Searching for a job can prove to be challenging, especially if your industry of interest is highly sought after. However, put yourself in the shoes of a typical recruiter for a second. You place online adverts for two human resource managers, and then you get 5,000 applicants. How do you trim down the list from 5,000 to 10 people for the one-on-one interview? And how do you select the best two from that group of 10?
Now you know why it's a must to be an outstanding candidate if you want to land a job. With that said, here are six practical tips for a successful job search:
1. Learn How To Search For Jobs
You’re probably reading this because you want to increase your knowledge on searching for jobs in the ever-evolving marketplace. That’s a great step, but it's only one out of the hundreds of tips for job hunting you can try.
The list here won’t be exhaustive, nor will the one on the next blog post you read be. Because of that, it’s best to gather as many pieces of information as possible from different sources and see how to combine and use all of them to your advantage. And don’t stop at reading—you also need to carry out the advice you’ve managed to find.
2. Determine What You Want
You can have a clear understanding of the direction you want to take in your professional life by answering these questions:
- What are your main strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- In which industry would you most likely thrive?
Once you’ve tackled those, you’ll be one step closer to your dream job. Keep in mind that you should refrain from applying for every job you see advertised. Some certainly won’t align with your preferences. Getting into a full-time job for a role you don’t like won’t do you any good. You may start earning and meeting your expenses, but you might start resenting your job in the long run. This may lead to underperformance and unnecessary disagreements with your employer and colleagues.
When you make up your mind to work, say, in a bank in Florida, your job search becomes more focused, and you’re able to jump right in when opportunity strikes.
3. Get To Know Your Target Company Better
It’s unfortunate when job applicants show up for an interview with a company whose main products or range of services they know nothing about. It would be hard for anyone to convince an interviewer that they’re fit for a certain role if they don’t know the specifics of the job.
That’s why it’s important to get as much information as possible about any company you plan to contact for job consideration. Research both online and offline to find out:
- The financial health of the company
- The company’s organizational culture
- The company’s brand value
- The size of the company
- The typical salaries of other employees
- Training and development opportunities the company offers
- Their employee retention rate
- How many branches the company has
- The company’s history
These facts will help you drop those companies whose credentials are questionable and only focus on those promising growth in your career.
4. Broaden Your Skills
Don’t indicate on your resume that you’re a master of a complex programming language if all you know are mere basics that every other person is familiar with. The test for that sort of skill will come somewhere along the line. It may be during the interview, where the interviewer will be able to call out your bluff, or during a software development assignment, where your coding skills will be required.
Instead of waiting to embarrass yourself in front of your potential employer, do all you can to improve your skills when there’s still time to. Enroll in certification courses for industry-specific skills. Practice day in day out until you become a genuine master of the skill in question.
And on top of technical skills, work on interpersonal skills such as:
- Sensitivity to others’ preferences
- Respect for everyone, regardless of their circumstances
- Public speaking
- Patience when dealing with colleagues
- Body language
- Conflict management
- Clear communication
- Attitude toward constructive feedback
You probably didn’t learn much about those in school. But they’re surely needed in the workplace, and they may sometimes be even more important than technical skills.
5. Make Contacts
Call it networking if you wish to. Don’t assume that your degree, certifications, professional experience, and other items that fill your resume will speak for themselves. People need to see who the person behind those qualifications really is.
Therefore, ignite conversations at social events, workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars, team-building excursions, and other work-related events. Tell people who you are, and let them know that you’re currently looking for a job.
Consider these additional networking tips that will put you in a better position for employment:
- Join at least one networking group in your area of residence.
- Plan at least one coffee date per week with a former schoolmate or colleague.
- Send more invitations for connection on popular online networking platforms.
- Volunteer your skills wherever and whenever possible.
- Strive to be likeable.
- Don’t oversell yourself.
- Join professional groups on select social media platforms.
- Share your goals with those close to you and let word of mouth do its magic.
- Get in touch with your professors.
All these actions increase your visibility as a potential employee for any of the organizations the people you interact with work for.
6. Spruce Up Your Resume
At this point, you’ve done all the necessary preparations for your job search. Don’t forget to include all relevant information in your resume. This is the document summarizing you as a potential candidate for a job. You can ask a professional resume writer to help you come up with the best one. The idea is to win the heart of whichever hiring manager sets their eyes on the document.
You can make things even better by structuring your resume differently depending on the job you’re after. Optimize your resume for relevant keywords that a potential employer may be looking for. Upload the different versions of your resume to relevant online platforms, and make sure that you update them regularly.
Diligently doing the above-mentioned things will help set you way ahead of the crowd. It won’t be long before you secure your dream job.