Job Search

Top 5 Keys to a Better Job Search

It’s hard to overstate how much job searching has changed in the last 20+ years, especially given recent upheavals (since Covid). Because of this, it’s important to make sure your strategy is up-to-date. We see far too many people still sharing tips that stopped being useful decades ago.

With that in mind, here are 5 keys to a better job search in the 2020s.

Adjust Your Attitude

First, make sure you’re in the correct head space, or it will throw off your entire search. If you’re not, it’s like trying to find North with a broken compass.

No matter why you’re looking for a new position, you must avoid a desperate mindset. That can be a tall order. It’s tough to “play it cool” when you’re out of work, with bills to pay. That said, people will take advantage and make things worse.

Through the entire process, remind yourself that you have something to offer, and will only consider positions that offer you something real in return.

Get Set Up

Create a space for your job search headquarters. It could be a home office or the corner of a bedroom. Whatever you can put together. Equip it a computer, paper for taking notes, and anything else you need to keep yourself organized.

Next, set up your online presence.

  • Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, it’s time to make one. If you do, make sure it’s current (and optimized).
  • Get your accounts established, or updated, on career sites as well (Monster, CareerBuilder, Glass Door, etc.).
  • Make sure you’re set up to use all the popular video conferencing software (Teams, Google, etc.). A lot of companies use these platforms for at least the first interview.

Once your HQ is ready to roll, so are you!

Define What You Offer

What do you offer, in skills and experience, to a potential employer? Almost all professional careers, like engineer or lawyer, have defined skills employers look for.

Not everyone has that advantage, and may need to dig deeper. Look over your experience to figure out the full range of your abilities. This will include qualities such as:

  • You can organize people from different groups or departments in a project.
  • You’re the first one people call when there’s a crisis.
  • You have a talent for creating order out of chaos.

Ask the opinion of people you’ve worked with. You may discover strengths you didn’t know you had.

Now, list those strengths and tie them to specific accomplishments. Some examples could be:

  • I used my organization skills to smooth out a communication problem that was making deliveries late.
  • I cut time out of development by coming up with a new process.
  • I teamed up with a support team member to cut cost out of a product.

You’ll use this content to sell yourself to prospective employers.

Network Like Crazy

Once upon a time, networking was all about conventions, events, mixers, etc. Now, tools like LinkedIn have made networking a 24/7 operation.

No matter what’s going on in the economy, companies have problems to solve. You’re going to advertise yourself as a problem solver. Send out connection requests to decision makers and post on your timeline every day about what you offer.

In fact, do it multiple times a day. Your posts disappear from peoples’ timelines after a short period, so keep putting something out there to show up.

Instead of responding to jobs alone, you’re reaching out to key people. This can open opportunities you might have never considered before.

And yes, keep sending your resume to job postings and make sure you connect with recruiters. A solid agency will still have leads you’d never find on your own.

Get Interviewing

Odds are, you’ll interview with many companies before settling on a destination. The goal is to get multiple interview threads going, leading to multiple offers, so you can choose which opportunity suits you best.

There are countless resources with interview tips, whether they’re on-site or remote. Whatever tactics you go with, keep at it until you finish the job. No matter how well an interview goes, don’t count it as a done deal until you sign the offer letter.

Keeping with these 5 Keys gives you the best opportunity to land a new role that moves not only your career, but also your life, in the right direction. Good luck!

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