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How to start job search
The job search process can be intimidating and daunting for most job seekers, regardless of their level of experience or career path. From freshly graduated professionals applying to entry-level jobs to seasoned veterans with years of experience looking to advance their careers, the job search process can demotivate professionals if not done correctly. But that doesn’t have to be the case when you’re looking for a new job. When you use the right strategies, the online job search process can be exciting and lead to a great full-time employment opportunity. On this page, we’ll cover the right steps to begin your job hunt including:
- The strategies you should follow for finding a job
- How to carry out a job search and land your next position quickly
- The top places to search for jobs online
- How to find a job in a field that you actually like
5 Tips for starting your job search
Many people these days are in a frantic hurry to find their next job and therefore don’t have a well-thought-out plan in place when applying to a job opening. You may have been recently terminated from your current job or quit on your own but that doesn’t mean your job-hunting process should suffer because of a hasty approach.
Step 1: Know the job application process inside and out
The first step to finding a new job is to make sure you are ready for the application process once you are presented with the perfect job opportunity. This includes making sure that your resume is up-to-date and correctly formatted. ResumeHelp experts have gathered the most important job tips, career tips and interview tips to help you stand out among the competition, so check out our career resources to start.
Step 2: Figure out what you truly want from your new job
What is your dream job? Prioritize the things that are important to you. Will you be looking for a part-time or full-time job at a small business or large corporation? Whether that’s salary, job title or job location, if you don’t have your priorities straight, you’ll end up in a job that won’t make you happy. Define what field is in your best interest and perform online job searches for the specific job title. If you fine-tune the fields you’re interested in, this will drastically improve your job search process.
Step 3: Make sure your resume and cover letters are ship-shape
There is no reason to start creating a resume or cover letter from scratch. ResumeHelp professional resume templates, cover letter templates, resume examples and cover letter examples give you a great jump start. Even more helpful is our Resume Builder and Cover Letter Builder, which makes the resume and cover letter writing process quicker and easier. Our builders guide you every step of the way as you fill in your information, and your professional resume and cover letter are built before your eyes.
Step 4: Don’t restrict your job search to one avenue
Besides performing a job search online, you can also use networking, visit career fairs, seek referrals and seek out informational interviews from industry professionals. Networking is a great way to share your experience and learn about available job opportunities. Attend career fairs and visit booths for the important companies in your specific industry. Be sure to bring updated resumes to share with potential employers. Seek referrals from your former managers, clients and colleagues or professors if you are just starting out in your career. Setting up informational interviews are a great way to learn more about your field and at the same time make a great impression on potential employers.
Step 5: Keep yourself organized as you apply for jobs
We strongly recommend you keep a running list of the jobs that you are applying for. This will help you stay organized and avoid the embarrassment of applying for the same job at the same company. It also helps you keep track of the potential employers that may read your application, resume and cover letter and contact you for more information. Should you be caught off guard and asked any questions, you’ll want to recall exactly what the job requirements were for each position that you applied for. It also helps to have your company research handy so you can refer to it when necessary.
6 ways to avoid sabotaging your job search
Anyone who wants to stay active in the corporate world needs to understand the trends that are shaping job hunting and utilize those trends to make their own job hunt more productive but if you’re not paying enough attention, you could be applying for the wrong jobs, not showing off your best skills, or end up getting burned out during the process. Here are some ways to make the job search easier and to get the right employer’s attention.
1. Start with a plan
Remember that the job you’re looking for is out there somewhere, it can be helpful to try to envision the culture of your workplace, its geographic location and the exact nature of your role so you know what to look for. This step is essential in helping you know what types of jobs you want to apply for. Applying for any and all openings will only wear you out and lead to discouragement. Focus instead on jobs you believe you will enjoy and places where your skills will be utilized and appreciated.
2. Update your resume
Spend an hour or so to go over your resume with fresh eyes, adding any new work history, education, skills or achievements that will be relevant. Have a standard resume you can submit anywhere, but when possible, cater your resume to the specific position you are applying for. Save copies of these for future use; specific resumes can often be quickly updated to target a similar job title.
3. Get networking
If you have not already, reach out and talk to recruiters by signing up for the business networking site, LinkedIn, and begin finding connections so you can build your network. According to Forbes, over 97 percent of responding recruiters in a poll said they used LinkedIn to help their recruiting efforts. If you have the time, add Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but be careful not to spread yourself too thin. In this digital age, online networking is one of the most effective ways to search for jobs. You can also get involved in local community groups and make contacts with similar hobbies and career interests that way.
4. Take rejection in the right spirit
This doesn’t mean taking every no for an answer. If you think your rejection may have been based on incomplete or missing information, follow up. Ask politely (just one time) for the rationale behind the decision, and ask what you could have done to produce a different outcome. When a no is truly final, move on. Don’t take either form of rejection personally.
5. Take a class
The internet is an informational resource that can be used to expand your educational background and has raised the general level of awareness around the world. Education is extremely important but this doesn’t necessarily mean traditional college programs, trade schools are great job opportunity openers and even those with degrees should still do a certification class or online program to stay current in their field. Taking classes and seminars also puts you in touch with a wide variety of people which can boost your career network.
6. Leverage social media
Social media is an excellent way for you to present your qualifications to the world and start making contact with people who can help you with your job hunt.You also have to become an expert at maintaining your online reputation if you want to move up into better-paying jobs. Your social media accounts are your personal brand on the web and you need to ensure that they reflect what you want employers to see. A certification or badge on your LinkedIn or a highlight from a recent career fair can help boost your profile and give you a recent experience even if you’re out of the workforce.
Don’t take any chances with your resume and your credentials. ResumeHelp will give you the resources you need to create a professional resume, hiring managers now expect every resume to have a professional format and a clean look. Let ResumeHelp be your secret weapon in getting the job you deserve and have been waiting for.
Search for a job online: Popular sites
Identifying job boards that cater specifically to your industry ensures that you have a large pool of opportunities to choose from. In addition, identifying recruiters or temp agencies that place candidates in your industry is another great way to stay in the loop. Finally, identify three companies that you’d love to work for and peruse their job boards regularly to ensure you’re among the first to know when a great position opens up.
Simply typing “job search sites” into Google will present you with numerous sites to aid your job search. Rather than visit every single site that appears in your search results, narrow down the sites and tools you use and focus on them. The most commonly used ways to search for jobs online are LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. You can also use Google to job search and apply for jobs. Use Google’s “Jobs” feature to show you a list of all the available job posts in your area. To do this, go to Google and perform a simple search like “job + Project Manager job.” Using Google’s Job feature will show you a list of links for all the available project manager jobs in your area. It’s a great tool to use to slash the time you invest daily on job searching, regardless of your profession or industry. In addition, because all the jobs you’re interested in show up immediately, Google is a good tool for maximizing your job search results.
Facebook is not only a tool for connecting with friends and family but also for landing jobs as well. Many companies today use Facebook Marketplace to post jobs, so there are an endless number of excellent job posts you can apply to. You can find a large number of job opportunities across many industries. You can use Facebook to join groups and fan pages to network with other professionals and find your next job.
LinkedIn is another good way to search for jobs because of the quality of job posts and the extensive network available on the platform. LinkedIn is a social media platform tailored to professionals, so it only makes sense that it will be the best tool to use for your job search. In addition, LinkedIn is best for applying to professional jobs because of its reputable professional network.
ZipRecruiter can help you make valuable connections with employers, as it provides job seekers with a large amount of job opportunities for both big and small companies. ZipRecruiter also pitches job candidates to recruiters and hiring managers.
Zippia aggregates over a million open job postings each month and combines them with proprietary data on salaries, companies and job-based metrics to provide guidance on applying for jobs. It also offers salary information based on location, industry, experience and education level so you don’t have to go into salary negotiations blind.
Glassdoor helps job candidates that are looking for a new job by offering career resources to help during every stage of the hiring process. Glassdoor provides research and reviews on the jobs and companies that you are considering applying and working for.
SimplyHired is a job website that allows job candidates to search for job opportunities, view salary information by job title, research big and small companies, and gain insights about the job market based on location.
Linkup indexes millions of global job openings from employer websites daily while also providing information and analytics about job markets. This data is delivered to clients globally across industries to help employers evaluate labor demand, understand trends, predict job growth and decline, and more.
If you’re looking for hourly job opportunities, Snagajob lists hourly work and uses matching technology that recommends workers to companies.
The Ladders offers its members the necessary resources to “ladder up” their careers to take the next steps in their $100K-$500K+ careers. The site is designed for high-end employers and high-end talent. Members are experienced specialists across many industries. The site also offers members job application services, company and salary information and advice.
Craigslist is another site that job seekers can visit to perform a quick job search by title, industry and location. It’s a good resource for finding jobs near you in a wide range of industries from part-time to full-time positions, temporary and permanent gigs, and consulting and freelance opportunities.
USAJOBS is a job site that provides federal employment opportunities across the United States and around the world. It is the federal government’s official employment site, sharing job openings with job seekers while at the same time, matching qualified applicants to available government jobs in federal agencies and organizations.
Joblist aims to transform the job-seeking experience by matching job candidates with the most relevant job opportunities and employers. The site also provides tools and tips throughout the job search process. A potential employer can connect directly with qualified job candidates.
On Indeed.com, job seekers can upload a resume, search for jobs and create job alert emails. The website offers a large assortment of job listings from major job boards, newspapers, associations and company career pages. Some employers post exclusive job opportunities directly to Indeed. If you’re unsure about a company, the site provides reviews you can read to help make your decision.
FAQ: Job search
Q: What is the best job site search?
There is no definitive “best” job search engine but rather many sites available to you to sign up for. Remember, you don’t need to visit countless job sites to apply for jobs. Visit each site and see what each has to offer. Then, narrow down your list and focus on sites that have the most job opportunities and career resources that match your job title and industry. The most commonly used ways to search for jobs online are LinkedIn, Facebook and Google.
Q: Which job field is right for me?
The job field that’s right for you is the one that fits best with your skill set, interests and education. If nothing really captures your interest or you’re looking for a new start, there are a lot of career assessments that are readily available online and are intended to guide you in choosing a career path. Another way to figure out a career you would enjoy is to think about your hobbies and the skills required to perform them and find a job with similar requirements.
Q: How to get a job with no experience and no skills?
While you may not have traditional work experience, you DO have skills! Hard, soft and technical skills can come from a variety of learned experiences like the classroom, volunteer work, internships, clubs, sports, babysitting, camp counseling or seasonal positions. The outside interests you have can also be a great way to hone your skills as DIY crafts, writing, cooking and design help with planning capacity, focus and creativity — also essential elements in the workforce.
Q: What should I do if I'm having trouble finding a job?
Besides searching online for the job title that you are looking to gain employment with, you can also reach out to your connections and industry colleagues. This can be accomplished by posting on your social media platforms, sending emails or even calling your contacts by phone. Job opportunities come available on a daily basis so stay focused until an open vacancy is presented to you. Also, be sure that your current resume and cover letter are not sabotaging your job search.
Q: How do I find a job in my field?
Search online using the most descriptive terms and keywords about the job title, industry and location that you are interested in. Then, one by one, visit those job sites. For example, Indeed.com may offer you a plethora of job postings in your search result. Read through each job description carefully and only apply to those that match your skill level, qualifications and experience. If provided, you can also select possible job postings that match your salary requirements.
Q: What is the first step in any job search?
Prep or update your Resume. Your resume is the staple of your job hunt and it’s the thing that employers and recruiters are most interested in. No matter the level of work experience you have or how long you’ve been out of the workforce, there’s a resume format that can highlight your best attributes.
Q: How do I get started in job search?
First, update your resume to include all your relevant skills and accomplishments. Perform a self-assessment to figure out your skills and what career you want. Review your social media accounts to ensure your profiles are presentable for any potential employers to look at. Join LinkedIn and begin following important companies in your industry.
Q: What are some mistakes I should avoid in my job search?
One mistake you can avoid is to not start a job search and apply to everything from job search engines that slightly interest you before knowing what you want. Also, don’t send the same resume and cover letter to multiple posts in the labor market. Always customize your job application materials to fit the particular job you’re applying to. And lastly, don’t wait for the perfect job post to appear before applying. Even if a job isn’t 100% what you’re looking for, it’s a good experience to go through the job application process and potentially get practice with job interview questions.