Tips for Job Searching
1) Before you can start looking for jobs, you need to make sure your RESUME is up to date. It needs to be professional and polished, because if it’s not, your application probably won’t get a second glance from a hiring manager.
2) Write a cover letter specific to each job you are applying for. It may seem tedious, but if you don’t devote time to telling them why you’re the best candidate for the job, you’ll likely get overlooked. Include your contact details, a friendly greeting, information on why you are qualified for the job, and how you’ll be following up. It should follow the format of a standard business letter. Make sure it’s grammatically correct and error-free, and lists the specific qualities that make you stand out among the competition.
3) If applying by email, make sure your email is as professional as other business correspondence. Include in the subject line the job you are applying for, use a greeting, and an appropriate closing.
4) The most important part of job searching is finding something you think you would enjoy. If you’re going to spend at least half of your waking life there, it should be something you don’t mind doing, with people you don’t mind being around.
5) Look for jobs you are qualified for, but it can’t hurt to apply for jobs that may be out of your area of expertise that don’t require a necessary degree. For example, if you have a degree in Mathematics but you find a well-paying job opening as an Executive Secretary and you have the necessary skills, they may hire you based on your personality and potential. Just be sure to include reasons why you’re a good fit for their company, and explain what skills you can bring to the table.
6) Use your social network to your advantage. This is important – most people still come across the job of their dreams simply by their social connections. If you’re in the market for a new career, don’t be afraid to ask around if anyone may know of a potential job opening. Send your resume to people you know in positions that have influence, and ask your LinkedIn connections to write a recommendation for you.
7) Be on the lookout every day! New jobs are posted all the time, and if you get your foot in the door quickly, it lessens the chance of going up against more candidates. Dedicate a set amount of time each day to search job sites and reach out to your connections.
8) References, whether good or bad, can make or break your job offer. Always bring a list of your references, and keep it separate from your resume. They’ll ask for it if they’re interested, and usually they are if they’re interested in hiring you. Your references should be former coworkers, managers, teachers, or anyone who knows how you work. It’s best to leave off family members and close friends if they have never been in a professional setting with you.
9) Prepare for the interview by researching the company and the position you’re being interviewed for. Come ready to explain your skill set that will be valuable to the job. When they ask you to tell them about yourself, they’re not interested in how many siblings or kids you have, or what your hobbies are – they’re looking for keywords that describe who you are as a person – creative, dependable, organized, etc.
10) Follow up with a “thank you” email. Sometimes this is the magic touch – it shows that you’re genuinely interested in working for their company, and shows professionalism and initiative. If you don’t hear back in a few days, feel free to make a phone call to inquire whether the position had been filled. Always be ready for a second interview.
11) Job Search Sites. If you’re not getting a job through a connection, most jobs are now posted online. Gone are the days of walking into a business and asking for a job application. Become familiar with the top job search sites, and visit them often for new postings. If you know the company you want to work for, go directly to their site. Many companies have job openings posted directly on their website, so you can do less searching.