By Liz Mosher ’10, CES Peer Advisor

It’s been a month since I began the journey of my intensive job search process.

I feel like I’ve taken on another part-time job. Like always, I am ripping apart my planner in order to compartmentalize my days in a way that will give me at least one hour per day to dedicate to my search.

In my mind, the job hunt has become a game of strategy; perhaps to trigger my competitive instincts. With search engines like Google, it is nearly impossible to pull up concise listings that immediately point you to your preferred job opening (but wouldn’t that be great if you could Google entry-level business consultant for a community-minded employer and be directed to the job of your dreams!?) For many of us, searching for jobs can be a complicated process, something that takes time and creativity.

So far, I have come up with a few strategies of my own in hopes that I will come out a victor!

I’ve separated my job search into five categories: marketing/advertising, public relations, administration, business consulting, and event planning. My goal this week was to come up with at least five to ten companies that are recognized in the community as being socially-responsible, successful leaders in the industry and go from there. So how did I do that? I searched the Puget Sound Business Journal Book of Lists in the CES Career Resource Library, scanned magazine ‘top company’ lists, and Googled various companies for past award recognitions using phrases like ‘Seattle company award recognitions.’ Eventually I compiled a workable list of companies and started my search!

You’d be amazed at how many job ideas come up when you least expect them. For instance, when I was exploring a consulting company on the web there was a link to a partnering design firm “mastering in salubrious environmentally-friendly designs.” Overcome by curiosity, I decided to follow the link and learn more about the company. Eventually I found myself drafting a cover letter to be an administrative assistant for the design firm. I never expected I’d be drawn to that industry.

The past couple of weeks I have been documenting my extensive job search: tracking the cover letters, resumes, and anticipating responses. While I haven’t heard back from any yet, I am ready to enter my response into my handy tracking document (see below). Since I’m not a fan of waiting, I decided that I really needed to dig into mApplicant tracking systemy network and use my contacts to get one foot in the door. Even though I’m just starting, I feel like I’m well into the game. Strategically setting myself up for any potential job openings and preparing myself for the application process, I am successfully fending off any feelings of angst by being proactive.

The job-search process can be tough. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that everything will pay off in due time. I knew that jobs wouldn’t be advertised or given away like candy, but I never really considered how much work it is to find work–it’s quite ironic, really. Instead of feeling restricted and discouraged, I am consciously managing to remain engrossed in the search. There is so much out there…it’s just a matter of finding it; so let your creative energies flow and don’t limit yourself when you come up with your own job-search strategy.

© 2010 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound