12 Simple and Effective Job Search Tips
What is the best piece of advice you’d give to candidates looking for a new job?
To help make your job search more effective, we asked hiring managers and experienced recruiters this question for their best advice. From not dwelling on rejections to showcasing something clever or interesting about you, there are several pieces of advice that job candidates may follow to maximize their chances of landing a new job.
Here are 12 simple and effective job search tips:
- Don’t Dwell On Rejections
- Start Even If You Feel You Are Not Ready
- Prepare for All Possibilities
- Make Use of Your Networks
- Prepare for Interviews With Free Training and Resources Online
- Look for Jobs You Have a Genuine Interest in
- Familiarize Yourself With Applicant Tracking Software
- Prepare for a Career Instead of a Job
- Have a Tactful Strategy for Handling Interviews
- Find References First
- Get a New Job Before Resigning
- Showcase Something Clever or Interesting About You
Don’t Dwell On Rejections
When job hunting, expect that you’ll receive lots of rejections, and that’s okay. Rejections are part of the process and they don’t necessarily mean that you’re not good enough. Some jobs aren’t right for you for varying reasons, but take heart that all these rejections are leading you to better opportunities. Take a lesson from each rejection, and you’ll realize you get better and better at looking for new opportunities.
Marina Vaamonde, HouseCashin
Start Even If You Feel You Are Not Ready
In my years of experience, I found that the beginning of a job search can oftentimes feel so overwhelming that people stay in a company they hate just because they are afraid of taking the first step. Even if you don’t feel ready, it’s worth it to just freshen up your resume and send it to a couple of potential employers. They don’t have to be perfect offers. The important thing is to get the ball rolling. You never know what might happen, and making this first step can give you the confidence necessary to take all the other steps that will bring you closer to finding your dream job.
Maja Kowalska, Zety
Prepare for All Possibilities
Being prepared for the unexpected can help candidates create a foolproof strategy — one that accounts for various scenarios if things don’t go as planned. This includes being incompatible with the company culture or even adverse situations where the company shuts down entirely. You have to consider what you would do under these circumstances and while this may seem like a dampener, having a solid backup plan will see you through.
Mary Jurgensen, Gary and Mary West PACE
Make Use of Your Networks
Networking is a great way to find out about jobs before they’re even posted online, providing you with an edge in application processes and an inbuilt connection with businesses. In fact, a lot of jobs gained from networking might not even be advertised at all, making networking your ticket to a range of highly-desirable jobs that others simply don’t know about.
For many people, professional networking starts with the graduates from their school or college, before then evolving into industry peers and experts. My biggest piece of advice for people looking to find new jobs is to ensure that they’re always spending time expanding their network, whether that be through in-person interaction or connection via LinkedIn. Cultivating a strong professional network, made of people both inside and outside of your industry, will be sure to open the door to many unforeseen opportunities. Recruiters also love to browse networking websites, making it vital to have an established presence.
Clare Jones, Custom Neon
Prepare for Interviews With Free Training and Resources Online
The internet holds a wealth of free training videos, courses, blogs, and community forums/platforms on nearly every topic imaginable. Prepare for your job interviews by brushing up on industry trends or changes. Study the company you are interviewing with, review their website and their social media channels to get a feel for their brand culture. Search online for free and/or low-cost courses that offer certificates as you can add these to your resume and application to demonstrate recent and continued learning.
Adriana Dikih, Willamette Transplant
Look for Jobs You Have a Genuine Interest in
The best piece of advice I can give to candidates looking for a new job is to focus on what they like to do, and then make sure that the job they’re applying for matches those interests. When you have a genuine interest in something, you don’t have to try too hard for the recruiter to see that you are the right fit.
If you’re passionate about something, it’s easier to find work that allows you to do that thing in a way that gives you fulfillment. If you love writing, then you probably want to be a writer, or at least write things for the people who are interested in reading them. If you love programming, then you probably want to code for a living, or at least write software. Going for jobs you actually like will provide a much higher ROI in the long term when you land them, compared to seeking and landing jobs you aren’t particularly interested in.
Chris Roth, Highline Wellness
Familiarize Yourself With Applicant Tracking Software
The best advice I could give a candidate new to the job market is to familiarize yourself with applicant tracking software (ATS) and what this type of software does. In this day and age, it is almost never that applicants are mailing off resumes or even handing in hard copies in person.
When submitting a resume online there is a fair chance that the company is using an ATS to filter out applicants before reaching a hiring manager. ATSs scan and score resumes based on how many keywords included on the job posting are also included on the candidate’s resume. Run your resume through an ATS resume checker before submitting it to check your score, the higher the score the more likely to land an interview. Also, be sure to stay away from colored or squiggly fonts and keep the text size at least at ten to avoid confusing the ATS.
Bryor Mosley, Southern New Hampshire University
Prepare for a Career Instead of a Job
Preparing for a career instead of just a paycheck will help you meet your goals more quickly. Taking the first job you can get in an unrelated field may get you some experience, but it’s best to tailor to where you want to end up. Narrow down your career goals, determine the hard and soft skills needed, and focus on work that can help you achieve those. This will help you be more competitive and increase your chances for success down the line. Don’t look for a job, look for a career.
Colette Shelton, Chirpyest
Have a Tactful Strategy for Handling Interviews
The best piece of advice I would give to candidates looking for a new job is to make sure you’re strategically prepared for the interview. This means preparing in advance how to answer questions about your strengths and weaknesses, as well as about the workplace culture and expectations in ways that satisfy the recruiter and compels them to hire you. It also means having a clear understanding of what you want from your next role and how you can contribute to that goal, and articulating this clearly to the interviewer.
Andrew Cussens, Film Folk
Find References First
Line up your references beforehand. It’s important to reach out to your past managers, colleagues, and mentors when looking for a new job. Ask them if they’ll be a reference and then start compiling a list. This proactive approach will pay off when you start interviewing. As a bonus, these people may know who is hiring and can give you a quality lead.
Isaiah Henry, Seabreeze Management
Get a New Job Before Resigning
Unless you have no other choice, never leave a job voluntarily without finding a new job first. No matter what the circumstances, no matter how successful you’ve been, you are reducing your leverage to an untenable position. Think about it! You go through the interview process and everything is going great. All of a sudden right when you are offered your dream job, the hiring manager says, the powers that be are cutting back on salaries and the position has a 20% reduction. Take it or leave it. Would they pull the same stunt had you been gainfully employed? Maybe? Probably not? Never leave your job until you have a new one.
Joshua Chin, Chronos
Showcase Something Clever or Interesting About You
Initially approach the opportunity, assuming it’s electronic communication, by showcasing something clever or interesting about you. In other words, a positive that the Interviewer immediately takes notice of. Once you are afforded the first interview, show up like it’s your first day on the job. Act as if you already have the job as it will help to positively slot you into the mindset of the Interviewer. Talk about your interest and desire to enhance this position once you begin working. This should be an exercise where you have put more than your best foot forward. So when the interview has ended, the Interviewer begins to feel that you might really be the most attractive talent he or she has interviewed for this position.
Wally Simon, SCORE