6 Tips to Kick Start Your Job Search

Many of us procrastinate when it comes to a job search because it can get so overwhelming, but unemployment will reign until you start doing something. Here are some tips to help you kick start a job search—from guest blogger Amy Feind Reeves of JobCoachAmy.

Amy Feind Reeves
4-minute read

how to start a job search

You’ve been telling yourself for weeks: I’m going to start looking. It’s time. So what do you do now? You know that you want to start a job search, but there is a lot you don’t know:

  • What other jobs are there?
  • What would you actually do in those jobs?
  • How do you get one?
  • How long will it take?
  • What will you get paid?

That’s just for starters. In short, a job search can be overwhelming, regardless of where you are in your career. 

Many people often don’t know where to begin, so they don’t. They’ll talk about it, get frustrated about it and generally burn themselves out over the whole idea before they’ve sent out a single resume. For others, magical thinking can rear its ugly head: “Something will come along,” or  “Things usually work out for me somehow.” Still others have figured out a few pieces of the puzzle thanks to a helpful college career office, friend or parent - but are overwhelmed at the idea of taking it to the next step. 

All of these people can be best described in one of two words: 1.) unemployed or 2.) underemployed. Why? Because the worst thing you can do in a job search is nothing.

So, what’s the best thing you can do? One suggestion is to break down this completely overwhelming, vastly complex goal into a series of tasks and goals on a timeline.

Create Lists Pertaining to Your Search

Your list should contain three items: 1.) everything you know (likely 10% of the total items), 2.) everything you think you know (likely 20% of the total items), and 3.) everything you don’t know (likely 70% of the total items). For example:

I know I want to…

  • be in the New York City area
  • use my personality in my next job
  • not spend my days working with numbers

I think I want to… 

  • do something related to health care
  • travel
  • work with people who are very interested in health and exercise

I don’t know…

  • what jobs there are in health care in New York City for people at my level
  • what organizations are hiring
  • what will get my resume noticed
  • how to explain why I want health care
  • who I can ask for help
  • why someone would hire me

Don’t edit yourself. Be honest, and get personal—if you want a job where you don’t have to show up until 9:30 because you are not a morning person, you can write it down. You don’t have to justify this list to anyone. So what's next?