Job hunting can be tough, but don’t feel discouraged! Whether you are a recent grad, or are simply looking for some tips for later, I’ve got you covered. But first, here is a little background to my job search tips. Last year, I was laid off from my job unexpectedly, and it was terrifying. I lived alone and had rent and bills to pay. Fortunately, I had some savings to hold me over, but I knew it would only last so long. I feared I would not find something quickly, especially after only having 5 years of experience. I tried my best to stay positive as I searched for work and reluctantly applied for unemployment benefits. (Don’t be too proud to apply for unemployment. That money really does help.) By God’s grace, I was able to land a job about two months after getting laid off. It felt like a miracle. I did my best to stay positive and eventually things worked out in my favor. So if I can do it, you can, too, which is why I’m sharing these 10 tips with you.
Evaluate your needs and wants for a job.
Sit down and think about the future you see for yourself. In that future, what kind of job would you have? Think about your ideal employer. How would they treat you? How much would you be paid? What benefits would you like? Keep those questions in mind when browsing job listings. Read company reviews on Glassdoor, and see how they treat their employees. If it sounds like a place you wouldn’t want to work, don’t apply.
Apply for jobs you actually want.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how often people find themselves working a job they despise. Don’t take a job just to take a job. If you can’t see yourself working there for at least one year, it’s not worth it. Hiring managers will look at your resume, see the short time you’ve worked at companies, and will question your dependability if they see you’ve bounced around from job to job.
Use social media to network and research companies.
Clean up your LinkedIn profile and check LinkedIn for jobs. A lot of HR recruiters use LinkedIn to reach out to possible candidates, so make sure everything is accurate on your profile. Use a professional photo for your profile picture, and be sure to indicate that you are looking for work on your profile. Additionally, you can browse your Facebook friends’ profiles and see where they work. Ask them whether they like their jobs and the company they work for, and see if they know of any job openings. You just never know, and if you got the job, you would already have a friend there! Just be sure not to ask your friend for a recommendation unless they offer to provide one.
Make a list of jobs you’ve applied for and their correspondence.
If you are on the hunt for months, it is all too easy to forget if you’ve already applied for a job or not. Or worse, getting a call back from a company and forgetting what exactly you applied for.
If you get a call back for an interview, make yourself available.
If you are unemployed, there is no excuse for not being able to make time for an interview. I got sick once the day before an interview and fortunately, I was able to reschedule, but I think that was a rare situation. If you ever fall ill before an interview, be sure that it isn’t nerves, and do your best to come in for the interview anyway. Also, you could ask for a phone interview and explain that you are sick and contagious. But if at all possible, come in for the interview and do your best.
Do your research on the job and the company, and don’t forget to research average salary.
Glassdoor is a great resource for finding reviews on employers, work environment, and average salaries for positions. Of course, you don’t want to rely solely on that website for information, but it could help give you an idea of what it would be like to work for that company. Salary is obviously important, and you don’t want to underestimate your skills. My mother works as an HR recruiter, and she always tells me to negotiate my salary. I have NEVER done this, but I feel like I should. You never know what an employer will say, but don’t worry too much about them not hiring because you want higher pay. If they draw up an offer for you, they are serious about wanting you to work for them.
Always follow up after an interview.
No, you don’t need to send an email right afterwards, but a nice thank you card could be just the ticket. If you do want to mail a card, be sure to do so before the end of the week, so the hiring managers don’t forget you. If snail mail isn’t your thing, you can send a thank you email the next day. I don’t suggest calling simply because you don’t want to feel like you are nagging or too eager for the job. I once did a phone interview for a position and the hiring manager seemed nice enough. She said she would contact me by the end of the week to follow up. Never let the employer follow up with you. Always contact them first. The reason I say this is because they may forget all about you. The lady never got back to me, so I sent her a follow up email a week and a half later, and she told me the position had been filled. Don’t let that happen! Be vigilant but not overeager. There’s a balance.
Understand that quality is more important than quantity.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that you should act like applying for jobs is your full-time job. Do you physically need to spend eight hours a day devoted to your job search? No. There is no magic number of applications to send out each day. It’s just a matter of applying for positions that fit your skills. You don’t want to be overqualified for something, else you won’t be challenged enough and your pay probably won’t reflect your skills. On the other hand, you don’t want to waste your application by applying for a position you know you can’t do.
Filter out scams and pyramid schemes.
If you’re on any form of social media, you probably know at least one person who sells something online and constantly posts about it. They might make it seem fun, and like they’re making so much money, and maybe they are, but unless you are truly passionate about the product, I wouldn’t recommend becoming an ambassador. In order to sell products, you have to “invest” money to sell. It’s just a waste of money and time that you could spend on getting an actual job with health benefits. Steer clear of job postings that say “work from home” or start the listing with a large salary, or use the word “marketing.” If you see a job posting but it doesn’t list exactly what the company is, don’t apply. You are sending sensitive information about yourself to a “company” you don’t even know what it is. If something seems too good to be true, 9 times out of 10, it is.
Lastly, stay positive and be patient.
It can be really frustrating putting out so many applications and only getting a few call backs. I know. I’ve been there. But dwelling on it won’t make it any better. Keep applying for jobs and networking. Something will come along eventually. Trust me.
I know it can feel like you’re useless if you don’t have a job, but really, you are so much more than where you work. Last I checked, the economy is doing better, so jobs are out there. Stay encouraged, friend! It’s only for a season!
Got any other job search tips? I’d love to hear them! Feel free to comment below!