Antione D. Tomlin, PhD, PCC
Associate Professor + Chair of the Academic Literacies Department
Anne Arundel Community College
Tasha Wilson, MSW, MEd
Case Manager, Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity
Engaging in the job search process is a job itself. We know how daunting the process and journey to securing new employment can be. This article will explore tips for organizing and preparing for the job search. If you are actively looking for new employment or just casually exploring options, the tips offered here might be helpful to you. As higher education professionals, we encourage you always to stay ready as opportunities develop quickly.
Self-Assessment & Analysis
Sometimes life experiences can challenge us to desire more for ourselves in the professional arena. Priorities may have shifted in our personal lives that provoke us to seek out opportunities that have more autonomy in our schedules, higher compensation, or a work environment that is not necessarily location bound. We know that engaging in the job search process serves as a benefit, but we are often unsure as to how we should initiate it. Introspection will guide the direction of your decisions on which positions to aim for. Be honest about what you are looking for in a position and what you need in an employer. Identify your career goals. What are the things you’re most passionate about? What core elements are important to you in an organization that will align with your aspirations toward professional advancement? We recommend creating an action plan to help keep you disciplined with tracking your progress of application submissions, callbacks, and interviews.
Relationship building is essential in your job searching process. It is a transformational skill that can bring you confidence, a sense of belongingness, and well-being. Being intentional in connecting with people and fostering relationships promotes collaborative efforts and opportunities within organizations you may be interested in working for. You may be invited to serve as a speaker, a guest to attend upcoming events, or a collaborator for a special project. People can provide referrals, give you intel about upcoming vacancies and offer insight contributing to your professional journey. We recommend actively seeking opportunities to engage with people and establish sustainable partnerships. Research organizations and professional networks whose core values and mission support your desirable career outlook.
Save the Job Description
So often, we come across a posting that intrigues us, and we mark it to apply later. While we may come back to apply, it is equally as essential to save the posting as a PDF or screenshot. Most places of employment remove the posting after the applicant pool is officially closed. Keeping the description to access it later may help with interview preparations. It may also help with remembering the position when some employers might take months to contact you for an interview. We recommend keeping a digital folder with all the job postings/descriptions you applied for so you can quickly review it when needed, even if it has been removed from the internet.
Remembering everything you have done or updating your resume or CV with trendy buzzwords can take time and effort. We recommend you update as you go. Even when not looking for new opportunities, get into the flow of updating your documents often. If you want to be committed to keeping up with things, we suggest updating your records at least once a month. Setting aside time once a month to update your document can save you a lot of time in the long run. Updating often also helps you to stay ready for any unexpected opportunities that may come your way.
Feel free to join us in the conversation on Twitter at @TomlinAntione.
Antione D. Tomlin, PhD, PCC is a tenure-track Associate Professor + Chair of the Academic Literacies Department at Anne Arundel Community College. Dr. Tomlin is also an ICF Certified Life Coach.
Tasha Wilson, MSW, MEd, is an innovative change agent with expertise spanning policy implementation, educational equity, and compliance. Tasha currently serves as a Case Manager in the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity at Towson University. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor at Anne Arundel Community College. Outside of her career in Student Affairs, Tasha is internationally recognized as a trailblazer in the marketplace. She is a published author, entrepreneur and speaker who has made appearances across the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. In 2016, Tasha was presented with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Certificate by The State of Maryland. In 2021, she was featured in VoyageBaltimore Magazine as one of Baltimore’s Inspiring Stories. As a mental health advocate, she served on Grammy Award-winner Michelle Williams’ launch team for the book “Checking In.”
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Interfolio.
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