In my last job hunting post, we discussed surefire strategies in developing the perfect resume, cover letter, and interview presentation. Now it’s time to delve deep into the actual job hunt. Looking for a new career these days can be exhausting. I remember hearing horror stories about needing to apply to 50 positions in order to hear back from 10…and most of those 10 are interview declinations! However, this process can be a lot less stressful with a bit of organization. In today’s post, we’ll go over those key strategies. And I promise they’re simple.
Identify your niche
The most important factors in my own job search were the type of position and company. Of course, I wanted a job, but I wanted to best fit, a good potential long-term career move. With that in mind, I narrowed down my location, company types and position title keywords.
You want to do the same when identifying how to go about your job search. Identify your location, company types (think industry), and 5-10 keywords that would appear in the position. This does not include words like a manager, coordinator, assistant, etc. You want to use words that relate to your skills such as marketing, digital, counseling, etc.
Choose Your Search Engines
Find just a handful of trustworthy job searching sites and create accounts with them, as well as signing up for email notifications. You will become inundated with tons of emails but these will do some of the heavy lifting for you. The key part is that you only use about 3-5 sites. I’ve found in my own research that many sites have the same listings and other not so reputable ones will spam your email with less desirable positions. I recommend using LinkedIn Premium (use the trial and then cancel), Glassdoor, and Indeed. There are also local listing sites. I used milwaukeejobs.com for my job search in Milwaukee, WI of course.
Consistency is Key
The most effective way to gather postings of your liking will be to check in on a consistent basis. I did an active search weekly. This allows you to be consistent with your job search, enough time for new postings to populate, and time to tweak your resume. The goal is to find at least 5 promising positions, per week, and tailor your resume and cover letter to each. This takes quite some time, so a week should do. Keep track of all of your findings and notes in this Job Tracker form.
With every application that you submit, there must be special attention paid to the details. Your cover letter must be specific to the position, and so should your resume. Contrary to popular belief, your resume should always be tweaked and tailored to where you apply. Hiring managers are looking for key characteristics and buzz words that match their open position. If you think that you’re a match but the details in your resume do not line up, you need to go back to the drawing board. Present yourself in every document that you submit as the perfect candidate for that job! This step takes time, so that’s why you have the whole week to complete your applications.
In a few cases, I decided to follow up with the hiring manager/job posting contact regarding their selection process. However, this should not be considered common place. This is only for instances in which you’ve been in contact with them before or a posting that you are very very interested in and you have received no correspondence (including a simple confirmation email) for weeks. I found that jobs can wait up to 4 weeks (!) just to get back to you for an interview (and even a generic declination). However, if you do receive positive responses, feel free to follow up weekly in between responses to keep the process moving.
Trust the Process
Landing an interview, finding a job, and starting a new career is a stressful and tedious process. It can take weeks and even months to land a solid job. However, keeping track of your progress and efforts will assist you in the process as you await those coveted responses. Follow the advice from this post if you want to be more strategic and intentional about landing a good job. Stay tuned for my next post about key skills to have at your new job!