7 Steps to Follow When Looking for a Job

Financial Education

Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time or are looking for a new opportunity, there are a few ways to search for a job, prepare for the job search process and put your best foot forward. Here are seven steps to finding a job you love.

Brainstorm Your Career Goals

You wouldn’t start a home renovation project or even a haircut without knowing how you would like it to end up, so why do that in your job search?

Before starting your job search, evaluate your career goals and write them down. Do you want to find a company you can build a long-term career with? Or do you want a position that will give you experience for the role you really want?

Understanding your goals will help you narrow your job hunt so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Research Your Industry & Potential Employers

If you’re new to an industry, doing your research can go a long way. Not only can you ensure your strengths and interests align with the industry requirements, but you may also learn more about specific areas of focus or nuances of the industry that you need to take into consideration. Maybe the industry you want to go into emphasizes casual workwear. Or maybe the industry norm is meeting the client in person rather than on a video call. Knowing details like these can help you be more prepared when writing your resume and prepping for interviews.

You can also research potential employers within that industry. See what positions they may have open, connect with current employees to see what they like about the company and keep up with what the company is doing in their industry and community. Hayley Hemminger, a recruiter at Centris Federal Credit Union, says to “do a little research into the job and focus on the company. Social media offers up a lot of information. It can be easy to go out to Facebook and get a nice insight into who the company is and what their culture is like.”

Employee reviews may also be a good resource to get an idea of the company. Hemminger mentions that “Indeed and Glassdoor reviews are a great resource to gather insight about a job from employees who work or have worked there. My advice on job searching using reviews? When you see negative ones, read into them. There may be something there that doesn’t accurately define that organization. But I think they’re still great resources to get a better idea before you even get to the interview.”

Refresh Your Resume & Customize Your Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter are the first glimpses that recruiters and hiring managers get into who you are. What better way to make a great first impression?

Before applying for a job, ensure your resume is updated and includes relevant information for that role. Note the key skills in the job description and highlight those throughout your resume and cover letter. If you have similar job experience, you could add a reference to your resume for someone who would be willing to speak to your abilities and skills required for the role.


Networking is one of the best ways to job hunt because it opens up opportunities that otherwise may not have been presented to you. Whether you want to venture into a new industry or find a new opportunity in the same industry, making connections can broaden your reach. Who knows, that person you just connected with may need someone like you in a role at their company.

If networking is new to you or you’d like a new take on networking, give our A Penny or Two For Your Thoughts podcast episode “Grow Your Network” a listen! We bring in two savvy networkers to tell us their networking strategies, the benefits of networking and how someone can get started.

Attend a Career or Job Fair

Career and job fairs offer an opportunity for job seekers to meet with company representatives to receive more information about their company and make a face-to-face connection. While specific industries or organizations may hold career or job fairs to quickly hire, these fairs aren’t always about getting in the door right away. Even if the company you visit isn’t hiring for a role you would like, you can still exchange contact information with the representative to stay in touch. And if a position that interests you becomes available, you may have a better shot at landing an interview.

Hemminger is all in when it comes to career and job fairs. She says that “career fairs are an incredible opportunity to make connections in an industry and give you insight into a variety of organizations. It’s a chance to explore future jobs and internships, create new network connections and practice your personal elevator pitch on why you are interested and qualified for a particular position or company!”

Create a LinkedIn Profile

Along with places like Indeed and Glassdoor, LinkedIn is a fantastic resource to use before, during and after your job search. LinkedIn is a social media site that allows professionals to connect and showcase their skills. It also allows companies to find the right candidate for an open position.

A strong LinkedIn presence can help you build your individual brand among your professional network, provides visibility to recruiters and helps you expand your industry knowledge. Once you’ve built your LinkedIn profile, you can start growing your network and searching for relevant job opportunities.

Prepare for Interviews

Have an interview set? Congratulations! Let’s get you prepared.

Preparing for an interview can help alleviate stress so that you may be able to recall answers to common interview questions more easily. Here are a few things Hemminger advises you should do before this job hunting step:

  1. Dress appropriately for the interview. Dressing for the job “really does set the tone for how you show up,” says Hemminger, so an easy tip for job searching is to show up looking your best.
  2. Come prepared with questions. Hemminger emphasizes that not asking questions “can be a missed opportunity for you to learn more about the company and the role. I always encourage you to ask thoughtful questions that you want answered before you jump into a job.”
  3. Send a post-interview thank you. While it may seem old-fashioned, a thank you note after a job interview is a way to thank the individuals who took the time to meet with you and to sell yourself as a candidate one more time. The thank you should not be a standard message but rather a “personalized note that references the conversation you had,” says Hemminger.

Looking for more career advice? Join Hayley Hemminger on “Whatever You’re Going To Do, Find Your Why For Doing It” on A Penny or Two For Your Thoughts to learn why the culture of the company you’re interviewing for is so important and how to prepare for the interviewing process.

Equal Opportunity Employer.

<a href="https://www.centrisfcu.org/blog/author/megan-steiner/" target="_self">Megan Steiner</a>

Megan Steiner


Megan Steiner is a marketing specialist at Centris Federal Credit Union in Omaha, Neb. She specializes in social media strategy, content creation and writing. Megan received her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and Bachelor of Foreign Language and Literature in German from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In her free time, Megan loves to learn languages and research sustainable clothing content for her personal blog.

Guest Contributors

Hayley Hemminger

Hayley Hemminger

Hayley Hemminger is a recruiter at Centris Federal Credit Union in Omaha, Neb. Having worked in the human resources and recruiting space for over five years, Hayley brings expert advice to various career-related topics. As a LinkedIn and Indeed connoisseur, Hayley excels in building strong professional connections through networking while integrating her sales experience with strong recruitment strategies.

Hayley received her Bachelor of Business Administration in human resources management and services from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Outside of the office, Hayley enjoys hiking with her husband and dogs, traveling and bird watching.

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