Each person's job search may be different, but everyone needs a plan. Use these tools to create your plan and map the road to your next job.
Need help getting started?
Whether this is your first job search or you’ve done this before, there are online tools and in-person services to help:
Learn more of the basics with the eLearning class: Introduction to job search
We have customized assistance for:
People with Disabilities
Vocational Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible.
- Job Search Help for Ex-Offenders offers information, tips, and resources to help people with criminal convictions overcome barriers they might face in their job search.
- Fidelity Bonding is a no-cost insurance policy for employers who may be reluctant to hire an at-risk individual.
- New Leaf is a workshop for job seekers who must address a criminal record in their job search process and are having a difficult time finding a job due to their barriers and/or records. Enter New Leaf in the Keyword Search at CareerForce events for more information and workshop locations.
More than job titles
Your skills describe what you like to do and what you are good at. You develop skills by training and experience that improve your ability to do tasks. Being able to identify and describe your skills allows you to answer key questions at job interviews such as What can you do for my organization? and What problems can you solve?
- Occupation Profile lets you select different jobs and view a description of the kind of work you would be doing; Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities required for that job; and a list of typical daily activities.
- Job Search Guide has information on identifying job skills, transferable skills, and self-management skills
- Occupation Search lets you select different jobs and view Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities; Occupation Specific Tasks; and Tools and Technology used in that job.
- Skills has information about the skills Minnesota employers are looking for, including a list of Occupational Skills and Employability Skills.
Make a good impression
Your resume is often an employer’s first look at you. Ask yourself: How do I look? A good resume can lead to interviews and job offers, so take the time to prepare resumes that will attract the attention of employers. Yes, you will need more than one resume! Every job is different and the resume should highlight the skills needed for that job.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your resume:
- Is my resume current, complete, and customized for each job?
- Has your resume been reviewed by an expert, such as a CareerForce specialist?
- Am I getting results? Am I getting interviews?
- Do I have a cover letter? Do I need one?
Building resumes and cover letters
Your nearest CareerForce location offers:
- Workshops and Training, including Creative Job Search and Creating Your Resume
- Resume-building software and computers
Learn more about resumes with the eLearning class: Resumes
CAREERwise Education has information on:
- Cover Letters
- Portfolios and Work Samples
DEED’s Job Search Guide has information on:
- Cover Letters
- Business Cards
Instead of submitting a resume, employers may ask you to complete an application. The information you put on an application is just another way to tell an employer about yourself. Being prepared is the best way to make sure your application shows your experience and abilities.
Where are the job openings?
Once your resume is polished and you have the information ready that you need to fill out job applications, the next step is to find the job openings that best fit you. To do this, ask yourself:
- Am I looking for work in a field or industry that’s growing?
- Am I researching employers? Am I making direct contact?
- Am I attending job/career fairs?
- Am I using Minnesotaworks.net and other online job banks?
Find what’s in demand (Job Outlook)
Is it time for a change, either in the type of work you do or where you work? These tools show you which jobs are growing and what different jobs pay. If you’re looking for similar work in the same areas, these tools can still help you define the skills you have or to research prevailing wages for specific jobs.
Learn how to research potential employers. The more you know the better you can target your qualifications to the needs of the employer.
Online employment and career resources
Attending job and career events and browsing internet job sites are two ways to find openings.
CareerForce locations and workshops
Minnesota CareerForce services include job search workshops and training on many topics, including MinnesotaWorks.net and Job Search Tools. Other help includes:
- Computers for you to use onsite
- Staff assistance (check the website, call, or visit for details).
- The Dislocated Worker Program, with one-on-one customized services for qualified applicants. Sign up at your nearest CareerForce location.
Tracking your job search
Successful job seekers manage their time. They plan each day’s activities and record results. Getting Organized discusses managing a schedule and keeping records. You can also download a Work Search Record form to record your work search activities or create your own.
Find the hidden job market
Throughout your job search, networking is a must. Employment experts agree that most job openings are never advertised. To find the “hidden job market” you need to network. Ask yourself:
- Am I talking to friends, family, and others about my job search?
- Have I attended a networking group or job club?
- Do I have an elevator speech and business cards?
- Am I using LinkedIn or other social media?
Networking is an important part of your job search.
Networking is the best strategy to find jobs that are not advertised. Networking helps to set you apart from the competition. These are some resources to help you build your job search network:
Find Networking and Job Clubs
Learn more with the eLearning class: Networking
Interview and negotiate
When you get the opportunity to present yourself to an employer, you want to make the best impression you can. Ask yourself:
- Have I researched the company and position?
- Am I ready to answer key interview questions about myself?
- Can I project a good image for the interviewer?
- Do I know how to follow up after the interview?
How the Process Works
The Hiring Process discusses a few common hiring strategies and tools employers use to select candidates.
Interviews are your chance to sell your skills, experience, and show that you are the best person for the job. Preparing for your interview can help you make it successful. These articles can help you prepare:
Minnesota CareerForce locations offer job search workshops and training on a variety of topics including Interviewing Skills and Interview Techniques and Skills.
Learn more at your own pace with the eLearning class: Interviewing
Negotiating a job offer
Negotiating your salary is a key part of the job search process. It's your last step in landing a job.
- DEED’s Job Search Guide includes Salary negotiation
- CareerOneStop has a section on how to Interview and Negotiate, including:
- Get interview ready
- Types of interviews
- Interview tips
- Common interview questions
- Thank-you notes
- Negotiate your salary
- Is this offer right?
- Before negotiating it’s best to know what a reasonable salary range is for that position in that location. Occupational Employment Statistics can help you answer that question and more.