1. Assess your interests, skills, and abilities. This critical first step to conducting an effective job search involves assessing your interests, skills, values, motivations, and temperament, based upon an analysis of your accomplishments.

  2. Specify your job and career objective. This paper-and-pencil exercise should be a very succinct 20-40 word employer-centered statement of what you would like to accomplish in your next job that would benefit the employer.

  3. Conduct research on alternative opportunities. Since you need to know WHO is hiring WHERE for WHAT types of jobs, you must conduct a great deal of research on jobs, employers, organizations, and communities. Much of this can be done on the Internet.

  4. Write and distribute powerful attention-grabbing resumes and letters. Since you have already completed the first three steps, your resume should communicate what you have done, can do, and will do for the employer. Because it reflects your pattern of accomplishments, it provides the employer strong evidence that you have a predictable pattern of performance. Among letters you'll be writing are approach, cover, thank you, follow-up, special, and "T" letters.
    DON'T write your resume at the beginning of your job search! Take a week or two to accomplish the first three steps before composing your resume.
  5. Network and conduct informational interviews. This is especially important for international jobs, many of which are acquired through personal contacts and word-of-mouth communications. Informational interviews enable you to further build and expand your network of employment contacts.

  6. Interview for jobs. Prepare, prepare, and prepare for the critical job interview. Study the interview situation, learn as much as you can about the prospective place of employment, and practice answering possible interview questions, including open-ended behavioral questions.

  7. Negotiate salary and benefits. Research what you are worth and be prepared to negotiate compensation. Your focus should be on the value of the position, not solely on your previous compensation history.

SOURCE: Adapted from Ron and Caryl Krannich, Ph.Ds, Directory of Websites for International Jobs (Impact Publications, Manassas Park, VA), copyright (c) 2002. All rights reserved.