It does not matter if you are conducting a job search for the first time, changing careers, looking for a better position for more money and better growth potential, or because of a recent layoff, conducting a job search can be stressful – and a bad choice or decision can affect your career for years to come, these top 10 job searching tips will help you avoid making a bad decision.
In this article, I am going to provide you with job search advice and that will help you get hired in the best position and with a company that best suits your talents. This advice will guide you in your job search so you can get a job that provides fulfillment, great pay, a variety of ways to advance your career – and hopefully lessen some fears as I know how stressful a job search can be!
So here we go, please understand that several key factors need your utmost attention when you are searching for a new job. Such as, you need to have an updated resume and cover letter, and a positive attitude. I want you to actually smile when you write them. No, it’s not because I’m trying to make you look foolish, but studies have shown, that if you smile when on a call or write a letter, your communication will be more upbeat and have a positive tone to it – try it.
In this article, I am also going to provide you with my top 10 job searching tips that you can use in your job search right now. I will also take the time and explain how to use each for the best results – I want to make sure you know how to use the resources at your disposal to help guide your search and ensure the results you desire.
Job Search the Basics
The difference between finding JUST a job and finding a GREAT one that best suits both your short-term and long-term career goals often takes a well-defined strategy and planning.
Identifying how your ambitions, goals, and needs align with a particular job opportunity is not always an easy task.
Nevertheless, these factors are essential when searching for a job that is the perfect fit for you.
At the start of your job search, spend some time thinking about what has prompted you to look for a new position in the first place.
Are things at work toxic with a bad working environment?
Are you interested in doing the same job for a different employer?
Do you want to change career paths and find one with more upward growth and potential, or change your career altogether?
Are you entering the job market for the first time or are you an older worker with years of experience?
Are you returning from an employment gap such as maternity leave, military, or a lay-off?
Each of these situations presents a different challenge and way of finding the job you want. I recommend that you explore your career options. One way is to review different job titles online on various job search sites to get a better understanding of what certain roles are looking for in today’s market and what skills may be required.
Factors to Consider Finding a Job That’s Right for YOU
Another way to focus your job search on jobs that are right for you is to identify your non-negotiables and areas where you are more flexible. Here are some examples you might think through:
Examples of non-negotiable factors:
- The industry or field that excites you and where you want to work
- A salary you cannot go below – knowing your bottom-line number is super important
- Benefits such as health insurance or paid time off are very important – and for many of us are more important than salary
- Are you willing to relocate for the right opportunity? If so, who do you want to pick up the cost to move?
Examples of negotiable factors:
- Job title (manager, director, VP, or another designation)
- Added benefits such as the ability to work from home full-time remotely
- Working at a small business with an entrepreneurial mindset versus a large corporate organization
- Amount of travel during the year – is once a month too much or would once a quarter be better or maybe no travel at all
Determining what your must-haves and which items you are willing to be flexible with will help you stay on course with your plan and goals with confidence.
Amazon has many amazing books, programs, and training materials that you can use in your job search – here are some tremendous materials and additional resources available to you at Amazon!
Test Different Job Search Methods
The best way to understand what job search methods work best for you and to get a feel for what jobs are available to you is to try out different search keywords. As you conduct your search, you will begin to get a feel and recognize the jobs that feel right and those that do not – such as the type of company that you would like to work for, the office environment, and its culture.
If there are comments from current or past employees, what is the OVERALL consensus (just take these with a grain of salt and do not put too much thought into these, because unfortunately many will be written from employees that may have a gripe and only have negative things to say?
However, if there are only a handful of reviews, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the reviews good or bad, but if there are many (10, 15, or more), then I would see what the overall score is and look at those that are in that range.
Not sure where to begin?
It is a good practice to start with broad search keywords such as job titles and related industries and perhaps company names that are in your target zone. Certain titles may jump out at you, certain companies may start to appeal to you, and you will get a better feel for the current market and be better able to conduct new searches for those specific job titles, roles, companies, and industries as your keywords.
If you like the results you are getting, set up a job alert. You will receive new matching jobs on a daily or weekly basis, depending on your preference. You can create multiple job alerts to target various job titles, industries, or salary ranges and pause or delete them at any time.
Top 10 Job Searching Tips
Here are my top 10 Job Searching Tips that will help you with your search:
- Work hard and be a top performer at your current job – While you are searching for a job when still employed at your current position, you need to keep a good working relationship with your managers and coworkers. When you obtain a reputation as a hardworking professional who is willing to help coworkers, your references will have good things to say about you – you NEVER want to allow yourself to get distracted, it will only hurt your current job, and will make you lose focus in your search.
- Ask for a recommendation letter from a former superior and other close colleagues – A recommendation letter from a former employer, past colleague, or even a college professor can distinguish you from other candidates. If a potential employer requests a letter of recommendation, make sure you follow any submission guidelines and make sure it contains the type of information requested written on professional company or college letterhead is best.
- Apply even if you’re not a perfect fit – Many people underestimate their value to employers. They assume that only applicants who can meet every qualification get interviews, and that is just NOT true. In the interview, the manager may think you may be a better fit for a different position. I once applied for a director’s job, but during the interview, it was apparent that while I was a good fit for the company, I was overqualified for the position. Instead, they hired me as a Vice President in a new division that needed my experience. The position was not advertised, as it was a new role, but I was just in the right position and the best fit.
- Research companies – Doing some research about companies can help you decide whether you want to apply for positions with those businesses. Look at the company’s website and employee reviews before you apply to see if you would be a good fit for their culture. Remember that VP position I mentioned above? Before the interview, I had read on the company website that they were starting a new division, and I had mentioned it during the interview. They were impressed that I had taken the time and done the research, and that opened the door!
- Update and customize your resume – Add any new skills, achievements, or awards. Most companies use applicant tracking software to screen resumes before a real person reads them, so you should make changes every time you apply for a new job. Look at the job description and the company’s website to find keywords to use in your resume.
- Practice your elevator pitch – Many interviews start with a question like “Tell me about yourself.” Ugh! I hated those questions until I realized that it was the perfect opportunity for me to sell myself. You could also hear this question during professional networking events. Use these opportunities to give a quick elevator pitch that describes your career achievements and goals, and being an older applicant, you will MANY more achievements and goals to showcase.
- Network, Network, Network – Professional, personal, and casual contacts (like the coach at your son’s baseball game) can help you find jobs that employers have not yet advertised. You should tell friends, family members, and former coworkers that you’re searching for a job. Attend networking events in your industry. Many recruiters and hiring managers go to these events to connect with prospective candidates.
- Visit employers in person – You should visit companies in your area to ask about open positions. If they’re not hiring, ask them if it is okay for you to drop off your resume and leave your contact information. This demonstrates your interest in the job, makes you more memorable, and helps your application stand out.
- Write letters of intent – If you’re interested in working for an employer but they don’t have current openings, you can write a letter of intent to express your interest in the organization and explain your skills and experience. These letters are ideal for employers you can’t visit in person. You can email a letter of intent and attach your resume so they can keep it on file for future consideration.
- Send thank you emails after interviews – After an interview, keep the name of the hiring manager and send a thank you email. Write that you enjoyed the meeting and re-emphasize your interest in the job. Mention your interviewer’s name and one or more topics that you discussed. If you want, mention any qualifications or achievements you may not have had a chance to explain during the interview. Let the hiring manager know you’re available for additional questions if needed.
Conclusion – And A Special Note
The beauty of the job search is the strategic plan you put together and can be used for so many areas of your professional career. Such things as job seeking, to job promotions, to job transitioning, and having a strategic plan will help guide you smoothly to the career success you deserve.
Keep the plan updated, and like a GPS, don’t be afraid to evolve it as your goals change throughout your career, and even into retirement if you plan on seeking a second career like teaching, consulting, or even going into business for yourself.
Are you interested in:
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