Searching for a new job is something that most people do not want to do for various reasons. Perhaps the job interview process is terrifying or you just don’t know how to find good jobs. Though these things are certainly valid, the truth is, job hunting doesn’t have to be daunting. With a few tools and a strategy, landing a new position can be not only simple but enjoyable. Here are some of my top tips for securing a new job.
Securing A New Job #1: The Matching Game
Understanding what makes you a good candidate for any job is the first step in having the confidence to put yourself out there. It’s important to be savvy at putting your experience, strengths, and knowledge into words that will be found by potential employers. When I say “words” I mean keywords. Yes, those little things that help websites and articles be found on the Internet are the same ones that will help your resume be found.
Employers use software and job posting sites to weed through the hundreds or thousands of applicants. If you don’t have matching keywords on your resume or cover letter, you won’t even have the chance to wow them with your experience. I recommend scouring each company’s ad and picking out some key phrases that you feel are a match to your experience. Use these in the resume you submit to that company. Don’t forget to change the wording for each company.
Securing A New Job #2: The Cover Letter
If you manage to get a hiring manager’s attention with the keywords, you better have some savvy copy to keep them engaged. A part of this process might include a cover letter. Again, I recommend having a different one for each company to which you apply. This is where you can shine with specific knowledge of their company and how you are a good match. A good cover letter also shows a little personality that is often absent in a resume.
Fortunately, you will be able to find business, trade, professional, or teacher cover letter examples online for ideas. I don’t recommend copying anything you find. Instead, use them as inspiration to create a cover letter that is your style and represents who you are.
Securing A New Job #3: Keep It Simple and Specific
Even if you have been working for years and have tons of experience, keep your resume as simple as possible. It isn’t necessary to include every job task or even those long-ago jobs for that matter. When it comes to stating your experience and even work history, stick to the most relevant and recent. Again, if you focused on matching your skills to the right companies, you will already have the important stuff highlighted. Use phrases that target the most impressive things you’ve done. If possible, quantify your successes with statistics or numbers.
Securing A New Job #4: Practice the Interview
If you want to look and sound like a seasoned pro, I recommend rehearsing your interview. Even if you don’t have anyone to actually ask you practice questions, look in the mirror and go over what you want to say. I know it can be hard to know what you will be asked, but you can prepare for most of the basic questions up front. Questions like “what are your strengths?” or “how do you handle stress?” are good to have several responses to. I also recommend practicing your questions to them. Have some good ones that are specific to the company. Keep in mind, employers are also looking for personality as well. Don’t ask or answer questions like a robot.
Securing A New Job #5: Don’t Give Up
After you’ve applied for some jobs and even interviewed, it’s important to keep your eyes open for any new positions that might interest you. If you wait for each company to get back to you before you apply for a new position, it will extend your timeframe for an actual hire. If you happen to get a rejection letter from a company, don’t give up your search. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong or aren’t a good candidate. It just means you weren’t the one they were looking for. Remember, you don’t want to be somewhere you don’t fit in. The right position will come if you don’t quit.