How To Use Common Sense In The Job Search

From Brazzen Careerist by Andrew Weitsman

So I’m gonna gloss over the whole networking aspect of this, as I think it was covered pretty well in a previous post, and skip right on to the cold-call aspect of the job search, what with the Internets and the classifieds and the trade magazines and so on.
When considering a job to apply for, there are only two questions that one needs to be able to answer:
  1. What kind of work do I want to do?
  2. How far (literally and figuratively) will I be willing to go to do it?
The answer to the first question should come based off of your personal checklist and your prior work experience, education and so on. I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea to apply outside of your comfort zone, but rather to make sure that you have some expertise/logic/reasoning to bridge the different industries. Unless you’re prepared to jump into an entry-level position in your new field, you might want to rethink your options.
According to a recent survey I lost the link to, relocation is becoming more prevalent among today’s workers. And while this may be a good thing for those of you who are afraid of being the only kid on the block to move because of a job, it’s also something to take into consideration in another way. Due to the stressful economy, fewer and fewer companies are helping to fund relocation expenses for new hires, so one may have to weigh the costs and benefits of the move financially first.
Finally, you might have to think about the costs of the job. I’m not just referring to money you might lose paying for the commute, but also the comparative value of the work. What would you lose (besides the opportunity at a different job)? What would you gain (besides employment and money)? It’s essentially a pros-and-cons list, but many people gloss over this step only to be sorry that they didn’t think about these things beforehand. After all, some jobs are almost entirely bad.
As for where to look, there are so many different job search sites that it can be confusing. I am not much of a fan of the Big Two because of the number of unrelated jobs/pyramid schemes/repeated postings that flood their job boards. I’ve made a list of a number of good search sites on the links bar on this site.
You can usually find a website or twitter account devoted to job searches in your particular career field, and in many cases, a social network as well. You can use these sites to find more pertinent job postings in less time than if you were using a generic job search site. Or, you could skip the third party stuff and go straight to the company’s website itself. In many cases, companies will not post all of their available positions on job search sites. So it’s to your benefit to do some industry analysis and track down the business’ web sites to see all of the positions that they really have available.
Does all of this seem a bit elementary? Like stuff that you already know? Of course it does, and of course it is! It’s common sense! But are you using it in your job search?