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Looking for a job is a challenge. But it is potentially very fulfilling when you do succeed. The type of impediments you experience will vary depending on whether this is you first job, or if you voluntarily or involuntarily left your previous employer. That said, there are certain things that you need to adhere to during your search to ensure you are able to maintain focus and not running into anything that is thrown at you. It can be very tempting to take up an offer that everyone else seems to fancy especially if you are struggling to make ends meet. This will not be beneficial in the long-term. Stay clear of the herd mentality.

First, understand and evaluate yourself. What are the things you hold as important in life? List down the things you enjoy doing, both as a pastime and professionally. After performing this exercise, you will come up with a guiding list of the types of jobs you would like to do. Now repeat this exercise but looking at your experience and qualifications this time. This will give you an idea of the kind of jobs that will suit your profession as well as your personality.

Next, work on your resume with the jobs you are targeting in mind. Note that you might need to come up with more than one version of your resume to cater for the different types of jobs you are targeting. For each job type, assess your skills and experiences and bring to the fore what is relevant while moving other skills to the background. The resume must speak for you in your absence, presenting your case on why you are the best candidate for the job. Usually, your resume would need to be accompanied by a cover or introduction letter and the same principle used on the resume must be applied on this document as well.

Start to identify which are the key contact points for job advertisements in your areas of interest. This of course, is other than the conventional areas one would check, such as the newspapers and online job listings. Make sure you are aware of the significant and influential professional or industry associations and what are the requirements for individual membership if allowed. Look for ways to attend any conferences, seminars and meetings they organize. This doubles up both as a great way to understand the inner workings of the job you want to do, as well as in providing a great forum to build important networks in the industry. In the same breath, get in touch with friends and families who are in a field you want to get into and let them know you are interested.

Finally, prepare yourself mentally for the job search. This means managing your own expectations. In other words, stay optimistic but be realistic. Learn to take rejection in your stride. Know that you might not get that job in a week of searching but do not lose focus on the goal.

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