11 Tips to Advance Your Job Search
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Preparing for a job search can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’ve already been hunting for a while without success.
Don’t get discouraged: remote work has opened new opportunities for talented people all around the world, but it also made it harder to cut through the noise and identify the perfect opportunities that match your values and career plans. It takes time to plan and organize your job search, but a strategic approach to this task can help you land your dream job.
Here are some steps to prepare for a job search.
Assess your skills and interests
Assessing your skills and interests is an important step in preparing for a job search because it helps you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, which can guide you in finding a job that matches your skills and interests.
To assess your skills, create a list of your abilities, including technical, interpersonal, and leadership skills. You can also consider your work experience and the tasks you enjoyed and excelled at in your past jobs. To make sure you’re objective in creating this list, consult your former managers and co-workers.
Regarding interests, think about what motivates you and what you are passionate about. Consider the type of work environment you thrive in, such as a fast-paced or collaborative environment. By assessing your skills and interests, you can focus your job search on positions that align with your strengths and passions, increasing your chances of finding a fulfilling job.
Update your resume
If you want to impress potential employers, your resume should be up-to-date, well-presented, and concise, so it's essential to ensure it highlights your skills, experience, and accomplishments.
A well-crafted resume should be easy to read and tailored to the specific job you are applying for. As you update your resume, consider your recent work experience, including any new skills or responsibilities you've gained. Use strong action verbs and specific examples to showcase your achievements, but don’t go overboard with power words and make the resume sound unnatural.
Your resume reflects you and what you bring to the table—it’s a marketing document more than anything else! So, don’t sell yourself short, and take the time to craft a compelling presentation that tells your story and shows potential employers why you're the right candidate for the job.
Create a strong, customizable cover letter template
Many job applications will require a cover letter, so creating a cover letter template can be an excellent way to save time while customizing your job applications to specific roles. A cover letter is a chance to showcase your personality and tell your story beyond the bullet points on your resume.
With a well-designed template, you can highlight your skills and experience in a way that speaks directly to the company's needs and the position you are applying for. While a template provides a structure, it's important to tailor each letter to the specific job you're applying for. Don’t fall into the trap of sending the same cover letter to every prospective employer, because that gives an impression of a candidate who’s not serious about wanting to work in their company.
Start by researching the company and reading the job description carefully. Then, incorporate specific examples and language that align with the company's mission, values, and requirements. A strong cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and show potential employers that you're qualified and genuinely interested in the job.
Build your network
They say that it’s who you know and not what you know, and that’s why networking is so important when job hunting. Your professional network is a valuable resource that can help you learn about job opportunities, provide referrals, and offer valuable advice and support throughout the job search process.
Networking can take many forms, including attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and connecting with colleagues on social media platforms like your LinkedIn profile. You can also contact former colleagues, mentors, and other professionals in your field to build relationships and gather information about potential job openings.
While building your network may take time and effort, the benefits are worth it, opening doors to opportunities you may not have otherwise known about. Keep in mind that networking is not about asking for a job outright but building relationships that may lead to future opportunities.
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Research potential employers to prepare better
Identify companies that align with your values, offer growth opportunities, and fit your skills and interests well. You can discover such employers by researching companies to learn more about their mission, values, culture, and potential job opportunities.
You can use resources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and the company's website to gather information and gain insights into what it's like to work there. Consider the company's industry, size, location, and any recent news or developments that may be relevant.
By researching companies, you can better understand the job market and increase your chances of finding a job that aligns with your career goals. Additionally, when you apply for a job, you can use the information you've gathered to tailor your application and demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the company.
Follow up on job applications
Once you have identified job opportunities that align with your skills and interests, you must submit a well-crafted application showcasing your qualifications and experience.
After you apply, follow up with the employer to demonstrate your interest in the position and ask any questions you may have. Post-application follow-ups are a powerful tool to ensure your resume is top of recruiters’ minds, and it will prove your interest in the company. Don't go overboard; one or two follow-up emails are enough.
Narrow down your list of go-to job boards
Not all job boards are created equal, and it’s important to identify a good job board from a bad one.
A good job board typically offers a variety of legitimate job opportunities and is affiliated with reputable companies and organizations. The job postings include clear information about the job duties, requirements, and compensation, and the company or organization posting the job should be easily identifiable. A good job board should also have an easy-to-use interface, with search options that allow you to filter jobs by location, industry, and other relevant criteria.
On the other hand, scam job boards may have job postings that sound too good or require you to pay a fee to access job listings. They may also ask for personal information upfront or use high-pressure tactics to get you to apply for a job quickly. It's essential to research and read reviews before using a job board to ensure that you use a reputable and trustworthy resource.
Consider the following reputable job boards and job search sites as a starting point to get a job that suits your professional interests.
- Indeed - covers a wide range of industries and job offers
- Monster - offers great usability and high-quality jobs
- Glassdoor - provides great employer research opportunities
- FlexJobs - highlights remote work opportunities
- Wellfound - includes job opportunities with startups
- LinkedIn - connects job seekers with recruiters and hiring managers
Organize your applications for easy tracking
Creating a spreadsheet can help you keep track of the positions you've applied for, the date you applied, and the status of each application. You can also include notes about the company and any contacts you have made during the job search process.
Organizing applications with a spreadsheet can help you stay organized, identify which applications require follow-up, and avoid applying for the same position twice. It also offers valuable insights into your job search progress and may help you identify patterns in the types of jobs you're applying for and the success rate of your applications.
Use mobile apps
Many job search apps offer features such as job alerts and notifications, the ability to apply for jobs directly from your phone, and the ability to save job postings for later. You can also use mobile apps to research companies, read reviews from current and former employees, and connect with other professionals in your field.
Some job search apps even use artificial intelligence to match you with jobs that align with your skills and interests. Using mobile apps to search for jobs, you can maximize your job search efforts and increase your chances of finding your dream job.
Research companies before applying
By researching companies, you can learn more about their mission, values, and culture and gain insights into potential job opportunities. You can use resources such as the company's website, social media, and online reviews to gather information and understand what working there is like.
Understanding the company's values and culture can also help you to tailor your application and demonstrate why you would be a good fit for the organization. Additionally, researching companies can help you identify potential red flags and avoid applying for jobs that don't align with your values or goals.
Attend job fairs and networking events
Job fairs provide an opportunity to meet with multiple employers in one place, learn about job opportunities, and make valuable connections. Brush shoulders with other professionals in your field, build relationships, and gain insights into potential job opportunities. These events allow you to showcase your skills and make a positive impression on potential employers.
Before attending a job fair or networking event, it's important to do your research and prepare an elevator pitch that highlights your skills, experience, and career goals. Dress professionally, bring copies of your resume, and make sure to follow up with any potential leads or connections you make.
Master job hunting with more tips and resources
Deel helps connect the best workers with the best talent worldwide. Whether you’re a direct employee, EOR employee, or independent contractor, we make working from wherever easy—and that starts with the job search.
In this content series, we share articles, templates, and guides to help job seekers and new hires navigate the world of work. Stay tuned for more actionable career advice and tips on navigating the interview process.