I’ve had a pretty good track record when it comes to finding work. Whenever I’ve wanted to find something, I’ve been able to land a job within a month of initiating my job search. I hear of a lot of stories about people searching for months though, so I thought I’d put together some tips for how I optimize my efforts. Perhaps I’m just more flexible in my search, but I’m probably doing some things right too!
Tip #1: network!
An important thing to do while you’re job hunting is make sure you mention it to people. You never know when an off-hand remark about your job hunt can lead to a promising opening. Strike up a conversation with that stranger in line and you can usually insert the topic since it’s common to discuss what you’re up to. Don’t be spammy and talk about nothing but how hard it is or what your dream job would be, but don’t be shy about bringing it up. They might have great suggestions for where to look or you might just get a referral!
Tip #2: use your social groups.
You should definitely try to make an effort to meet more people and expand your network, but also tap into your existing networks: family, friends, classmates, previous coworkers, etc. If you’re meeting up with friends, they’ll probably want to know what’s going on – what a perfect time to share your job hunting status! Also, a couple of posts on your social media accounts could bring in opportunities as well. Just be careful not to let it take over or people will just tune you out.
Tip #3: don’t be afraid of Craigslist.
The first time I looked for a “real” job (aka full-time with benefits) I shied away from Craigslist at first. I figured the best leads would be on job listing sites – I mean, that’s what they’re set up for, right? While there were plenty of listings there, I actually found it to be quite challenging to navigate. The CEO of the company I was interning for at the time asked if I had tried Craigslist and I kind of cringed… “Craigslist? Isn’t that kind of shady?” But she assured me that she knew plenty of people who got great jobs out of it. Thank goodness I listened to her! I found a great job not long after and once again it was Craigslist that came through for me this time around.
Tip#4: scour job listings like a pro.
It’s always hard browsing job descriptions trying to figure out what is a good fit for you. I always choose one or two features that I really want to focus on and center my searches around that. With my most recent search, I wanted a company with a entrepreneurial vibe, so I searched terms like “startup” (and I believe that’s how I ultimately found the Craigslist post that led me to my job). When I was first starting out a few years ago, I wanted something related to “associate/assistant manager” so that’s what I searched for (and I came across the affiliate manager listing for the job I got). Hone in on what matters the most to you for your search and find terms related to that – don’t just think about job title or responsibilities, but consider the work environment and even things like travel opportunities.
Tip #5: evaluate what you already use and love.
I actually looked at a bunch of positions at companies that are a part of my normal routine – everything from the technology I use to the things I buy. Take a look at brands you already love and see what openings they may have. Chances are that at least a handful of these companies appeal to you not just because of the product or service you use from them, but because of their company philosophy and culture. These would be great places to look to advance your career! I know I got pretty excited about some of them. I even thought of what I could do for that organization that they weren’t necessarily hiring for. If you enjoy the brand enough, it’s definitely worth a try reaching out to their HR department pitching a role that you’d be perfect for. They may not even know they need you until you show them what you can bring to the table!
Tip #6: apply like it’s your job!
Finally, and very importantly is to be very dedicated to your search. Job hunting could easily be a full-time gig and if you put forth that much effort, you will be rewarded that much faster. For my first job I applied to a good 10-15 listings every weekday. For this latest job hunt I was a lot pickier, but still forced myself to find half a dozen promising leads I would pursue each day, focusing on getting out an application to at least one of those. As long as you continually have a pipeline of leads, you are giving yourself your best shot at finding a fabulous job ASAP. Be sure to take the time to research the company and write a thoughtful and custom cover letter for each. That’s your chance to truly stand out! I was contacted about the job I got because my cover letter was one of the most detailed that they had come across. My qualifications weren’t super strong but I sure did make up for it in effort!
And of course, remember to keep your head up and keep plowing on even when things are looking grim. I pushed through that dark period of my search and found a job that I couldn’t be happier with. It’s always going to be challenging trying to find a great job with promising career prospects, the pay you want, near your home, and the company culture that fits your style. I hope that my tips help you think about different ways to approach your job search. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I don’t know your individual situations so of course I can’t guarantee these methods will work for you. They’ve worked for me but your success rate and time may vary.« Prev：365great Day 164: Pandora 365great Day 165: rocking chairs：Next »