It used to be that years ago, young adults would start at a company right out of high school and would spend their entire career at the same place. Nowadays, with so much economic uncertainty, a changing technological landscape and an ever-shifting corporate structure, people just don’t stay in one position for years and years.
Job Search Tips: A Quick Overview to Get You Started in the Right Direction
Whether you’ve been out of a job for awhile or are simply seeking better opportunities, here are some job search tips to set you on the right path. Beyond the usual tips, and if you were to just remember one thing, try to be positive and motivated. Your job search may be quick or it may drag on for months. Looking for work can be difficult, but if you are not mentally ready and if you don't project a positive image, it will be very difficult for you to find a job. Be ready, committed, and hopeful.
1) Perhaps the Most Important Job Search Tip: Consider Finding a Job Your Primary Purpose
This means that searching for a job becomes a priority. Don’t let procrastination or wishful thinking hold you back. Make a plan on how you’re going to spend your time and keep good records of the positions that you’ve applied to. Stay positive and stick with the search for the long haul.
2) Look for Work at the Right Places
Search for jobs that can open doors for you. Be selective. You want to target fields and companies that are growing. If you’re in a field that is in decline, such as desktop publishing, you may wish to see how your skills can translate to fields that are growing instead, such as graphical design.
When you find companies that are growing, don’t just look at which positions they have open. Contact their Human Resources department and ask what positions they anticipate opening. Many HR recruiters are happy to share what they anticipate their needs will be and will talk with you to see if you might be a good fit. Always ask if you can send in a resume for them to keep on file. Most companies keep a database of prospective applicants and review these first when a position opens up.
3) Network and When You’re Done, Network Some More
Networking is how most jobs are found. You want to create a great online professional presence. At a minimum, have a professional profile on LinkedIn that emphasizes your career history, education and experience. Create a web page that highlights your qualifications, write articles, or join business-related forums in your field or industry.
Don’t forget that companies will check you out on social media sites, so clean up your online presence. Google yourself and see what comes out.
Network through face to face contact as well. Join local groups, attend business luncheons or get involved with the Chamber of Commerce. Get yourself out there.
4) Spend Quality Time With Your Resume
As the old saying goes, you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Your resume is your first impression. Do not just copy, paste, and update a generic template off the Internet. Make sure your resume is unique and reflects what you have to offer.
Make your resume flexible. When it comes to job applications and resumes, one size does not fit all. One tip is to create one very detailed resume with complete job history, experience, successes and education for your own file. Then, as you apply for a job, tailor your job history and experience to the position to which you’re applying.
5) Use Your Cover Letter to Your Advantage
Don’t neglect your cover letter. It is your opportunity to create a connection with the reader and show your interest for the position. Personalize your cover letter for each and every position you apply to.
6) Be Ready for the Job Interview
How to prepare for a job interview? Actually, if you were diligent in writing your resume and cover letter, you've already done half of the work. The other half is about researching the company, having a few questions ready and having a game plan. Yes, a game plan. Most job seekers will enter the job interview and just think "How can I answer the questions the best I can?" Yes, that's important, but what if you had a better plan, like knowing what the 3 key attributes for the position are and being prepared to discuss how you meet these 3 attributes? How about visualizing the day of the interview and having a few topics ready, in case you need to do small talk? More tips in our interview section.
Have 3 to 5 references on hand and always talk to them first to make sure they are OK with giving you a great reference. It’s surprising, but there have been instances where HR contacted references who were either not able to provide a reference for various reasons, or provided a bad reference.
More Job Search Tips
If you need more tips about specific aspects of the job search process, WorkBloom has one of the most comprehensive resources online to help you find a job and build a better future. Visit the other centers of WorkBloom for more tips and insights: