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The Systematic Approach to Landing a Job

Manage your job searchingTo take advantage of new opportunities, jobseekers should not only focus on companies that actively recruit minorities, but also develop a clear method, or re-evaluate their current method, for finding employment. One increasingly popular “system” that has helped more than 100,000 individuals find a new job is based on the concept that if you manage the job search process well, you won’t have to worry about the result.

While unemployment among African Americans continues to be well above that of the general population, it is falling faster than other segments, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The jobless rate among African Americans fell nine-tenths of a percentage point in July 2013, as 228,000 more adults found work.
  • Since African American unemployment peaked at 16.8 percent in March 2010, it has fallen 4.2 percentage points, to 12.6 percent.

Managing the Process

The first big mistake that jobseekers make is being overwhelmed by the whole idea of finding a job. They try haphazard methods that are fueled by fear and fail to get results. With any job search, success lies in having the right mindset: You’re not trying to get a job – you’re trying to manage the job search process by focusing on each step.

Step One

Create a list of anyone you know who could help generate job leads -- friends, family, neighbors, people from church, former alums, teammates or club members.  

Contact everyone on your list, and ask them if they are hiring or know someone who is. You can also take a less direct approach and ask for advice on finding a job. The more people you talk to, the longer your networking list will grow. If your first round of phone calls, texts or emails fails to yield anything, contact everyone on your list 30 -- 45 days later. 

Remember: At least 60 percent of all jobs are found by networking.

Step Two

Create a list of every business that might be interested in someone with your skills and experience, including the companies that are actively recruiting minorities and companies that might seem like a long shot.

Finding work is a full-time job, so expect to make 40 -- 50 calls to companies each day. The harder you strive, the more “luck” you’ll have.

Step Three

When your efforts pay off, nailing the interview begins with a considerable amount of preparation:

  • Find out exactly what the company wants from a job candidate
  • Learn as much as you can about the company to help you answer interview questions and develop questions to ask the interviewer
  • Make a list of your assets and match them to the job requirements
  • Create a list of your skills, experiences and professional qualifications  that you can expand on with real-life examples or anecdotes during the interview 
  • Review your list and the job requirements prior to the interview so that you are ready to easily discuss them
  • Take time to practice answering common interview questions to help you be more relaxed and enlist a friend or family member to help with a mock interview
  • Have a clean and pressed interview outfit ready to go so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute -- and wasting time best used for practicing your interview responses
  • Bring two copies of your resume – one for you to refer to and one for the interviewer – a list of references and your list of questions to ask the interviewer
  • Turn off your iPhone prior to the interview and leave the soda, coffee or gum behind

As the interview is wrapping up, let the recruiter know that you think the job is a good fit (if that’s the case) and that you are very interested. Follow up with a thank you note that reiterates why you want the job, your qualifications, and how you will make an excellent addition to the company.

Whether it takes one phone call or six months to land a job, systematically managing the process is the best strategy.  

Once you’ve found a job, think about developing a career. Even if you’re no longer looking for work, it’s important to keep an eye on the market so that you can be prepared if and when your situation changes. That means, keeping your resume updated, continuing to network and developing new skills. This is also a good time to find a mentor, someone who can help you move up the ladder or land your dream job.

About the Author

Tony Beshara is the owner and president of Babich & Associates, established in 1952 and is the oldest placement and recruitment service in Texas.  It is consistently one of the top contingency placement firms in the DFW area, as recognized by the Dallas Ft. Worth Business Journal. He has been a professional recruiter since 1973 and has personally found more than 9200 individuals jobs.

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