If one of your goals for 2018 was to find a new job, you might already be working on it. If you aren’t having a lot of luck, though, you might be using techniques that are out-of-date. To find a job in today’s market, keep these career search tips in mind.
1. Be Specific in Your Job Search
One mistake jobseekers often make is focusing on the title when looking for a job, not the actual job description and skillset required. In other words, if you are a marketing manager now, you might be searching for other marketing manager jobs, and inadvertently ignoring jobs that could be perfect for you because the company calls the role something else. Searching for opportunities by job responsibilities and requirements. If you want a job that uses your writing talents, for example, search for postings that contain “writing.” You’ll spend more time culling through listings, but you could find the perfect opportunity that you would have otherwise overlooked.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Picky
When you are desperate to land a new position, it’s tempting to apply for any job that’s even remotely close to your interests and skillset. Not only do you waste time when you apply to jobs that are a marginal fit at best, if you do get hired, you’re probably going to be disappointed and frustrated within a few months. Instead of applying for any and every job you find, stick to those that are a good match for your experience and skills, and do a little homework on the company itself. Does it seem like somewhere you would like to work? Or are you just going to find the same problems in a new place?
3. Focus on Your Cover Letter
All too often, jobseekers use their cover letters to rehash their resume or make vague statements about why they should be hired. If you want to stand out in 2018, craft unique cover letters for each position, in which you connect the dots for the employer and explain exactly why you’re a great fit for the job. Highlight an accomplishment or two, explain what interests you about the job, and ask for an interview.
4. Show Engagement With the Position and the Company
When you’re asked at the end of an interview if you have any questions, don’t just smile blankly and say no. Employers hire people who show engagement and interest in the job and the company, not just someone who wants a paycheck. Research the company beforehand and ask questions related to challenges in the position, day-to-day life at the company, and other topics that show you’ve done your homework and you’re actually interested in the role.
5. Consider Roles in Up-and-Coming Industries
No matter when you’re looking for a job, there will be hot industries that have plenty of opportunities. Right now, the tech sector — including anything to do with cybersecurity, mobile, and artificial intelligence — remains hot, as does content marketing and e-commerce. Even if you haven’t worked in the tech sector, these industries are hiring in all areas. After all, even a cybersecurity firm needs an accountant or marketing expert.
6. Build a Personal Brand
When people think of you, what words come to mind? What is your reputation in your industry? What sets you apart from others? If you aren’t sure — or you don’t really have an “image” — then it’s time to start working on your personal brand. From your social media profiles to your resume and cover letter to your online presence in online groups, blogs, etc., you should be focused on building a reputation that tells employers exactly who you are and what you can do. Remember, employers will be searching for you online, so be sure what they find tells the right story.
7. Never Stop Networking
In today’s job market, the majority of jobs are found via networking — by some estimates, as many as 80 to 90 percent. Employers are also more likely to hire a candidate who has a personal connection within the company. Therefore, you can never stop building and strengthening your network, even after you land a great job. You never know when you’ll want to land a new position, so don’t become complacent after you have an offer.
8. Revamp Your Resume
Typos, generic language, and phrasing lifted right from the job description or posting are among the top issues with resumes, according to a survey by CareerBuilder. If you’re looking for a job, you obviously need to update your resume with new positions, but it should also be revised to present your skills and experience in the best possible light. If your resume is lackluster, or you aren’t getting called for interviews, hire a professional resume service to draft the document for you.
9. Use Social Media to Find Jobs
You know that employers use social media to screen candidates, so continue to keep your profiles appropriate and professional. However, more employers are beginning to use social platforms like Facebook to advertise positions and recruit employees. One good job search tip is to connect with companies you’re interested in on social media by liking/following them to increase the chances you’ll see a position you’re interested in.
10. Use Your Manners
One thing that almost every career expert recommends is to send a thank you note after an interview. Taking a moment to thank the interviewer for spending time talking with you will help you stand out and might be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.
Finding a job in today’s market can be challenging, but if you keep these job search tips in mind, you’ll score more interviews and increase the chance of landing your dream job.