Job hunting process

Updated: July 2018

A little while ago, I was back on the job hunting grind. I was kind of bummed about the whole experience. Something in going through websites, finding a job I’m qualified for and applying for it was bothering me. (I later found it was a lack of a structured system.)

A friend suggested “Why don’t you find them all, the way I did when I bought my truck?” While turning that over in my head, I remembered an Insanity Wolf meme, which I can’t find for the life of me. Anyway, it said something like, “Goes to job interview. Interviews job.”

These two ideas changed my approach to (and perception of) job hunting and started me on a new process. Here are the steps in the process I used:

  1. Create a list of every job-hunting, head-hunter and corporate HR website I can think of. (I used Google Docs here)
  2. Methodically go through each website and copy each job, for which I am remotely a fit, into a separate document (Google Docs again)
  3. As you are going through step 2, you will like find more items for step 1. Add new items and go back to step 1.
  4. Some companies don’t have everything included in the job post. Things like benefits or culture can be on parent pages, as they apply to all jobs. Run through your posts and ensure everything is there, so that you are comparing oranges to oranges. If you aren’t seeing these on the companies site, Glassdoor has information on benefits for many companies. Things I look for:
    1. Benefits
    2. Corporate corporate culture
    3. Time off/Vacation
    4. Education budget
    5. Location (Relevant to where you are)
    6. Office Specifics – Open floor plan, Gym, Kitchen
    7. Other perks – Fresh fruit, beer, or training
  5. When you have finished iterating over steps 1-3, go through each document and highlight things you like in one colour and things your don’t in a second colour.
  6. After highlighting each page, do a plus-minus. Count the occurrences of each colour and write the things you liked with a plus and things you didn’t with a minus. ie – +2/-4
  7. Rate the jobs by the plus minus totals. If you have two with the same total, a higher minus goes under or a larger plus goes over.

Optional:

  1. Go through the jobs and read the Glassdoor and LinkedIn reviews. If you like what people are saying or not, add a +1 or -1 respectively.

Congratulations! You now have every job in your area, for which you are eligible, rated best to worst.

Now, it’s just a matter of working your way through the list, mindlessly applying for jobs.

For steps 4 to 8, I printed out the jobs and used physical copies to do this. It’s completely possible to do this with electronic copies, however, having the physical print outs made it seem more real to my mind. I must say having a nice little stack of paper to look at made the situation seem much more hopeful and positive.

After completing this process, I also found that every day/week/month I decide to look for new jobs, the search time is drastically reduced. Any new option immediately jumps out from the others I’d seen many times before.

Job postings are necessarily a good reflection of what the job actually is, but it’s the main window we have into work at the company.

Now, if I could just find a way to peek in and find if those black-holes-of-HR actually received my applications…