The Job Hunt, Part 1

Now, I thought I had a pretty decent understanding of the job search process.  Write a résumé, find a job that interests you, write a cover letter to the recruiter from that job, and send both to said individual.

Bing. Bang. Boom. Done.

Is this correct?  According to my Business Writing professor: not even close!  There are, in fact, 8 steps involved in the job hunt (many of which I hadn't even heard of).

Tonight's post will be an overview of these steps.  So let's dive right in!

The 8 Steps in the Job Search Process

1. Analyze your strengths and limit your job search to positions of which you are qualified

What do I mean by this? Simply put, you need to analyze all the skills, knowledge, and abilities you've acquired throughout your life.

For those of you who don't know:

Skills: tasks, behaviors, things you can do (ex: software, instruments, equipment, etc.)

Knowledge: the theory and training you've earned behind your skills

Abilities: psychological characteristics that make you valuable to the job place

The key here is to have as long of a list as possible.  Take experiences from class, family life, volunteering, sports, part-time work, etc. and put it in this list.

Then look at the list of skills, knowledge, and abilities.  How does it stack up to the jobs you're interested in?

2. Prepare your Dossier, Portfolio, and/or Webfolio

 Okay, so if you are like me, you probably read this bullet note and exclaimed, "WTF is a dossier?"

Well, dear friends, a dossier is French for, "a bundle of documents."  Essentially it a packet of information that contains information to substantiate and supplement the information you will present in your resume. 


 1) Letters of Recommendation

  • Usually 3-5
  • Written by supervisors, professors, past employers that will say something specific and positive about your work
  • This individual should be familiar with your work ethic, writing style, professionalism, sense of responsibility, etc.
  • You don't want to ask anyone who can only supply a character reference (like a family member, pastor, friends, etc.)
  • If you have the option of not seeing these letters yourself, don't!  If possible, send all of your letters of recommendation together, unopened / unread.  This can easily be done if utilizing a dossier service.

    To clarify, a dossier service is a company which will keep all of the components of your dossier on file for you.  This service will keep your letters of recommendation (and all other documents) on file and will send them out to perspective employers upon request.

2) Letters Documenting Honors and Awards You've Received

  • Note: Do NOT include many of these, for you don't want them to overshadow your letters of recommendation
  • Limit this section to only honors and awards that seem related to the job for which you are applying

3) Academic Transcripts (optional, yet helpful)

4) Your Portfolio / Webfolio

Yes, your dossier DOES include this LARGE component.


1) Your Personal Mission Statement

What's this? A personal mission statement is a 2 - 3 paragraph document stating your work experience and career goals

2) A Copy of your Résumé (the specifics of which I will describe in next week's post)

3) Examples of your Writing (ex: blogs, school reports)

4) Stories  /Press About You (limit these to stories related to your field)

5) Documents that Substantiate your Work History

6) Documents that Substantiate your Education

7) Examples of Electronic / Graphic Work

8)  Reference: A list of people who have agreed to provide references for you

9) Proof of Awards / Honors

You can also include links to PROFESSIONAL work sites


  • Any documents on company letterhead
  • Confidential information
  • Personal information, photos, etc.
  • Links to personal webpages
  • Articles NOT relevant to your job
  • Anything that may link you to a nonprofessional organization

    PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD BEGIN COMPILING YOUR DOSSIER NO LATER THAN 5 MONTHS BEFORE THE JOB SEARCH PROCESS.  This gives your references time to draft their letters and your dossier service to organize your documents.

3. Look for Jobs for Which You Believed You Are Qualified

Where can you look for jobs?  A brief list includes:

  • Networking (best way to get your foot in the door)
  • City's Chamber of Commerce
  • Internships
  • Volunteering
  • Job Postings on Websites
  • Job Search Sites
  • Résumé Databases
  • Newspaper Classifieds  
  • LinkedIn 

4. NOW You Create Your Résumé

Although I will go into more detail on how to create a résumé, let me first define what it is.

A resume is a specific yet concise summarization of your work history.  Typically it is no longer than 1-2 pages and promotes your 4-5 most job-worthy traits.  Think about this.  More about it next week.

5. Compose Your Letter of Application

AKA: a cover letter.  This is a completely customized document that will substantiate and supplement the traits you've promoted in your résumé.  Additionally, it will showcase your personality and flaunt your mastery of the English language.

This document is typically 4 paragraphs (no longer than 1 page total), and showcases your MAIN, most impressive aspects of your education and experience. 

More on this in a future post.

6. Fill Out The Company's Application Form

If this step applies (pardon the pun).

7. Schedule / Attend an Interview

If you are so lucky!  Again, more on this in a FUTURE, future post. (I am keeping track of these I promise, lol!)

8. Accept / Decline the Job Offer

Again, if you are so lucky!  No further explanation needed 

Well, there you have it.  

Please share this post with all of your friends who are in need of jobs!