before you begin.

For example, if you have just lost a job you may experience anger, feelings of rejection, fear, frustration, loss, and a sense of “why me”? All these feelings are natural—you have lost something of value! Allow yourself to go through the grieving process. After time, think what lessons you’ve learned. Be grateful for the opportunities you experienced. At that point, begin to think about new possibilities.

However, if you just want to move on from your job, consider what you are looking for. Define the good and the bad about your current position. Analyze the company, your tasks and responsibilities, and your feelings about advancement.

As you work through these emotions, don’t forget your friends and family. They can provide support and encouragement. While you don’t want to wear them out with your woes, seek their feedback about your skills, needs, and aspirations.

In some cases, you may consider seeking expert advice from a career counselor or executive coach to explore your “where to next” options.

Finally, you have done self-analysis and are ready to start! Now what? Dust off your old resume? Reach out for resume writing services? Yes and yes, but think about these things first:

  • What are you good at?
  • What are you not good at?
  • What do you want to do?
  • What are your feelings about money?
  • How important are happiness and enjoying your new job?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • What type of industry really lights up for you?
  • Are you a team player or more of an individual contributor?
  • Do you want to make a complete career change? What does that mean for you?

Now that you are ready to start your job search, here’s a checklist to get you going:

  • Develop your job search plan for research, writing, internet outreach, and networking.
  • Freshen up your resume. Focus on keywords found in job descriptions.
  • Create a cover letter template. Fine tune for each opportunity you seek. Be concise, but clear about why you are the best candidate.
  • Research companies in which you have an interest.
  • Review the many internet sites posting positions.
  • Establish yourself in social media: LinkedIn is a must for research and for developing connections for positions that may not be posted.
  • Strengthen your interview skills and techniques. Practice, practice, practice!

At the end of the day, remember you are marketing yourself. While humility is a great trait, be sure the employer knows exactly why you are the best fit for the position. Whether you go through this by yourself or bring in an expert career coach, make a convincing case that you will bring great value to the company!

Beth Kelzer
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