Whether you’re searching for your first job or considering leaving your current position, what are some of the best ways to go about job searching? Here are tips, tricks, strategies, and important things to remember.
How to Prepare?
Preparing to search for jobs can be just as important as the job search itself.
As you embark on this journey, if you’re unsure about the type of organization or company you’d like to work for, try identifying your skills and areas of expertise to find suitable matches.
Consider your “soft skills” as well, such as communication, teamwork, personal productivity, problem-solving, decision-making, willingness to learn, and resilience. Introspection and self-reflection are crucial here. Being aware of your capabilities and a willingness to improve will benefit you during the job search process.
Ensure that you update your LinkedIn profile and resume, and create a cover letter template. Double-check for spelling errors and list the most relevant and up-to-date information. Adapt your resume and cover letter to each specific job and industry you apply to.
It might be a good idea to reconnect with your references to confirm their willingness to vouch for you. Consider practicing your interview skills by preparing answers to questions or prompts like:
- What is your greatest strength/weakness?
- Why should we hire you?
- Describe a time you were successful in a team.
- Tell about a time you demonstrated leadership.
While you can’t predict every question you’ll be asked, being prepared for these types of questions will help you remain calm during future interviews.
Creating a schedule for active job searching times will prevent it from consuming all of your time and energy. Job searching can be exhausting. Try allocating three to four days per week for job searching, giving you ample time to relax and recharge. For instance, you can plan and prepare on the first day, search for jobs on the second and third days, and follow up on the last day.
How to Job Search?
One of the most effective ways to job search is by tapping into your network of contacts. We have a separate article on networking available here (https://claimyourpotential.org/networking-101-essential-strategies-for-building-professional-relationships/), but let’s emphasize some key points relevant to job searching.
Requesting referrals or introductions from your network for companies you’re interested in is a good approach to uncover unadvertised job opportunities. Many sources suggest that over half of all job openings are never publicly advertised, as they’re filled through internal referrals.
Create a list of people you know who work for or have connections to organizations you’d like to join. Approach them casually—don’t jump straight into asking for a job unless you have a close relationship. Explain why you’d be a good fit. Even if the organization isn’t currently hiring, they might keep your resume on file for future openings.
Attending industry-specific networking events is another excellent starting point. Consider conferences, expos, and education forums. Bring copies of your resume and business cards if available, and prepare questions to engage employers and make yourself stand out.
The same principles apply to job or career fairs, which are also valuable for making connections and finding job opportunities. Additionally, virtual networking events hold as much value as in-person ones in today’s context.
A good rule of thumb is to share your job search status with everyone you know.5 Mention it casually—avoid coming across as desperate by randomly asking anyone you meet on the street for a job. This approach has led people to job opportunities through conversations with hairdressers, waiters, yoga teachers, and more.
Job Search Platforms
LinkedIn, one of the largest professional online networks, hosts your personal brand. Ensure your profile is complete and accurate, making it easier for recruiters to find you.
LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” button enables you to submit applications without crafting lengthy cover letters each time. However, this shouldn’t be your sole application method. A mix of strategies tends to yield the best results.
Other useful platforms include Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, and US Jobs, where you can filter results based on your interests. For seasonal jobs, platforms like FlexJobs.com, JobMonkey, SeasonalJobs, Snagajob, and CoolWorks offer a wide range of options.
Following companies or organizations of interest on platforms like Facebook and Instagram keeps you informed about their latest actions and provides insights into their goals. You can engage by commenting on relevant posts, sending direct messages, or finding job listings when they’re posted. Ensure your social media profile portrays you positively when job searching.
Reaching out to staffing or recruitment agencies is particularly beneficial if you have work experience. As an entry-level job seeker, attending job fairs is more valuable. Contacting recruitment agencies can serve as a secondary tactic, as their primary focus is helping companies fill positions.
After contacting agencies, continue your primary job search methods. If the agency reaches out with job opportunities, it’s a pleasant surprise and offers insight into available positions. Also, remember the importance of tailoring your resume to each job type you’re interested in.
Recruitment agencies often handle short-term or temporary roles. While these might not be your ultimate goal, they offer a chance to gain relevant experience quickly and assess if such work suits you. Temporary positions can also lead to permanent employment.
Organize Listings and Follow Up
To avoid losing track of applications, consider creating a spreadsheet listing all your opportunities. Include columns for organization, contact details, application date, interviews, follow-ups, and other relevant information. Tracking feedback from each application helps filter suitable jobs and streamlines your job search. A spreadsheet prevents redundant applications.
Being proactive and following up on applications can make a difference in the hiring process. Send a brief email a few days after submitting your application to ensure its receipt and offer additional information if needed. Reiterate your interest in the position. Below is an email template from Indeed for reference:
I recently applied for the [position title] role. While I understand you’re likely reviewing applications, I wanted to check if there are any updates on the decision timeline.
I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of working at [company] and believe that my [mention a highly relevant skill] aligns well with the position’s requirements. I’ve attached my application materials for your convenience. Feel free to reach me at [phone] or [email] for further information. Looking forward to your response.
Job searching can be lengthy and challenging. Remember, even if you face rejection, a successful interview might be right around the corner. Resilience is key—persevere even when times are tough.
As you continue searching, you’ll learn which strategies suit you best. With each experience, refine your job applications, interview skills, and networking abilities. Don’t give up! Soon enough, you’ll find that perfect opportunity.
Clark, B. (2023, February 13). The Best Ways to Find a Job Online in 2022. Career Sidekick. https://careersidekick.com/best-ways-find-jobs/
Glassdoor Team. (2021, June 29). How to Search for a Job. Glassdoor. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/guide/how-to-search-for-a-job
Herrity, J. (2023, July 24). How To Write a Follow-Up Email After a Job Application. Indeed. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/follow-up-email-after-application
Indeed Editorial Team. (2023, June 29). Job Search: 6 Ways To Find Your Next Job. Indeed. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/best-ways-to-find-a-job
Shabbir, U. (2023, July 24). The 6 Best Platforms to Find Seasonal Jobs Anytime. Make Use Of. https://www.makeuseof.com/best-platforms-to-find-seasonal-jobs/
The Upwork Team. (2022, June 3). How to Find a Job: Where to Look and How to Search. Upwork. https://www.upwork.com/resources/how-to-find-a-job