Like everything else these days, the process of finding a job is evolving fast. Here’s what you need to know about applying and interviewing today.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the job market by forcing people out of jobs and causing others to reconsider their career. It also made remote work more common, which means candidates from all over the country might be applying for that job at the company a mile from your house. You can play that game, too, but remember that being able to work onsite might give you an advantage. The bottom line? There’s more competition than ever, but there are also lots of companies hiring. Be ready to articulate your specific skills and anything that sets you apart.
Networking is still king
A high percentage of jobs are never advertised, so don’t hesitate to use your entire universe of friends and connections to track down openings and give yourself an advantage in the hiring process. Once you’re aware of a position, check your LinkedIn account to see if you know someone at the company who can help get your resume noticed. An internal referral—even by someone you don’t know well—can give you a leg up.
LinkedIn is a close second
It’s a lot like in-person networking, but it gives you a way to connect with people you don’t know, too. With almost 800 million users, LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest professional networks. Set up an account for free and use it to find a job, connect with people in your chosen industry and (if you’re able to pay for premium service) take advantage of other job-search features.
Other places to look
You can set up job alerts on most job search engines. Here are some common ones:
- Indiana Career Connect
- Indeed Job Search
- Glassdoor Jobs
- Robert Half
Understand Applicant Tracking Systems
If you’re applying for jobs at medium-to-large-sized companies and you don’t have an insider referral, make sure your resume is noticed by understanding Applicant Tracking Systems. ATS is a tool big employers use to sort, scan and rank job applications before a live person ever takes a look. To make ATS work in your favor, create a simple resume in a Word document. Stick with bullet points that highlight your strengths, and steer clear of fancy graphics. Use words that you find in the employer’s job description. That means updating and tweaking your resume for every job you apply for. Online tools like Jobscan.com can help tailor your resume and improve your chances.