Looking for a new job can seem like a full-time gig: You can quickly get sucked into hours of searching online for opportunities, sometimes without feeling like you’re making much progress.
Consider approaching your job search with a strategic focus, using these three methods:
Create (or update) a LinkedIn profile. Find yourself with more time at home? Take advantage of the hours by becoming more familiar with LinkedIn, a social media platform with more than 575 million users across the globe. You can use it to find a job, connect with people in your industry and (if you sign up for premium access) take advantage of other job-search features, such as resume creation. LinkedIn will walk you through all the steps to set up your profile.
You’ll be more likely to impress others viewing your profile if you actively participate, so post a great profile photo, complete the key sections, and start following individuals and organizations that inspire you (or that you would love to work for).
Understand Applicant Tracking Systems. Most medium-to-large sized employers use application tracking systems (ATS) as a tool to collect, sort, scan and rank job applications before a human will even take a look. To work the system to your advantage, create your resume as a simple Word document. Stick to bullet points that highlight your relevant experience and skills and avoid fancy graphics. Carefully read the job description and, if possible, use the same words in your resume that have been outlined by the employer—and that means updating and tweaking your resume for each job. Online tools such as Jobscan can help you tailor your resume to beat the bots.
Keep track of your applications and contacts with a spreadsheet. Staying organized will make you feel more capable and in control of the job-search process. Use Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or even a Microsoft Word document to keep track of company names, contacts, jobs you have applied for, or plan to apply for, along with due dates and follow-up actions.
TRY THESE JOB SEARCH ENGINES
Set up job alerts on several search engines so that you are notified when a new job opening is posted. Some of the most widely used job search engines to try:
- Indiana Career Connect
- Indeed Job Search
- Glassdoor Jobs
- Robert Half
MAKE IT PERSONAL: THE BEST JOB HUNT STARTS WITH WHO YOU KNOW
You’ve heard the saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That advice isn’t completely true—what you know does matter, a lot. But having connections to others is a primary way to connect to career opportunities.
Make a list of all your past bosses, educators, colleagues and anyone who might be able to give you a positive recommendation. Reach out to them through LinkedIn and write LinkedIn recommendations for current or former colleagues. A friendly phone call or email will let them know you are thinking about them. Ask for their advice and offer your own words of encouragement. Worried that everyone you know is also struggling or looking for work? Then expand your network to people you don’t know well—leaders in your community, place of worship, industry groups, service clubs—and bring your friends