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Ah, the dreaded job search. We’ve all had to look for employment at some point in our lives and, if you ask most people, many will recall feeling stressed, overwhelmed, uncertain and at times, even distraught.
So, what is it about searching for a job that evokes these negative feelings? And is there anything job seekers can do to alleviate these feelings?
As with anything else, preparation is key! In order to reduce the pressures of the job search process, you’ve got to go about it the right way. Here are some guidelines to help you do it right.
Before you start applying for jobs, you want to get yourself organized! Make sure you update your resume, create a few different cover letters that are tailored to the jobs you wish to apply for and update your LinkedIn profile (don’t have a LinkedIn profile? It’s a good idea to get that set up asap!). You will waste time in your job search process if you leave these things until the last minute, so take the time to get them all done.
It’s also a good idea to get your 30-second pitch down, as it will serve you well in case of an impromptu phone interview or chance encounter with your future boss. What is a 30-second elevator pitch? It’s a short 30-second version of who you are and what you are all about. It’s called an elevator pitch because you only have the time it takes to get from the lobby to the floor selected to introduce yourself. It’s short, meaningful, interesting and all about YOU.
Oh, and don’t forget to get in touch with your references to let them know they may be expecting a call in the near future and fill them in on any important details.
You’ll also want to keep your job search efforts organized to avoid wasting precious time during the process. An organized system that tracks all your job search activity and dates will help you with your goal of getting your dream job faster and more efficiently. When you apply for a job, write down the details for future reference – including the date of contact, contact details, company information and the source of the job posting. This not only means you’ll be prepared if they call you for a job interview, you’ll know who you need to follow up with and already have their contact details on hand.
Now that you have all of your ducks in a row, you can start searching for, and applying to, your desired jobs. There are a ton of great job sites out there to start with – such as Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn. You can easily upload your resume to most job search websites, making it easy to apply for jobs at the click of a button.
When it comes to applying for jobs on the various sites, quality is often better than quantity – meaning that you shouldn’t just apply for anything and everything you see. In fact, you should avoid overdoing the application process, as it will make it harder to keep everything organized. What’s more, if you apply for a ton of jobs at once, you won’t give each one the time it deserves. You should treat each job you apply for with special care – research the company and role and tailor your resume and cover letter to that job, working in keywords from the job posting into both documents.
If you are looking to make a career transition to another industry, LinkedIn is a fantastic resource – not only does it have a ton of job postings, it is a great tool for growing your professional network, connecting with professionals in your desired field and setting up informational interviews to gain more insight into the industry and your desired career.
When it comes to finding a job, many of us rely solely on the aforementioned online job boards. However, there a ton of unique ways to find a job that are often overlooked. In fact, tapping into the hidden job market may land you a job faster than you would through those regular channels, where you are competing with hundreds of other job seekers. What is the hidden job market? It’s a term used to describe jobs that aren’t advertised or posted online.
Here are some ways you can tap into the hidden job market:
If you have done your due diligence during the application process, you are likely going to start getting calls from companies and recruiters to set up either a phone or in-person interviews. Great! So, how do you ensure it goes smoothly?
Again, preparation is key. Do your research about the company and your interviewer, write down some questions you expect to be asked and prepare your answers, rehearse in front of a mirror or with a friend and prepare a few questions you would like to ask the interviewer – the more specific, the better. The more prepared you are, the less likely you’ll be stumped when asked why you want to work for them or stumble over the common “tell me something about yourself” interview question so many job seekers have failed to perfect.
You’ll also want to practice your hand shake and assess your body language, either by doing a mock interview in front of the mirror, asking a friend to help you or enlisting the help of a professional career coach. Having the wrong body language during an interview can send all the wrong signals, so be aware of any nonverbal mistakes you might make.
Feeling nervous? Besides being as prepared as possible, there are you can do a few things to ease your interview anxiousness:
During the interviewing stage of your job search, it’s also important to remember that your own values, goals and lifestyle are also important. “If you are looking to create a career or build longevity with a company, it is critical that you make sure the company, manager and peers you could potentially be working with meet your requirements as well,” explains career coach Tonya Echols.
One step that is often neglected during the job search process is following up, even though it can often mean the difference between being hired or not. Career coach Mary Kruger considers following up the secret sauce in job search success, as it is “the key to getting noticed” and the difference between a so-so job searcher and one that is proactive, positive and eager to work.
So, why don’t people follow up? It could be a number of things. Perhaps they don’t know how to follow up, what to say or do; they think by following up they are being pushy, a pest or bothering the employer; are scared to follow up; or they fear rejection.
Opportunities to follow-up:
Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you with the job search process? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!