Discover the ABCs of Job Searches with University of Phoenix

Job searching requires strategy, focus, and a game plan. In a recent article, Steven Starks, senior manager of career counseling programs and operations at University of Phoenix, outlined some steps to take to have a fruitful, productive job search.

Starks noted that the best way to approach a job search is to focus on setting clear goals and have a plan. These foundational elements are the core of a job search and allow you to stay organized, motivated, and achievement-minded.

Starks suggested using an ABC approach to your job search to find success.

A: Analyze Your Target

Starks advised not to start a job search without knowing what you are targeting. Take the time to consider the following when defining your target:

  • Geographic location: Where do I prefer working?
  • Industry: What industries do I want to work in?
  • Company: What businesses match up with those industries and locations?
  • Occupation: Are there particular jobs I want to do?
  • Job title: What job titles match my preferences and skills?

Want a better job? Start by defining what better means to you. This could include anything from more compensation, a shorter commute, greater responsibility, or increased job satisfaction.

B. Be Strategic in Your Search

Many people take a standard approach when conducting a job search, according to Stark. Most job seekers check job postings, give their resume a new look, apply for jobs, and wait for a response.

But you can be more effective with your search by using strategic networking. Don’t just look at job listings. Instead, take the following active steps:

  • Make a list of your top 10 companies to target.
  • Identify people, whether part of your network or popular on LinkedIn, who know the targeted list of companies. These can be current or former employees.
  • Let those people know you would like to learn more about the company by asking for a brief 20-minute phone call or Zoom conversation.

You also need to steel yourself that not everyone will want to have these conversations. But doing so can help you get important insights about the company culture and what a particular job is like. You may also learn some of the challenges employees face at the company.

Strategic networking sheds new light on companies and jobs while giving you more connections at a particular employer.

C: Cultivate a Network of Advocates

Networking gives you information, not a job. It’s a way to gain insights and advice while expanding your professional network. This is not the time to ask for a job. Instead, ask if you can keep in touch or whether they would mind advocating for your candidacy if you advance in the process with the company.

Through your networking efforts, focus on asking for advice and information, not employment. Networking is an opportunity to create professional friendships. Be sure to show genuine interest in people, listen to their stories, and plan to keep in touch.

Following these ABCs can lead to improved job search outcomes. At University of Phoenix, you can access current job postings and a global network of Phoenix alumni. To learn more, visit Phoenix Career Services.