Go back to Job Search Prep Syllabus.
This is the lesson that you’ve all been waiting for. Throughout the first half of this course, Jason and I have been urging you to forget about your job search. We understand how hard that is. You need a job, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t forget that fact. Well if you’ve come this far, then you have an improved attitude, you’re mentally prepared, and you’re thinking creatively. You’re also starting to develop some outstanding research skills. You’ve even found some companies whose stories compel you, and you’re starting to understand their needs on a macro scale.
Now it’s time to understand their needs on a micro scale.
That means looking for jobs. As we’ve already noted, job postings aren’t very good at defining a companies need. They rarely are accurate in portraying what the hiring manager is actually looking for. Why do companies keep posting jobs the way that they do? It’s the best idea they’ve had so far. Which reminds of a Jerry Seinfeld bit (here’s the video link if you’d rather watch than read):
I swear, I have absolutely no idea what women are thinking. I don’t get it, OK? I, I, I admit, I, I’m not getting the signals. I am not getting it! Women, they’re so subtle, their little.. everything they do is subtle.. men are not subtle, we are obvious. Women know what men want, men know what men want, what do we want? We want women, that’s it! It’s the only thing we know for sure, it really is: we want women. How do we get them? Oh, we don’t know ’bout that, we don’t know. The next step after that we have no idea. This is why you see men honking car-horns, yelling from construction sites. These are the best ideas we’ve had so far.. The car-horn-honk, is that a beauty? Have you seen men doing this? What is this? The man is in the car, the woman walks by the front of the car, he honks. This man is out of ideas. I mean what is he expecting? For the woman to stop and say “Hey you honked at me .. Ahhhh that’s so sweet .. I never knew you felt this way!”?
The job posting is the corporate version of the car-horn-honk. The information may not be presented as gracefully as it could be, but there’s a message of interest there. Luckily our research skills are going to help us provide the context to make more sense of the message.
But before we can figure out what the message is and understand the company’s specific needs, we need to find the message. That does not mean heading to Monster or CareerBuilder. It means using our research skills to find where the companies – the ones on your lists from the previous lessons’ homework – post their jobs.
It may sound easy, but finding a company’s jobs online can actually be pretty frustrating.
Here are some examples of how to go about it:
The secret is… common sense… usually. A few minutes on a company’s website or using the Google tricks that you learned two lessons ago should turn up most companies’ jobs. As you get used to looking at Jobs pages, you’ll start to get a sixth sense for where the job postings might be hiding. It’s kind of an art.
Unfortunately, common sense sometimes fails (because the people who build Career websites often lack it). Every company puts its jobs somewhere else (some even only post them on 3rd party job boards like Monster), and they often have a variety of names for their jobs pages – Careers, Jobs, Employment, Talent, Work for Us, Join Our Team, Opportunities… Looking for Rockstars??? I swear that every company comes up with a new term to link to their Jobs page. Finding the jobs can become tiresome, but in the end it’s usually worth it.
On that note, though, it often seems as though the companies that make the best employers also make it easy to find their jobs. I don’t have any data to back that up, but I feel strongly that a company’s Jobs page can tell you a lot about how much the company values talent.
Now, this lesson isn’t earth shattering. It’s actually pretty simple. The point is that sometimes you can get extremely frustrated because of the pressure of the job search. Once you’re familiar with what you’re doing and you feel like you’ve done it before, it becomes a lot easier to do a simple task like finding job postings.
On the other hand, the Applicant Tracking System (which we’ll cover in the next lesson) creates frustration that might have long-lasting negative health effects on job seekers. We’ll do our best to show you the ins and outs, but be warned that it’s not going to be fun.
Remember that list of companies that you’ve been working on? Now is the time to start looking at jobs with those companies. Go through your list and find where each company posts its jobs. Identify jobs that might identify problems that you can solve, but also look at the other jobs that are posted. They’ll give you a good idea of what the organization’s needs are across the board. Report back if there are any companies that are giving you headaches, and I’ll see if I can find anything more than you can.
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