Are you looking for a job? Then chances are you’re busy, stressed out, and reading this to get help. Let’s cut to the chase and dive into some helpful job hunting tips you can put to use instantly!
Figure Out the Job You Want
When seeking employment, it is helpful to know what type of job you want to find. This decision is usually driven by your prior academic and work experiences. What if you’re going to explore new options, though? Then head over to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This government-sponsored site’s purpose is to measure “labor market activity, working conditions, price changes, and productivity in the U.S. economy to support public and private decision making.”
Note the keywords at the end — “public” and “decision making.” BLS helps public workers and job seekers to make informed decisions based on objective facts. Now let’s turn to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. This ridiculously helpful online tool lets readers discover job information and stats, searching for career information using filters such as “Median Pay,” “Entry-Level Education,” “On-the-job Training,” “Number of New Jobs (Projected),” and “Growth Rate (Projected).”
Once a particular job is selected, users can then view tabs related to different career aspects. These include a summary, breakdown of what workers do day-to-day, the work environment, details on how to enter that profession, job outlooks, information pertinent to specific states, and a list of similar occupations.
Where to Look for Job Openings
Most employers post jobs on large job portals like Indeed, Glassdoor, or SimplyHired, so it’s wise to set up an account with at least one of these major sites. Not only do they feature filters that let you whittle down the postings, but you can also set up alerts to receive notifications when a job matches your criteria. LinkedIn has become another popular site, and having a solid profile built there helps recruiters find you and scope out your background.
Although Craigslist is not always used by companies to post the best paying jobs, it never hurts to check local listings so you don’t miss anything. Or, if you’re simply looking for something temporary or part-time, Craigslist might list positions you won’t find on those other sites. Don’t forget, Google can serve as an ad hoc job portal by itself if you simply type in search phrases like “jobs near me.”
Maximize Your Network
They say up to 80% of job seekers find work through their own connections. This means more than merely growing your LinkedIn network and filling it with people you barely know. Instead, you’ll need to take a very proactive role to put the word out to all your friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, classmates, etc. Odds are that someone you know is aware of a job opening coming up soon. Maybe it will be advertised, or perhaps not. Either way, asking around is often the best way to find out about jobs that you might otherwise never realize were available.
Polish Your Resume to Perfection
If you’re job hunting, you need a strong resume right now. Even if you’re applying for jobs that use an application form versus a resume, the resume can be used to capture all your pertinent information. These days, a large portion of jobs do require a resume to be submitted, at the least.
We advise reviewing a few premade resume templates, which you can find for free online. This can give you an idea about formatting, and many templates feature sample bullet points you can use as you write your draft. A resume will not “get you a jobs indeed.” Its function is to get you an interview, so it must be compelling, honest, and relevant to the position you’re applying to. This means, yes, you must tailor your resume to each job posting!
Writing a Killer Cover Letter
While not all jobs require a resume, even less might ask for a cover letter. Still, it’s wise to be prepared. A cover letter doesn’t need to recap everything on the resume. It has a different job. While the resume objectively details what you did at your last job and what impacts those actions had, the cover letter is your chance to be less objective and sell yourself. It should complement the resume and offer a more personalized perspective about what your past roles meant to you and how they’ve prepared you for the job you are applying to.
The cover letter is how you can express the links between your past, present, and future…a future, hopefully, with that new employer!
Go Where the Recruiters Are
Let’s be honest; career fairs aren’t as exciting as they might seem. They generally consist of several tables lined up in an open bay area, with recruiters settled back in uncomfortable foldout metal chairs and miscellaneous swag and brochures laid out for passersby to pick up. Still, it’s an excellent way to get a lot of quick exposure to possibilities you may not have thought of.
With job fairs, you also get a chance to ask direct questions to people from those organizations in a stress-free environment. However, it’s always prudent to conduct yourself professionally because you never know if that person might be someone you’ll encounter later if you go up for an interview! So dress sharp, take along some resumes, and be on your best behavior!
Exploit All Resources
The last in our batch of job hunting tips is simply to consider all available resources. If you attend college, visit your school’s career center. If your program’s department has its own, even better, but in that case check out both. One may focus more on mock interviews and resume writing, while the other can assist with making specific connections with business partners that like to recruit interns and graduates.
If you’re already working, get in good with the HR department, and they might drop you some helpful clues about new openings or how to be competitive for them.
Dig into career-related magazines and websites which often feature ads for companies looking to hire. If there’s a specific organization you’re interested in, visit their website and read their About Us page, learn their vision and mission statements, and bookmark their Careers page if they have one. Many sites will even tell you how to be a successful candidate by offering sample real-world interview questions!
Leave no stone unturned during your job hunting journey, and you’ll get ahead of the curve.