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Job Search

Via Goalcast : 4 Steps to Finding a Dream Job that Actually Makes You Happy

If doing what you love every day while getting paid for it is the ultimate career dream, then why do so many of us give up on that dream when we become adults?

Some may say that work is work, and that getting your dream job is just that, a pipe dream, but I have to respectfully disagree. If you have the necessary patience, coupled with a bit of persistence, there are steps you can take to get the dream job that you’ve always wanted.

1. Know what you want

It’s not enough to have a general idea of what you want to do. Sure, when you enter a new industry, you might not know enough about it to make a definitive decision about where you want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years. But once you’ve started to familiarize yourself with how a sector works, you need to decide how you will contribute to it so that you can start executing on some sort of plan.

The best place to start is to focus on the things that you think you’re good at.

If you work on developing a skill that you’re already naturally disposed to, it gives you the confidence to keep trying new things, and to make mistakes. That’s the first step to truly mastering something, and to making a successful career out of it.

2. Build relationships with people who do what you want to do

The fastest way to learn something is to talk to 10 experts on the topic. So it follows that the best way to learn about what it takes to build a successful career is to talk to the people who got where you want to be.

There are many people who are happy to take the time and talk to someone who asks for their help, especially if they’re just a few years ahead of you and remember what it was like to be in your shoes.

3. Provide value to people while building on your skills

Getting introduced to people who can give you advice is great, but if you want to accelerate your career, you have to continue to provide value to the people who have helped you on your path.

But what do people really mean when they say, add value to others?

One example is being open to using your own network for someone else’s benefit. Even if your network isn’t very big yet, you know people with skills or knowledge that someone else does not have. So whenever you meet someone new at an event that you want to maintain a relationship with, think about one or two people in your own network that might be relevant for that person to talk to. Even if it’s simply to share some expertise. Once you make an introduction, that person will see you as a connector and they will be more likely to remember you if you reach out to them asking for help down the line.

A simple way to add value to someone you want to build a relationship with is sharing information, even just an article, about a topic you know they care about. You don’t need to do this all the time, but just keep in touch.

The purpose of adding value is to give something before you ask for something. When you’re ready to switch your career or pursue a sought-after job that fits your skillset, ask for introductions to the leaders in the organization, rather than simply applying on a job board and hoping for a response.

The person on the receiving end is much more likely to make an introduction on your behalf if they trust you’re a thoughtful person who will make a good impression and reflect well on them. If you only met them at an event once and never followed up, then there’s no reason for them to trust you because they don’t have enough information about how you operate.

4. Find a target and pursue it relentlessly

Without step one — knowing what you want — it’s impossible to have the focus and intention required to pursue anything that’s truly worthwhile. Once you know what you want, and you know who the “movers” in the industry are, it becomes much easier to know how to channel your persistence.

The best advice I ever received about how to get your dream job is to show the organization what it will be like to work with you. In other words, show them the output of your work before you’re even hired.

You won’t want to do this for every job you pursue, but the effort is worthwhile for the ones you truly want.

Let’s say that you’ve used every networking trick in the book, and were able to actually get the attention of an important person in the industry who can offer you the job you’ve been dreaming of. Take this as your chance to stand out from everyone else.

Talk to someone in the company and find out what critical problems they’re trying to solve, and try solving one of them. If they’re too complicated to solve quickly, send some insightful suggestions and explain how you would go about solving the issues yourself to prove that you can do it.

The best example I heard of someone doing this was a young person who wanted to get a job at a tech startup he loved. The company needed a sales and business development person to get small businesses to buy their technology.

He spent time researching potential prospects for the startups, and he simply reached out to them and asked if they would ever use the product. He didn’t sell anything, he just wanted to assess whether he could actually get a small business interested.

After getting 10 companies to say they were interested, he went back to the startup and showed them the list of 10 potential clients he could bring them tomorrow. It was enough to prove to the startup that he had the skills to do the job.

Doing what you love is a goal we take for granted as children, but it’s also a dream that many people give up on once they start working and see how competitive any good opportunity really is.

When something is competitive, by definition, the only way to have a shot at it is standing out in some way. So don’t just do what people expect you to do as you progress through your career.

Be brave enough to prove yourself and ask questions when you need it, and eventually someone will listen.

Via The Muse : How to Write a Cover Letter: The All-Time Best Tips

Ah, the dreaded cover letter. Every time you sit down to write one, you probably browse cover letter examples online, get overwhelmed, and think something to the effect of: Does anyone really read these? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if I could just let my resume speak for itself?

First off: Yes, we can assure you that cover letters do, in fact, get read. In fact, to some hiring managers, they’re the most important part of your application. And yes, while it would be easier to let your resume speak for itself, if that was the case you’d completely miss the opportunity to tell prospective employers who you are, showcase why they should hire you, and stand out above all the other candidates.

Ready to dive in? To make sure your letter is in amazing shape (and crafting it is as painless as possible), we’ve brought the best advice on writing a cover letter into one place. Read on—then get to writing!


Cover Letter Basics

Write a Fresh Cover Letter for Each Position

Yes, it’s way faster and easier to take the cover letter you wrote for your last application, change the name of the company, and send it off. But most employers want to see that you’re truly excited about the specific position and company—which means creating a custom letter for each position you apply for.

While it’s OK to recycle a few strong sentences and phrases from one cover letter to the next, don’t even think about sending out a 100% generic letter. “Dear Hiring Manager, I am excited to apply to the open position at your company” is an immediate signal to recruiters and hiring managers that you’re resume-bombing every job listing in town. Mistakes like this can get your application tossed straight in the trash.

But Go Ahead, Use a Template

That said, there’s nothing that says you can’t get a little help. Try some basic cover letter templates, or one that focuses on your skills.


Getting Started

Your Cover Letter Greeting and First Paragraph

Include the Hiring Manager’s Name

The most traditional way to address a cover letter is to use the person’s first and last name, including “Mr.” or “Ms.” (for example, “Dear Ms. Jane Smith” or just “Dear Ms. Smith”). If you know for sure that the company or industry is more casual, you can drop the title and last name (“Dear Jane”). And if you’re not 100% positive whether to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” based on the name and some Googling, definitely skip the title.

Never use generic salutations like “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”—they’re stiff, archaic, and did we mention that cover letters need to be customized? If you can’t figure out the specific hiring manager’s name, try addressing your cover letter to the head of the department for the role you’re applying for. Or if you honestly can’t find a single real person to address your letter to, aim for something that’s still somewhat specific, like “Systems Engineer Hiring Manager” or “Account Executive Search Committee.”

Craft a Killer Opening Line

No need to lead with your name—the hiring manager can see it already on your resume. It’s good to mention the job you’re applying for (the hiring manager may be combing through candidates for half a dozen different jobs), and yes, you could go with something simple like, “I am excited to apply for [job] with [Company].” But consider introducing yourself with a snappy first sentence that highlights your excitement about the company you’re applying to, your passion for the work you do, or your past accomplishments.


The Main Event

What to Put in the Body of Your Cover Letter

Go Beyond Your Resume

A super common pitfall many job seekers fall into is to use their cover letter to regurgitate what’s on their resume. Don’t simply repeat yourself: “I was in charge of identifying and re-engaging former clients.” Instead, expand on those bullet points to paint a fuller picture of your experiences and accomplishments, and show off why you’d be perfect for the job and the company.

For example: “By analyzing past client surveys, NPS scores, and KPIs, as well as simply picking up the phone, I was able to bring both a data-driven approach and a human touch to the task of re-engaging former clients.”

Having trouble figuring out how to do this? Try asking yourself these questions:

  • What approach did you take to tackling one of the responsibilities you’ve mentioned on your resume?
  • What details would you include if you were telling someone a (very short!) story about how you accomplished that bullet point?
  • What about your personality, passion, or work ethic made you especially good at getting the job done?

Think Not What the Company Can Do for You

Another common cover letter mistake? Talking about how great the position would be for you and your resume. Frankly, hiring managers are aware of that—what they really want to know is what you’re going to bring to the position and company. Try to identify the company’s pain points—the problem or problems that they need the person they hire to solve. Then emphasize the skills and experience you have that make you the right person to solve them.

On that note…

Highlight the Right Experiences

Not sure what skills and experiences you should be featuring? Typically the most important requirements for the position will be listed first in the job description, or mentioned more than once. You’ll want to make sure you describe how you can deliver on those key priorities.

Another trick: Drop the text of the job description into a word cloud tool like WordClouds, and see what stands out. That’s what the hiring manager is looking for most.

Showcase Your Skills

When you know you have the potential to do the job—but your past experience doesn’t straightforwardly sell you as the perfect person for the position—try focusing on your skills instead. That skills-based template we mentioned before will help you do just that. (Psst: You can also take this approach with a skills-based resume.)

…Not Necessarily Your Education

New grads, especially, often make the mistake of over-focusing on their educational backgrounds. At the end of the day, what hiring managers care about most is your work experience (and yes, that can be volunteer or internship experience, too)—and what you can walk through the door and deliver on day one.

Don’t Apologize for Your Missing Experience

When you don’t meet all of the job requirements, it’s tempting to use lines like, “Despite my limited experience as a manager…” or “While I may not have direct experience in marketing…” But why apologize? Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, emphasize the strengths and transferable skills you do have.

Here’s what that might look like: “I’m excited to translate my experience in [what you’ve done in the past] to a position that’s more [what you’re hoping to do next].”

Throw in a Few Numbers

Hiring managers love to see stats—they show you’ve had a measurable impact on an organization or company you’ve worked for. That doesn’t mean you have to have doubled revenue at your last job. Did you bring in more clients than any of your peers? Put together an impressive number of events? Made a process at work 30% more efficient? Those numbers speak volumes about what you could bring to your next position, and make your cover letter stand out.

Consider Testimonials

Used sparingly, great feedback from former co-workers, managers, or clients can go a long way toward illustrating your passion or skills.

Here’s an example of how you might weave it in: “When I oversaw our last office move, my color-coded spreadsheets covering every minute detail of the logistics were legendary; my manager said I was so organized, she’d trust me to plan an expedition to Mars.”

Be Open to Other Formats

If you’re applying to a more traditional company, then the tried-and-true three-to-five-paragraph format probably makes sense. However, if you’re gunning for a more creative or startup job—or need to explain to the hiring manager, say, how your career has taken you from teaching to business development—a different approach could be appropriate.

Here at The Muse, we’ve seen cover letters use bullet points, tell stories, or showcase videos to (successfully) get their point across. One woman wrote a cover letter from her dog’s perspective. This professional even turned hers into a BuzzFeed-style list!


Finding Your Voice

How to Strike the Right Tone

Cut the Formality

We know, you’re trying to be professional. But being excessively formal can actually backfire on you, career expert Mark Slack points out: “It makes you seem insincere and even robotic, not anything like the friendly, approachable, and awesome-to-work-with person you are.”

Even when you’re applying for a very corporate role, there’s usually room to express yourself in a conversational, genuine way.

Write in the Company’s “Voice”

Cover letters are a great way to show that you understand the environment and culture of the company and industry. Spending some time reading over the company website or stalking their social media before you get started can be a great way to get in the right mindset—you’ll get a sense for the company’s tone, language, and culture, which are all things you’ll want to mirror as you’re writing.

Go Easy on the Enthusiasm

We can’t tell you how many cover letters we’ve seen from people who are “absolutely thrilled for the opportunity” or “very excitedly applying!” Yes, you want to show personality, creativity, and excitement. But downplay the adverbs a bit, and just write like a normal person.

Don’t Let Your Fear of Bragging Get in the Way

If you tend to have a hard time writing about yourself, here’s a quick trick: What would your favorite boss, your best friend, or your mentor say about you? How would they sing your praises? Then write the letter from their point of view.


Finishing Touches

Your Final Words (and Final Edits)

Keep it Short and Sweet

There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general, for resumes and cover letters alike, don’t go over a page. In one survey, more than two-thirds of employers said they preferred a cover letter that’s either just half a page (around 250 words) or “the shorter the better.”

Finish Strong

It’s tempting to treat the final lines of your cover letter as a throwaway: “I look forward to hearing from you.” But your closing paragraph is your last chance to emphasize your enthusiasm for the company or how you’d be a great fit for the position.

For example, you could say: “I’m passionate about [Company]’s mission and would love to bring my [add your awesome skills here] to this position.” You can also use the end of your letter to add important details—like, say, the fact that you’re willing to relocate for the job.

Edit

We shouldn’t have to tell you to run your cover letter through spell-check (you should!), but remember that having your computer scan for typos isn’t the same as editing. Set your letter aside for a day or even a few hours, and then read through it again with fresh eyes—you’ll probably notice some changes you want to make. You might even want to ask a friend or family member to give it a look.

If you need some extra help, you can check out how the wording sounds to others using Hemingway. Paste in your text, and the app will highlight sentences and sections that are too complex or wordy, use passive voice, or are overloaded with fancy vocabulary when simpler words will do. You don’t have to take all of its suggestions (maybe “facilitate” really is the best word choice there!), but it’s a handy way to check the readability of your letter.

Remember, one spelling or grammar mistake can be all it takes to turn off the hiring manager—especially if writing skills are an important part of the role you’re applying for.

Have Someone Gut Check It

Have a friend take a look at your cover letter, and ask him or her two questions: Does this sell me as the best person for the job? and Does it get you excited? If the answer to either is “no,” or even slight hesitation, go back for another pass.

Via Glassdoor : 10 Career Experts Share Their #1 Piece of Job Search Advice

Once you announce that you’re looking for a new gig, unsolicited job search advice is inescapable: “Video resumes are the future!” “Go back to school!” “Talk to my cousin’s best friend’s son, he knows someone who used to intern there!”

While all of the people sharing job search advice like this are well-meaning, they’re usually not career connoisseurs — just friends and family who want to help you out. As a result, the quality of their advice is often suspect.

There’s plenty of good job search tips out there, but if you really want to identify the advice that’s worth your time, you’ve got to get it from a credible source. And who better to weigh in than professional career coaches, HR consultants and other subject-matter experts? We reached out to nine career experts to learn their best advice on how to find a job — here’s what they had to say.

1. Have a Job Target You Believe In

“Be clear on what you want, why you want it and what qualifies you… Without clarity from the very start, virtually every stage that follows will be based on little more than a hunch — and that is an extremely fragile foundation for navigating a dynamic job search. You begin by engaging in some form of assessment. It could involve taking a standardized assessment instrument, keeping a journal or talking with people whose advice and feedback you value — friends, family, or a career coach. The goal is to achieve self-awareness in the form of a career target. The next, and equally important, step is a reality check. Here is where you determine that the goal you selected makes sense. Is it appropriate for you and is it attainable?” —Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide

2. Create a Plan

“Identify a few key features, such as, why is finding a new job important to you? What is your ideal time-frame for finding a new job? …What are types of companies you’d like to work for? When will you perform job searches — is there a day of the week that you will meet for coffee with your networking connections? What’s your timeline for updating your resume and cover letter? Post the plan somewhere you will see it and put important dates on your calendar. This is my favorite advice because most people don’t plan their search; they simply go about it in a haphazard fashion, [so] you’ll be ahead of the game. If you plan your search, you’re committing to a new job and will be more likely to find the job that you love.” —Mary Warriner, career coach

3. Develop Your Career Story

“A branded career story helps differentiate you from the competition, provide clarity for yourself and showcases your unique value proposition to the employer. The people that are most successful in their job search are those people who are able to first clearly articulate what they’ve done, how it’s been impactful and how it can benefit a future employer. From there, the resume tweaking, network building and LinkedIn optimizing become a lot easier and more effective.” —Jena Viviano, career coach

4. Apply Even If You’re Not a 100 Percent Match

“Job seekers (especially women more than men) may be underestimating the value they can bring into a role. For many roles, hiring managers are looking for people who will be quickly deployable to do the work and usually the tasks you need to complete on a regular basis are learned or refined on the job. If you meet the majority of the qualifications for a job you are interested in and are confident you can quickly learn the remainder, apply for that job, but make sure your resume demonstrates your past success in learning new skills.” —Mary Grace Gardner, career strategist at The Young Professionista

5. Go on Informational Interviews

“The best way to get a meeting with decision makers is to ask for informational meetings with them. Rather than the ‘hard sell’ of ‘I’m looking for a job, do you know of anything,’ this informational meeting takes the ‘soft-sell’ approach of asking for information and for them to share their story so you gain advice for your job search and career journey. People who are happy in their work generally love to talk about what made them successful, so if you reach out to decision makers and ask for informational meetings, it’s only a matter of time.” —April Klimkiewicz, career coach and owner of bliss evolution

6. Brand Yourself

“You need a brand in the digital age because while your job is what you do, your brand is who you are… By branding yourself properly in the digital age (think: elevator pitch with a digital footprint on LinkedIn), and combining it with true networking strategies, you will rank yourself higher in the job search potential.” —Wendi Weiner, Resume Writer & Career Transition Coach

7. Supplement Online Applications With Offline Efforts

“Sites like Glassdoor provide so much great information about job postings, salaries and company reviews. We’ve never had more good information at our fingertips. But, don’t rely on the internet [entirely]. Hiring managers are bombarded with hundreds of resumes that come in through the internet. When you’re searching, apply online. But, then think about what you can also do offline. For example, do you have contacts at the company that you could network with? Could you reach out to the hiring manager directly? When you connect to the company offline, you become a real person… These straightforward offline steps will put you in the fast lane when it comes to hiring.” —Angela Copeland, career coach

8. Become a Star Performer at Your Current Job

“Assuming you can do the work, the most important differentiator that will land you a sought-after gig is to establish yourself as the positive, collaborative, authentic and trustworthy co-worker/boss everyone would love to have. And you only do that by cultivating professional relationships and acting from a place of authenticity and integrity. Like attracts like, and people who are themselves authentic and trustworthy are looking to hire and work with people who show the same commitment to a positive work environment… show in every interaction you are the type of colleague or boss who keeps her word, values the team and contributes to a positive work environment… Focus on people and opportunities will open up.” —Aurora Meneghello, career coach and founder of Repurpose Your Purpose.

9. Network With Everyone — Not Just the Bigwigs

“I think the most effective networking includes the informal kind which happens in daily life — at your kid’s soccer game, at the dentist’s office, at parties, etc. If someone says, ‘What do you do for work?’ you can say something like ‘I’m a project manager at a large industrial manufacturer but I’m looking to make a move to XYZ, do you know anyone in that industry?’ It may smack of the ‘putting it out into the universe’ kind of advice but you honestly never know who will have a connection for you, so I’m a firm believer in working any and all angles… As a consultant, I’m always interviewing for jobs, in a way, so I treat every baby shower, swim class and vet visit as a chance to meet potential clients and get that job.” —Jill Santopietro-Panall, HR consultant and owner of 21Oak HR Consulting, LLC

10. Use Resume Keywords & Get Referrals

“Companies today receive a high volume of resumes. With the increased use of online applicant tracking systems even among smaller companies, it means the recruiter or hiring manager may not see your resume unless you use just the right keywords… Referrals [also] increase the likelihood that a recruiter will see your resume. If you don’t have a personal connection, use social media to find out who does. Don’t be embarrassed to ask someone to make an introduction on your behalf, people do this all the time. If you’re uncomfortable asking for favors include an easy way for them to say no, like ‘If you’re not comfortable connecting me, I completely understand.’” —Mikaela Kiner, Founder/CEO of UniquelyHR

Via Forbes : Why Your Job Search Isn’t Working — And How To Fix It

Dear Liz,

I’m job hunting, but it’s not going well. I’ve been sending out resumes for months. I’ve filled out 42 online job applications and I’ve only had two interviews. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks,

Jerry


Dear Jerry,

Blasting out resumes and filling out job applications are the two worst ways to get a job. The best ways to get a new job are to use your network, to consult during your job hunt (and even after you get a job) and to reach out to hiring managers directly.

I took a quick peek at your LinkedIn profile.

Your brand is not as strong right now as it could be — or as strong as it needs to be. We can’t tell exactly what you do. Maybe you are trying to keep your options open, but if a hiring manager or recruiter can’t tell from your LinkedIn profile what you’re especially good at, then you won’t look like someone who can relieve whatever pain an organization is feeling.

To brand yourself, you have to commit to a certain family of jobs you are especially well-suited for. Right now, your brand is mushy. “Multi-talented Business Professional” is one of the worst possible branding choices, because nobody has the kind of pain that a “Multi-talented Business Professional” specializes in solving.

Think about what you do especially well and what you love to do. Then, compare those strengths to the job market by reading job ads to see what employers are looking for. When you’re ready, rewrite your LinkedIn profile to focus on a specific career path. That’s where you will begin your job search.

You can read job ads, but don’t reply to job ads you see by filling out an online job application. It is incredibly hard to get noticed in one of those Applicant Tracking Systems. They are made to screen job candidates out — not to screen them in! You’ll have better luck touching base with everyone you know, and letting them know exactly what kinds of jobs you’re looking for.

You can get a consulting business card at Vistaprint or at any office supply store. Once you become a consultant (which only requires you to decide that you are a consultant now) your networking will be easier and more fun. You can talk about the consulting jobs you’re open to performing, rather than having to ask everyone you meet, “Know any companies that are hiring?”

Begin constructing a Target Employer List for your job search. Use a spreadsheet to note each company’s name, location and website URL. Then, use LinkedIn, Google and each organization’s own website to locate your hiring manager in each firm. Your hiring manager is the person who will be your boss if you end up working there.

You’re going to send a very specific letter to each hiring manager on your list.

Mother Nature teaches us the lessons we need to learn. You’ve been spinning your wheels in your job search, but those days are over! You are going to step out of the traditional job search box and take matters into your own hands. Watch how the energy changes when you do!

Yours,

Liz

Via LiveCareer : 14 Quick Tips for Finding a New Job

Unless you are one of the lucky few who works in a high-demand career, finding a new job can be a challenging and frustrating experience. You can make the job search a bit easier on yourself if you use proactive strategies for finding a new job – and the tips for finding a new job included in this article are applicable to all jobseekers, from those just starting out to experienced candidates who need a quick refresher.

Here are some of my best tips for finding a new job at any career level.

1. Get clear on what you want

Before starting your job search, take the time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and the type of work you enjoy doing. The better you know yourself, the more likely you’ll find a new job that provides you with greater satisfaction. What do you want in a job? What’s most important, title, money, promotion, the work itself, location, or company culture?

2. Research your target companies

Once you know what you want, it’s time to find out what the companies you’re applying for want. A great tip for finding a new job is to investigate a company’s Glassdoor page. It will help you get a feel for their company culture, figure out what questions they commonly ask in interviews, and even discover what salary you’re likely to be paid.

Your resume is still one of the most critical tools of a job search. One of my best tips for finding a new job is to have an achievement-oriented resume that includes quantifiable achievements that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

3. Tailor your resume to each job

Your resume is still one of the most critical tools of a job search. A lot of resumes I see are full of responsibilities (instead of tangible achievements) and jobseekers send the same resume to various openings. One of my best tips for finding a new job is to have an achievement-oriented resume that includes quantifiable achievements that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Make yourself an obvious fit. Study the words and phrases that are used in the job description? Make sure you include them in your resume (provided you have that experience, of course). Tailor your resume to each job – the recruiter should know within a few seconds of looking at your resume that you have the skills they are looking for.

4. Create your online career brand

Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web can find it. Most recruiters, including myself, use LinkedIn as their primary search tool and if you’re a professional, you need to be using LinkedIn to your full advantage. It’s a great resource for finding people working at companies that interest you and also for positioning yourself to be found by recruiters and hiring managers with relevant openings.

5. Get organized

Before you start applying for jobs or interviewing with employers, take a moment to develop a system that works for you in organizing your job search. A simple spreadsheet works best for many to keep a track of the jobs you’ve applied for, where you have been invited to interview, etc.

6. Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of contacts

For the vast majority of jobseekers, a large and strong network of contacts — people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking – in person and online – is essential to your success in your job search.

It also helps you to get a good idea of what is out there and available, so you can be more strategic in your job search. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn, and if you know someone working at a company that interests you, ask for a referral. Hiring managers would prefer to interview people who came recommended before sorting through the resumes arriving via a career website.

7. Don’t limit yourself to online applications

If you rely only on submitting online applications, you could be looking for a job for a very long time. By the time you apply, the company might be in the final interview stage, or the job might have even been filled. Contact companies that interest you directly – you might get in contact with an internal recruiter or schedule informational interviews with people who work in those companies. Ideally, you want to be known to the people who might influence you getting your foot in the door.

8. Aim to complete a few job-related goals daily

It takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.

9. Be kind to yourself

Looking for a job can be stressful. So, take some time to meditate, exercise, watch a movie or whatever it is that helps you unwind. Create a good support network – having people to brainstorm with or vent your frustrations to will help the process be less painful.

10. Develop examples and stories that showcase your skills

This is one of the main tips for finding a new job. People remember stories, so your goal should be developing a set of interview stories you can use in networking meetings or job interviews that clearly demonstrate your skills, achievements, and passion for your work. Be memorable! Using stories (use the STAR format) may also help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself.

11. Prepare for all job interviews

Before you get called for your first interview, develop responses for common interview questions, and then practice them — ideally using the mock-interviewing technique with a friend, network contact, or interview coach. The more prepared you are for the interview, the more comfortable you’ll be – and the more likely you’ll succeed.

For the vast majority of jobseekers, a large and strong network of contacts — people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking – in person and online – is essential to your success in your job search.

12. Write thank-you notes after interviews to all interviewers

A quick note (by email is fine) of thanks that emphasizes your interest and fit with the job and employer will not get you the job offer, but it will help make you stand out from the majority of jobseekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy.

13. Continue following up with hiring managers

Your work is not done once the interview is complete or the thank-you note sent. Following up with the hiring manager regularly shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The key is doing so in a way that is professional while not making you sound pesky or needy.

14. Expect the job search to take longer than you think

You can hope to have a new job within a short period, but the likely reality is that it might take months to find the right opportunity and get offered the position. You should mentally prepare yourself for a long battle — and then you can be happily surprised if you are one of the lucky few whose job search is short.

5 Final Thoughts on Finding a New Job

Here a few other tips for finding a new job if your job search situation does not fit the typical model – if conditions are such that finding employment will be unusually hard.

First, having both a positive attitude and outlook is extremely important. Employers can sense desperation and despair; organizations want to hire positive and competent people. If you’ve been unemployed for a long period and depressed or recently downsized and angry, find a way to shrug it off when job hunting or you will only be hurting yourself.

Second, if you’re an older worker trying to find a job, you may face age discrimination. Among the ways to proactively counter any issues about your age are to limit the number of years of experience you list on your resume (by keeping to the last 10-15 years), eliminate dates in the education section of your resume, and focus on adaptability and flexibility in the interview.

Third, remember that you may need additional training or experience, especially if you are entering a new career field.

Fourth, you may need to consider temping or volunteering for a short period to gain experience and build network contacts that can lead to a full-time position.

Fifth, in the most extreme cases, you may need to consider relocation to a place that has a higher concentration of jobs in your field.

Hope you’ve found these tips for finding a new job useful. I’d love to hear what you’re going to change in your job search after reading this article.

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