Finding a new job or switching careers is never easy, but it is sometimes essential. Depending on your situation, you might find a change in work circumstances a necessary step in your professional life.
And while this certainly is a daunting prospect, there are several steps that you can take to make sure the process goes much smoother. Read on for 19 tips and tricks you need to know that will guide you to finding a new job!
Preparing for the Job Search
Ask Yourself What You Are Good At
Don’t just consider your degrees, qualifications, or experience when looking for a job. It’s also important to ask what innate skills and talents you have, whether that’s being able to talk to anyone or working as an incredibly imaginative thinker.
Plan a Timeframe & Identify Milestones
In many cases, finding a job is a long-term process and takes at least several weeks of searching. To help keep yourself organized, it’s important to establish a timeframe for planning, targeting goals, and achieving milestones. These timeframes can be daily, weekly, or monthly, ranging from polishing up your resume to uploading your newest freelance project to your digital portfolio. Just ensure that you are realistic about timescales to stay sane!
Set Clear Goals for Yourself
Don’t be tempted to apply for anything and everything out there. Instead, set your goals and stick to them— including commute, location, promotion opportunities, and other aspects that are non-negotiable for you, your family, and your lifestyle.
Build a Brand as an Employee
Portraying yourself in a strong, professionally branded light is key to employers and recruiters seeing you as a viable team member. Use profiles on work networking sites and craft a digital portfolio of your work or skill sets.
Create a Resume
Like a cover letter, your resume will be one of the first things an employer or interviewer sees about you. So, crafting a resume that makes a hiring manager want to get to know you more in an interview is essential. Do this by writing targeted resumes to the company or industry you are applying to that are well-structured and include only the relevant information. This includes your education, experience, skills, and overall motivation for getting the position.
Craft an Excellent Cover Letter
Your cover letter is a snapshot of who you are as a person, employee, and coworker. It’s a great place to make your personality and skillset shine, allowing a hiring manager or recruiter to get to know you at a glance and learn why they should hire you.
Conducting the Job Search
Create a List of Ideal Employers
Perhaps you have daydreamed of working in a particular industry or for a certain company. Don’t give up on those goals— list the ideal places you would like to work and apply your experience, knowledge, and skills! Once your list is established, don’t hesitate to reach out and try for the positions you want. Sign up for email notifications for new job openings, talk to people within the company, and look for opportunities across their social media sites.
Connect With Contacts
If you have connections in the job world or even online networking contacts in the industry you want to get into, don’t be afraid to talk to them. Even if they cannot get you a job interview or offer directly, they might still have invaluable advice.
Focus Your Job Search
Narrow your search margins according to job level, location, remote or distance attendance, benefits, salary, and any other specifications you require. Searching for job openings on the right websites and locations is also important. If you don’t have a narrowed job search focus, you will likely waste time on lower-end positions or work for which you are overqualified. Use the best job search options out there, including looking for openings via the following:
- Career Fairs
- Company Websites
- Local and National Press
- Networking Events
- Online Job Sites (LinkedIn, Indeed, etc.)
- Recruitment Agencies
- Social Media
- Trade Fairs
- Trade Publications
Let Yourself Stand Out
Don’t be afraid to let yourself stand out in the job search. If you have particular skills, talents, or experiences, say so! There are often dozens of other candidates for a job opening, so ensure you are the one that recruiters will continue to remember.
Be Aware of Scams
Unfortunately, there are many scams, including in the world of job searching. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is— make sure you don’t give out confidential details or banking information to scam artists.
Consider Internships or Temporary Contracts
Though these positions might not be ideal for a long-term setup, you can still get some great opportunities out of interning or temping. Your likelihood of being hired within a company is much greater when you are already a part of it!
Preparing for the Interview
Research the Position Beforehand
If possible, it’s important to research the company, the position, and the work it entails. That way, you can answer queries during an interview and ask relevant questions yourself to learn more about the role.
Practice Answering Common Interview Questions
Job interviews can be intimidating, but if you prepare yourself well in advance, they don’t have to be terror-inducing. Research the company thoroughly, including its product, output, and social platforms. Practice your answers beforehand to help with confidence and trust your skills and knowledge to get you through the interview. You can even get a friend to assist you by holding a mock interview to ensure you are ready to talk to someone face-to-face!
Whether you are showing up for an in-person interview or logging onto Zoom for a video chat with possible employers, being on time and not in a rush is essential for presenting yourself in the best possible light. Punctuality is very important to employers, and it will help you gain the upper hand when working strict timetables later on.
Have References Ready
Recruiters and hiring managers typically need to contact your references before you can secure a new position within the company, so you should always include great references on your resume. Additionally, ensure those references know that they might be contacted— whether colleagues, old workmates, or even a current manager, they need to be prepared to answer questions regarding you and your work experience.
The internet is forever; we’ve all heard it said. But this adage holds quite a lot of truth behind it— future employers can search for you and your digital footprint easily these days, which means whatever you’ve posted or shared is generally visible. Always keep yourself professional both in person, during communications with possible employers, and especially in your social media interactions. It’s wise to sort through your online presence and ensure nothing stands out as problematic.
Following the Interview
Follow-Up After the Interview
Good candidates follow up after a job interview, no matter how they think it went. This doesn’t have to be an excessive process— simply reach out and thank everyone you met with by email or handwritten note to let them know you are grateful for the consideration and remind them of your continued interest in the role.
Make a Decision About Your Job Offer
Once you get a job offer, part of the process is completed. However, it’s now time to determine whether or not this is the role for you. It might seem like a no-brainer if you are desperate for a job. But don’t forget that your time and experience are valuable; if a position doesn’t seem like it fits you, it’s alright to decline it. It’s easy to accept such an offer and get stuck in the role. Make sure you take the time to consider your immediate circumstances, as well as your future, when making a decision about a job offer. For example, where do you see yourself in five years with this company? Does it fit your goals and plans? It’s essential to be honest with yourself and ask questions like these to avoid making the wrong decision, either way.