If you are looking for a job, write a very specific description of what you are looking for. Do this even if you think you’d take any job. Looking for any job doesn’t help you focus your actions, but when you get specific, it’s easier to think of things to do that would help find it.
There are a lot of different jobs and good ones get lots of applicants. The goal is to make you into the perfect applicant for the job you want. This way, you’ll spend less time applying and preparing, and when you apply, you’ll be sure to stand out.
If you don’t do this, you may find yourself spending a lot of time spinning wheels and getting nowhere. You won’t have any good way to evaluate job listings, or even start searching for them.
You will probably apply to way more jobs than you should, and then, you won’t be giving the proper amount of attention to any of them. In frustration, you might just take the first job that comes along.
So, write a job statement
Break down all the aspects of a job and try to figure out what’s important to you.
Answer these questions:
- Where is the job located? Is it near home? If so, what is the maximum distance? Any particular neighborhood or town? If you are willing to move, what kind of place? In your state or country? To a city, a small town? Does the place need to be near anything (downtown, a highway exit, a train line, etc). Or does it not matter because you want to work remotely.
- How big is company? Is it just a few people? A big public company with international offices? Or do you just care about the team size? If so, how big is it?
- What domain? Is the software for internal of external users? Is it horizontal or for a specific vertical (like healthcare or finance)? If vertical, which one? Who are the customers?
- What technologies? Any particular language? Web? Mobile? Do you care about whether you use OO or functional style?
- What is your role at the company or on the team? Team member, lead architect, team lead?
- How much do you want to make? Can a part of the pay be equity? If so, how much? What kind of benefits and vacation?
- What kind of company culture? Casual? Business casual? Formal? Flexible hours?
- How much travel do you want to do? None, weekly, occasional? For what reasons? Customer visits? Conferences? Working in different offices?
- Contractor or employee? Part-time or full-time?
- Do you care about the office space?
- How about the team’s abilities?
- What about their contributions to open-source?
The next step is to prioritize your answers. Once you do that, you can use this statement in so many ways.
- To form search queries on job sites
- To find Linked-in connections to reach out to
- To customize your resume
- To drive your self-learning for gaps you might have in qualifying for the job you are looking for
- To make a list of companies that match your criteria.
Another effect that isn’t so obvious is that it helps you recognize serendipitous leads. When you are tuning into something specific you start to notice it everywhere. If you mention your search to other people, they will think of you when they see it. The randomness of the world starts to work in your favor.
Please reach out to me if you need help with this (message me on LinkedIn). I can help a lot better if you are specific.