How To Job Search -The Most Effective Ways!
Hi, job-hunters. Imagine you are just out of school, college or are looking for a new position, how do you get started? How to job search? This can be a tough, stressful and anxious period when searching for a position or trying to start your career. When I graduated college in 2009, I was hyped and ready to get to work, make some money, and start a career, but we were still in the middle of the financial crisis. I had no success. It totally sucked. The jobs that were available were super-competitive and not a good fit for a fresher/entry level candidate like myself. Having said this, I am going to go over some tips to facilitate your job search and position you for success. Let’s get started.
Search For A Job – Let Your Network Know You Are On The Hunt
Super important here: we all talk about networking and meeting new people, but we don’t always leverage the strength of this powerful tool. Let your people know you are looking for a job. Tell friends and family, colleagues and other acquaintances you are on the job search. When you tell them you are looking for a new position or job, make sure you know what you want or have an idea of what you want. If you are just starting your career, the search can be a little broader. If you are an experienced professional, you will need to be more precise in what you are looking for. That way, your network will have an easier time helping you out. Once you have communicated, your friend might be able to present you with someone from his own network or even a friend of a friend – a third party connection.
In addition to enlisting your friends, family and colleagues, don’t forget to go outside of this group. Check out networking events. Does your city have Rotary groups or other groups that meet? Are there any Meetup groups for job hunters? You would be surprised; there are tons of groups on Meetup for just about anything. It can be a fruitful place to meet new people and make valuable connections to help you search for a job.
Map Out Companies You Want to Work For
We all have companies that we would “love” to work for. I am sure many of you dream about working at Google or some other top firm. These companies have huge sex appeal and make us want to work there; but the fact is, there are only a certain number of job openings per year and thousands of job searchers across the USA. You should start to map out other similar companies, learn about them and add them to your interest list.
Adding Interesting Companies To Your Interest List
First, open a spreadsheet or a Word doc. I personally prefer a spreadsheet as you will need to add additional information to it with multiple columns and rows. Start by adding the companies that interest you. They could be Facebook, Snapchat, or Verizon for example. The important thing is to list them. In the next column, we are going to add a direct link to the job section of the website. What happens is, since jobs are always being added, we need to be up-to-date about what is open. If you can apply to a newly-opened position that has not been flooded with resumes, you have a MUCH higher chance of having your CV seen and possibly being contacted.
Dive Deep and Learn More About These Companies
With your recently added shortlist of companies, start going through their websites and learning about their mission and vision statements. What do they do? What is their area of business? How are they doing in the market? Is there other news about them? For this last one, you will need to search other websites and news to find out.
The important thing is to get to know the business. The more you know about the business, the more convincing you will be if you get an interview with the respective company. In just about all companies, recruiters will ask you two questions, guaranteed: “Tell me about yourself?”, or something similar, and “Why do you want to work here?” If you have strong and convincing reasons why you want to work there, this will give you serious brownie points. Trust me! If you screw up the answer to this question, you probably won’t be considered.
Do You Have Any Friends at These Companies?
In addition to mapping the companies you want to work for, you should also try to connect with some of their employees. The easiest way to do this is checking to see if you have any friends who work there or friends in common that can connect you. Many times, these people know of a new position that is opening or have some great advice and tidbits to getting hired there. Sometimes companies want a specific professional – one that fits their mold. You can tweak your approach and resume if you know this information.
Add to The Shortlist of Companies You Want to Work For
In the section above, we talked about creating our initial shortlist. Now it is time to expand it. We can’t, and I will repeat, WE CAN’T wait for our preferred company to have the job of our dreams. You will most likely be waiting for a loooooooong time and waiting sucks!
What we are going to do here is search for similar companies to add to our shortlist. Let’s use Google as an example. You want to work at Google, but you need to add more companies to the list to increase your chances. You should Google search for similar companies. It’s simple. Type in the Google search bar: Companies like Google. Voila. You will have a list. Research what these companies do. Do they interest you? If they do, add them to the shortlist and add a direct link to their jobs page. If you know the segment you would like to work in or already work in, try searching for: “top pharmaceutical companies to work for.” Try different variations of this. See what Google suggests as you are typing this in the search bar.
Reach Out to Companies Even if They Aren’t Hiring
On many hiring pages nowadays, you may find something below the open positions that says something like, “didn’t find what you were searching for?” or “didn’t find that position?” or other variations. They are giving you the chance here to submit your resume along with a cover letter. Some even follow the typical resume submission along with specific questions to answer. Take advantage of this. This helps place you on their radar and says, “I’m Philip, and I am looking for a job in product management,” for example.
Go to a Career Fair
So far, we have concentrated on searching through friends and company’s job pages. Let’s now extend our job search to increase our reach. Go to your preferred search engine, probably Google or Bing and search for Job Fairs or Career Fairs in (your city). If you live in a very small city, is there a bigger city close by? Try searching Google for job fairs in that city. See what comes up. You would be surprised. Some of these events are off our radar so we don’t know about them.
These events are important to learn about new positions, to boost your own visibility, and to meet professionals who are representing their companies at this event. As you meet professionals at these events, get their contact information, normally a business card. (Make sure to add their contact information to your shortlist in a new section “HR Contact”. Now you have the website, direct job page links, and a direct HR contact.) Don’t forget to hand out your printed resume to recruiters at companies you are interested in when you’re at the fair.
How to Job Search – You Need a Resume
As I mentioned in the above section, you are going to need a resume to hand out at fairs and to send online. I have another blog article and video on how to prepare your resume. Check that out. A common mistake that many job-hunters make in their search for a job is not tweaking their resume. Let me explain. You may have a well-written resume with some great experiences, which are commendable, but they don’t always fit the position you are applying for.
It is important to take a good look at the job description and see what kinds of words and expressions are used, even specific business terms for that segment, and try to mirror it on your own resume. No BS here. Be truthful about your business experience. The only thing you are doing here is writing it differently to better fit the job description. That way, when a recruiter, or even before a recruiter, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) reviews it, it will be deemed relevant. This will increase your chances of getting a follow-up email and / or call to learn more about you.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to have multiple versions of your resume. If you are just starting your career, this will not be necessary. For more experienced professionals, I highly suggest this. Make sure you save your multiple versions and name them accordingly. Let me clarify things here. I have worked in product management, product marketing, e-learning, and marketing. I have a specific resume for each of these areas. Although some of the information is the same and overlaps, I have specific achievements in each of the areas that I highlight.
Create and Polish your Linkedin Profile
Don’t think that just having a resume is enough these days. You need to have your online professional social profile ready and polished. If you don’t have one, it is as if you don’t exist. Go to Linkedin and make sure you complete 100% of each section. Your Linkedin profile is your online personal brand. On many online job applications, employers will leave a blank section for you to copy your Linkedin URL. They want to see who you are before they call you or invite you for a live chat. If you come across as professional here, this puts you in a better position to be called up for an interview.
Extra Linkedin Tips
Make sure to take a quality snapshot of yourself. Wear professional business attire and make it a headshot. Add this to your profile and name the file with your name so it can come up in search engine results. After you have finished writing your Linkedin profile, ask some friends or people close to you to proof read it. These people can point out any mistakes or areas that need to be tightened up. You may need to do a couple corrections to get your finished version. This is normal. Once you have your finished version, see if you have any HR professionals in your network and ask them if they can do a quick review of your CV. Ask them if you should change or improve anything. They can offer some great insights.
Lastly, for this section, take a moment to do a quick online test of your personal brand. Go ahead and Google yourself. Type in your name and see what comes up. Are there any social media profiles that should not be there? Are there other files or things using your name that might give a misrepresentation of who you are? If yes, you need to get these wiped. Next, go into the images section and see what comes up. Do you see your Linkedin profile picture? Are there any other pictures of you? Do these pictures present you well, or were from a crazy party? If the pictures are potentially compromising, it might be best to erase these from the source. Our goal is to create a solid first impression of who you are before you meet the interviewer face-to-face or through a video conference.
Use Job Search Websites
There are plenty of job search websites out there these days. I will focus on the main ones here and demonstrate how to job search on them.
- First, check out Linkedin. You already have a profile there.
- Next, activate the section that you are job-searching. This puts your resume on display for recruiters, it basically tells them that you are job-hunting.
- Once you have done that, go into the jobs tab and click on the “What area”. Type in the kind of position you are looking for. It could be something like Marketing Analyst.
- In the next section, “Where”, type in the city you want, e.g. New York, New York.
- Then go through each of the job descriptions. You can then play with the filters to search for positions that have been open a week, a month, any time, or in the last 24 hours.
I would suggest you try to review the Linkedin jobs daily, so add “in the Past 24 hours” to your filter. When you apply to new, freshly-launched positions, you are increasing the chance of your resume being seen since the company has not been flooded with resumes yet.
Indeed and Monster
Indeed and Monster are other great sites. Create a profile on these sites and upload your resume. You can even create specific notifications for types of positions and locations to be sent to your email. This helps save you time from sifting through the long lists of jobs.
Angel.co is a fantastic site. It is one of the biggest job listing sites out there for startups. It is a real kick a*s resource that works. These startups need professionals and have a lot of jobs all over the United States and worldwide. Create your profile, upload your resume, and start searching for interesting positions. If you see a company you are interested in, add the company to your spreadsheet along with the direct link to their jobs page. Check back with them from time to time to see what is open. Definitely explore this site.
Flexjobs is another great resource. As you search for jobs on Indeed, Monster, and other ones out there, you will notice there is a lot of trash mixed in with the results. Some positions probably don’t even exist. Flexjobs filters out the mess and presents you with jobs that have some sort of flexibility and telecommute opportunity. This is a paid resource, but one that can save you a lot of time. It will run your about $50 per year, but you can find coupons and get it for about $35. Worth checking out.
How to Job Search – Look for Matches
When I was first starting my job-hunt as a recent college grad, I was all over the map and was not exactly focused on what I should target – the types of positions I could actually get hired for – and it was just plain confusing. When you search for jobs, be realistic with yourself. Don’t go searching and applying for a position that doesn’t fit your skillsets. If you have recently graduated college in marketing, don’t go applying for a marketing director position if you have never worked in the industry. Your chances of getting an interview are slim to none. Focus on Jr Marketing Analyst, or marketing analyst positions.
More importantly, read the job descriptions and try to understand what they are looking for. This is single-handedly your best option as names from company to company might change and can become confusing. See what the company is really looking for! Read the job description and then re-read it. Do you fit what they are looking for? How do your skills match the description? Be honest with yourself.
The job-hunting process can be quite stressful and arduous, but there are ways to increase your chances of getting called in for an interview. I can guarantee that if you follow these tips, you will augment your chances of getting that email or call from employers. I have applied every one of these tips throughout my career and have been able to quadruple my interviews because of them.
See what works for you. Make sure to be open to testing new things when it comes to job hunting and learning from them. If one thing is not working, try to figure out why. Is your resume giving the wrong message? Is the resume not correctly mirroring what the position is or does it give a different perspective on your experience that is not relevant to the position you are applying for? You will have to figure this out as you apply.
I hope that I have shed some light on how to job search and hope these tips increase your chances of getting a job!