Looking for a new job isn’t what it used to be. In the past, you’d put some feelers out to your network, check out some job listings and apply to a handful of positions. After a few days you’d hear from a couple and work your way through the interview process. With any luck you’d have a new job nailed down in no time at all.
Today, it looks much different. Instead of applying to a few positions and going with the one that fits you the best, you may need to apply to dozens of positions before you hear back from any, if you hear back at all. Some job seekers may spend months or longer on finding a new job, especially if competition is tough or open positions are hard to find.
After all, they say that it could take a month to find your next job for every $10,000 that you’re looking to make, meaning that $100k+ jobs could take up to a year or more to suss out, which could put a significant strain on just about anyone’s monthly expenses. And if you need a job now, you may not be able to wait around until the perfect position falls into your lap.
For most people, finding your next job won’t be easy, but it is possible if you keep at it. How to get a new job is largely a matter of perseverance, and whether you’re looking to jump ahead in your field or you’re interested in changing careers or starting a new one altogether, here are some tips to keep in mind during your search.
Work Your Network
Everyone has a network of friends, family members and existing and former colleagues that can help them find a new job. Instead of starting with an online job search, why not reach out to your network first? You’ll never know if you don’t ask, and someone that was just a lowly intern could be an integral part of your dream company — and they might be able to help you get your foot in the door.
Beyond the people that you’re already connected to and that you interact with often, don’t forget to ping people that you haven’t spoken to in a while. These are the X-factors that could really help you find your next job, and even if it doesn’t lead to anything, you’ve just reaffirmed that relationship for something down the line. As long as you’re genuine in your interactions, you’ll be bolstering your personal network while you engage in your job search.
Pump up Your Personal Brand
To increase the likelihood of someone thinking of you the next time an opening pops up, ensure that you’re always working on your personal brand. You don’t necessarily have to fill up your feed with a bunch of promotional material, but making it clear to your audience who you are and what you do is an invaluable component of finding your next job. That means making your career part of your life in ways that are easily identifiable and understood by those in your industry.
Furthermore, by using the right terminology and buzzwords, you’ll also demonstrate that you’re up to speed on trends in your industry, which can make you more interesting to contacts and prospective employers. Don’t let anyone wonder what it is that you do. Even if you’re between positions or you’re exploring your opportunities, you should always have a strong idea of who you want to be, which can help sell you for your next job.
Don’t Skimp on Your Social Media
It’s said that over 90% of all companies use LinkedIn to fill open positions. If you’re not on LinkedIn, that’s a huge opportunity that you’re leaving on the table. You don’t have to necessarily post every day and spend most of your free time on the platform, but it’s true that having a LinkedIn presence can help you find your next job.
In addition to a corporate bio and your resume, don’t forget to include work samples and other items that show your expertise. Other opportunities to get noticed online include blogging on a site like Medium or joining a professional Facebook group to connect with people that you wouldn’t have a chance to connect with otherwise. If you’re looking to relocate, Facebook Groups can also be a great way to connect with people in other cities before you’re physically there.
Update Your Resume
While most people may only update their resume when there’s something new to add, you really should be tailoring your resume to each position you apply to. That’s because a generic resume is exactly that. Each position has certain criteria and things that the hiring managers are looking for, and if you’ve got your most important piece of work experience buried on page two of your resume, you could be doing yourself a disservice.
Instead, feel free to alter job titles and highlight the skills and work experience that speaks directly to each job that you apply to. Jobs from decades ago may not be that important for a career switch today, so don’t feel like you have to include everything you’ve ever done on your resume or CV. Sometimes it makes sense to highlight or only include relevant information. It’s much more effective during the selection process, and you can always expand on gaps or other issues during an interview or in your cover letter.
Leverage That Cover Letter
Just because that job listing might not require a cover letter doesn’t mean that you should do away with this useful practice. Anything you can do to separate yourself from the pack is a step towards finding your next job, and it all might start with a great cover letter. Unlike the rigid structure of a resume, a cover letter lets you be creative and sell yourself to a prospective employer by highlighting your best attributes and why you’d be a good fit.
A cover letter doesn’t have to be long — if you can make it work in just a few, short sentences, all the better — but it should spell out your case and why you’re a good fit. Don’t make the mistake of starting with that cover letter from years ago; a cover letter should be written from scratch for each job you apply to. Also keep in mind that your cover letter is not your resume, so don’t just regurgitate what’s already available. Instead, tell a unique story that isn’t on your resume for the most impact.
Apply To Jobs You Want, Not Just Jobs You’re Qualified For
Though you wouldn’t want to only apply to jobs beyond your qualifications, finding your next job could be helped by applying to companies and roles that may be slightly out of reach. Shooting up for a director level role if you have managerial experience or an executive level role if you have director level experience can be a great way to land an outsized job.
The more experience you have, the more likely it is that you may be able to put yourself in the running for a great role, which is essentially how people advance anyway. After all, you won’t be able to find your next job by looking backwards, so stop limiting your opportunities by looking towards roles you’ve already done.
Brush up on Your Interview Skills
Once you get your foot in the door with your resume and cover letter, the next step is to ace your interview. They already have your resume and cover letter, so don’t just parrot what’s there — you’ll want to have a genuine conversation in your interview. But don’t feel like you need to stay on the defensive.
Finding your next job is as much about you interviewing them as it is them interviewing you, and you can separate yourself from the pack by asking questions about the company, the culture and your specific role. While you don’t want to come off as rude or disrespectful, you do want to be memorable in both the questions you ask and the answers that you give.
After the interview, don’t forget to send thank you cards or write a follow-up note to remind the hiring manager of your strong candidacy. If you want, you can also reach out about a week after your interview to see if they’ve made a selection.
Ask for What You Want
If a certain position looks like a great fit but the compensation isn’t quite what you had in mind, ask. Not only does it show your value to prospective employers, but even if they don’t bump up the compensation, they’ll know that they’re getting you at a reduced rate. That could help your case during your 90-day review, and it might even help you get hired in the first place.
Beyond that, let’s take a minute to acknowledge that the other terms of your employment are also negotiable, such as paid time off, the ability to work from home and things like health coverage and retirement compensation. If you’re taking a hit on salary, you can make up the gap in various other ways.
Leverage JobSearcher To Find Your Next Job
If you’re having trouble finding your next job, let JobSearcher help. By indexing every job that’s out there online, you’ll be able to identify the right jobs for you without jumping around on dozens of job search sites. Find your next job today with JobSearcher.