From Kelley Indianapolis' Jonathan Jerden, Faculty and Graduate Program Coordinator

StandoutSix months. The typical career search in today’s job market takes six months. Factors that make it longer include you jumping to another industry, to another geography, and changing your functional area (e.g. from engineering to finance), needing H 1-B visa sponsorship, and lack of preparation.

Here are seven steps to finding a great job while avoiding the latter:
  1. Get yourself packaged so that you tell a compelling story complete with all the essential information by upgrading your resume to 21st century standards, pulling together five outstanding references, memorizing your elevator speech, articulating three strengths and one weakness, and building a captivating professional portfolio.
  2. Reassess all your skills, interests, leadership and management aptitude, and even your entrepreneurial and personality preferences. Hundreds of valid assessment are available on line and many are free.
  3. Get fluid in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging… and then add content to each to broaden your story and add credibility to your job search. For example, the Recommendations app within LinkedIn may be the most powerful insight that prospective employers have to your character and integrity. Social media is a large part of your marketing campaign. The campaign that sells you.
  4. Be ready to match your skills and experience line for line with each job description during the first interview. Do this by setting up a two-column Word document and for every duty, responsibility, requirement and expectation, type in your response and take it with you in the interview. It is not enough to be a good fit in the eyes of the employer – you must ‘blow the competition away’ by exceeding expectations. This is one way to do it.
  5. Read books. Anything. Inventory them all via the Amazon app in LinkedIn and then talk about it during the interview. It shows, among others, that you are current and fresh.
  6. Network like crazy. Over the course of six months plan on communicating with 150 people about you and your career.
  7. Hone your skills on interviewing and negotiating a job offer. In the interviews ask as many questions of them as they fire at you, discuss salary upfront, and converse as if you are potential shoulder-to-shoulder partners. You are. Remember that the typical salaried job offer leaves $20,000 on the table. 48 hours following the job offer, plan on a rapid-fire 15-minute negotiation with your future boss, where you walk away with the job in hand, a happier boss pleased with your win-win style, and extra money in your pocket.


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