The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing; but have you sprung into action for your job search this spring? If not, here’s 7 ways you can get started right now. 1. Prepare Properly Being prepared is one of the most fundamentally important steps you can take in preparation for your online job search. Because the job search is one of those things we all must go through at one point or another, its helpful to have some sort of game plan set aside for when the time does come to get things going. One thing we recommend in preparation for the job search is that you set up a separate, professional email account to keep track of any correspondence that comes in from potential employers. We also recommend that you check your voicemail greeting to make sure it’s something that sounds professional – you’d be surprised how often people forget to change it from something they had in college! Another way you can prepare for an online job search, especially if you’re searching for a job in a different town, is to set up a P.O. Box in that town to use as a local mailing address. This will not only give you a local address to use on your resume, but it will also help you get established in a particular new location if you happen to get the job. However you do it, be sure to prepare for job search success! 2. Set Goals Setting goals is another fundamentally important step in the job search process – as it is in many areas of everyday life. When you set goals, you’re allowing yourself to achieve large tasks in strides. The job search is a huge task, so setting goals is crucial to being successful in this process. An example of a goal you can set in a job search is how many offices, and more specifically what offices, you reach out to in a given day. This can be defined as loosely as you want it to, but “reaching out” can generally mean a simple application submission all the way to placing a phone call to that organization to try and establish some sort of a connection. Either way you do it, having this type of goal is one of many you can impose upon yourself to ensure that your job search is a successful one. 3. Stay Organized Being organized isn’t just a concept reserved exclusively for ‘Type A’ personalities. When it comes to the job search, maintaining some level of organization can be instrumental in making sure your efforts are effective when reaching out to potential employers. Whenever you start applying to jobs, keep the materials you use to apply to a particular organization in its own folder – apart from the materials you used to apply for other organizations. This way, if you’re called in for an interview at one of those offices, you can easily refer to the version of Resume or Cover Letter you used to apply to that job. Nothing would be more embarrassing than to bring in a copy of your Resume to the interview and it turns out to be an older, outdated version – or worse – not relevant to the job in which you are interviewing for. Staying organized can eliminate a world of hassle later down the road in a job search, so keep it simple and organize your search from the start! 4. Maintain Focus Another helpful way to strategically plan your career search is to stay focused on your goals throughout the process. For most people, getting distracted online is always a potential progress-blocker – especially with things like Reddit, Facebook, and Pinterest always demanding attention. They type of focus we’re talking about, however, has nothing to do with external distractions and everything to do with how you’re conducting your job search. In the age of technology, there is so much information flying around on the internet that job searching has become a great big scavenger hunt. Instead of sifting through hundreds of random job listings for positions that may or may not even be from real employers, try using association sites such as the ATPO Career Connection, or VisionExpo’s VisionJobs page to find jobs in your field. Sites such as LocalEyeSite.com are great for concentrating your search efforts to only jobs in the eye care industry (we know – shameless plug). Simply put, by honing in on the type of job you’re looking for by using niche job sites, you can easily stay on track and not lose interest in what you’re doing while conducting your job search online. 5. Get Connected In life, who you know can be just as important as what you know. Therefore, staying connected is very important for making sure your online job search is a success at the end of the day. There are numerous ways to get connected – many of which are online these days! Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are popular examples of how you can build an online presence and also connect with peers or influential people in the eye care industry. Other sites such as SightNation.com are excellent platforms you can use to stay in touch with other professionals in the eye care industry as well as search for jobs, start discussions, and learn new information about your profession. Similarly, in-person networking events are also highly instrumental in the social web-building process that is so vital for en effective job search. Regardless of how you do it, get connected to other professionals in your industry – you’ll be glad you did! 6. Stay Current Another often forgotten bit of advice for approaching the job search process is to stay current on news and current events in the eye care industry. Sources such as VisionMonday, 20/20 Magazine, Review of Optometry, Review of Ophthalmology, and Opti-Guide (for our friends to the north) are all examples of news outlets that help eye care professionals stay up-to-date on industry-specific news that will likely prove to be helpful in the job search process. By keeping current with what’s going on in your industry, you’re not only showing potential employers of your ability to stay current and innovative, but you’re also learning new things about your profession in the process! So, long story short, don’t fall behind in your industry! 7. Be Persistent The final bit of advice we have for you is to always be persistent in your job search. Times may be tough, but we promise that hard work and perseverance do pay off in the long run. When an employer reaches out to you, follow up with them! When you haven’t heard from an employer in a while, follow up with them! Whatever you do, don’t apply for a job and then sit and wait for a response. Sure, it may take some time to get back to you (in fact, it’s typical that it takes about a week for some employers to even look at your submitted application), but it’s up to you to follow up. The worst they could say is no, so what are you waiting for? Furthermore, don’t apply for one job and then stop. Apply for a few jobs you feel would be a good fit for you, and keep doing that until you secure an interview. Always have something in the queue as far as job applications are concerned. Overall, the job search is a process that requires planning, research, persistence, and patience. Following these simple guidelines will help you get off on the right foot and (hopefully) lead you to securing the job of your dreams in the eye care industry. At Local Eye Site, we believe in your ability to find your dream job. All you have to do is put in a little effort to make it happen! What do you think? Did we miss anything? Comment below with any advice you’d give to someone who is looking for a job online!