No matter what the circumstances are, job hunting can be daunting. Putting yourself out there, talking to recruiters and going to interviews puts your ego at stake. While having a solid resume is a great start (we can help with that), there are some other things you can do to make job hunting painless and successful.
Optimize Your Resume
When you are applying to positions online, it is critical that you make your resume easy to pick out amongst hundreds (potentially even thousands) of other applicants. An easy way to do this is to leverage keywords that recruitment search engines and hiring managers will be looking for. To determine the optimal keywords, reference the job posting itself and think about words that would be most relevant and desirable to the given position. For example, a graphic designer would want to include mention of proficiency in core software like InDesign and Adobe. There are also more generally sought after keywords that would apply across industries such as “goal-oriented,” “team player,” and “results-driven.”
Take Your Search IRL
While job hunting online can be highly productive, there is something to be said about the power of face-to-face conversations. If there’s a company you’ve always wanted to work for, track down someone who works there, reach out and take them for coffee. Getting some facetime is a great way to extend your network so your name comes to mind when future opportunities open up. Having candid conversations is also a helpful way to learn more about what you do and don’t want in a position.
Update Your LinkedIn
If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “I don’t even have a Linkedin page,” then start there—you need it in the current job market! Aside from having an existing page, when you’re on the hunt for a new position, you need to ensure you are presenting the most up-to-date information to potential recruiters and hiring managers. Read on for a few easy things to action to optimize your Linkedin page:
- Use a current, professional profile photo
- Like your resume, use keywords in your about and experience sections
- If you are actively looking for a job (and aren’t currently employed by someone else), you might want to consider “searching for new opportunities” in your headline or current position sections
- Link to previous work in your experience section (videos, PDFs, links to sites, press coverage, etc.)
- List relevant skills and get endorsed for skills Reach out to peers or previous managers to provide recommendations
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Having a polished resume and ample experience is important, but polishing your interpersonal skills is key when you’re on the hunt for a role. When you are going out on networking coffee dates, heading to interviews or taking calls with potential employers, it’s paramount that you always follow up to express your gratitude. This is a way to demonstrate that you not only respect the gift of someone else’s time, but also gives you one more chance to have your name remembered when opportunities come up down the road.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are looking for a job—knowledge is power. If you see a job posting that peaks your interest, instead of applying right away, consider reaching out to current employees for support. They can give you inside information on what the hiring manager could be looking for and give you more insight to what the working environment looks like. This inside scoop could help you to tailor your resume and ensure you hit on certain points in your interview.
Cast A Wide Net
You might have a dream job or company in mind, but when you are actively searching for a job, it never hurts to cast a wide net. This can look like applying to companies you might not have considered before or breaking out your little black book and getting in contact with peers or people in your network you haven’t connected with in awhile. The more you are getting your name out there and talking to people, the more likely opportunities are to come your way.
Create Your Dream Job
When no job postings are catching your eye or you aren’t hearing back from hiring managers, it’s easy to get discouraged. Something that you might not always hear is that sometimes, you have to create a job for yourself by proving your undeniable worth to a company. If you’ve always wanted to be an Art Director at a specific company, but they’ve never posted this specific role, make a case for it! You could create a proposal that includes your relevant experience and examples of work with proven results to demonstrate how and why the company would benefit from this position. You could also consider taking on an unpaid project with the company to showcase how you’d be an invaluable asset.