Are you still stuck searching for jobs? Are you a recent graduate and just entering the job market? Is your career path at a fork in the road?
Often people start looking for jobs without any direction of where or how to search. Without the proper job search tips, you can end up in a messy situation, either without a job or with a job you hate. However, with these pro job search tips, hopefully we can make your job search much easier.
1. You should start networking and applying to jobs before you need one
If you are concerned about your job security or want to find a new job in the near future, start taking action now. It is much easier to develop your network, meet people in your industry, and apply to jobs while you are still employed. Why?
- Trying to make progress with networking often takes years, and of after you get laid off or quit is not the time to do it. It will make you seem desperate and less genuinely interested in meeting people.
- It may take hundreds of applications before you get a job and companies prefer to hire people without a gap in employment.
If you have a job, work on it now when the pressure is off and you have plenty of time before having to find another position.
If you are a graduate fresh out of college or do not currently have a job, you might be tempted to take time off before job hunting. However, with limited jobs available in the market that provide great pay and benefits, there are thousands who are also searching for the same jobs as you. You may put yourself at risk of losing a good job if you don’t apply to positions and network as quickly as possible. Here are some tips on places to network.
2. The first impression must be your best impression
There are not a lot of second chances in today’s job market. With the internet making it possible to apply to hundreds of positions quickly and with online posted positions getting hundreds of responses, it’s hard to stand out and you might only get a few seconds to present yourself. Resume visibility is the biggest problem when searching for a job these days.
Most of the time your resume and cover letter are the first things an employer notices. Whether you’re a recent graduate or already employed. It is advisable to have an up-to-date resume and a LinkedIn profile that matches it. Also, don’t forget these ever important LinkedIn tips.
If you want to jazz up your resume, create an online resume on a personal website. It’s easily accessible for employers, and there’s no extra paper to sift through.
Want to show more of your personality? Creating a video resume is another unique way to present your resume to employers. It gives employers a better picture on how you carry yourself while communicating verbally and with body language.
3. Don’t be afraid of non-traditional job search methods
4. Follow companies you want to work for using Google Alerts and Social Media
Make a list of companies you want to work for and follow their social network pages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Keep updated on any news and trends the companies post on their social networks.
Also, keep an eye out for recent news and happenings with the company by using Google Alerts. Google alerts notify you whenever press releases or stories about the company are published on the internet. See the screenshot below to see how easy it is:
If a job opportunity arises for one of the companies you’re interested in, you will already be up to date on what is going on in the company, and you won’t have to study up the night before an interview. Being genuinely knowledgeable about a company lets employers know you’re dedicated and have an extreme desire to work for them, which shows you’re willing to learn, put in extra effort, and work hard.
5. Find ways to help a company you’re interested in
If you’re focusing on working at a specific company, analyze the company’s performance, strengths, and weaknesses to see if there are any areas you can help them improve. You can either add your ideas to your application and resume when sending it to the company or express them when you land an interview.
This works best for small to mid-size companies, but even if you are off base, the pro-active attempt at research shows that you really want a position at the company.
6. Reach out to recruiters
Find recruiters on LinkedIn that can help you find jobs which fit your education and skills. By using a recruiter, they will narrow down your job options and get better position matches. Best of all, they get paid by the company when they find you a position, so they have the incentive to find you a matching job ASAP.
7. Search for volunteer opportunities
By showcasing your skills and knowledge while volunteering for a non-profit, you’re able to connect with others (i.e. networking) and attract attention to your skills. It also shows you like to be involved with the community. A few places to look for volunteer opportunities are:
You never know who you might volunteer with. Other volunteers could know of a position opening up at their company before it is even advertised (this is called the hidden job market). Even if you don’t find a job through volunteering, you’ll make some friends and do some good that you may be able to mention in an interview. And don’t forget, you’re also building your network of connections.
8. Start a blog and be active online in your industry
You have extra time on your hands, so start a blog! Write some posts, and then share all of your posts on your social media profiles. Show that you are a resourceful helping hand online to people in your field. It can bring you job offers or referrals, even if on a contract basis. Here’s a great example of someone who put their work out there and had Google contact them about a job!
From creating Slideshares, to posting on forums, and writing business articles, there are many other ways to participate in your industry on the web to present your knowledge and expertise.
9. Practice Interviewing
Practice answering difficult interview questions an employer may ask to help you feel more confident on your interviews. Everyone says “ok” to this then never actually sits down to do it. DO IT, even if it feels a little ridiculous. You can do this exercise with a family member or friend to practice, even do it over webcam or Google Hangouts if you have to. Here are some questions you can start with, and some internship interview questions.
10. Follow up with employers over the phone
After sending in your resume, if you haven’t heard back from a hiring manger or recruiter after a few days, forget the handwritten note or email and go ahead and call to see how the recruiting process is progressing.
By taking the initiative to contact the company, it sets you apart from the stack of resumes, keeps you in their mind, shows you are proactive to get things done, and demonstrates that you can communicate well.
With these tips, you’re ready to go on to your next job hunt and succeed in landing a great job.