Regardless of your employment type or experience, a new job search can become an overwhelming situation for anyone. Hitting the job market can be nerve wracking for many reasons. Whether it be a need for money to pay the bills or the nature of uncertain times; searching for a new job can become a job in it of itself.
Depending on what kind of job you are looking for, you might find it difficult getting hired immediately. Finding a good, well-paid job can take time and effort to sift through all potential options.
Although job hunting can be stressful, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for job openings to stand out for potential employers. Between updating your resume, speaking with the right people to forge relationships with and proactively pursuing opportunities; you can put yourself in the right position to succeed.
1. Reflect on Your Experience
One helpful thing you can do is log your experiences in a journal or notebook. Keeping track of different work cases, hardships or obstacles you have overcome and inspirational break-through moments will help you teach yourself lessons along the way.
Although your resume will list your work experiences, physically writing out your background will help give you a better idea of what you bring to the table and the value you are worth. You might not think of yourself as an asset, but that is how you need to treat yourself moving forward. The more knowledge you can absorb, the more information you can learn and apply towards real-world situations.
As you start to acquire new specialized skills, the more irreplaceable you become. Paint the picture you want your potential employers to see and be that person you want to be.
2. Stay in Touch
Relationships have been, and always will be the key ingredient to a successful career. Communicating with colleagues is always suggested when working within an organization; both work-related talk and social banter is always encouraged. It is helpful to learn about your friends, family members and colleagues to give you a better connection with the individual.
Finding relatable topics to bounce around and create conversation is a natural way to build rapport with others. It cannot be stressed enough how helpful relationships can be for a person. Whether you are searching for a business partner or a new job, an introduction from a mutual connection is always a good way to boost your chances of success.
Even if you are not in a formal work-related setting, you can still find ways to meet new people and build meaningful relationships in informal settings. Informal introductions at a bar or restaurant can go a long way, sometimes further than a formal introduction. Why? Because formal introductions can seem like a chore for people. Yes, they might be happy to make an introduction for you, but sometimes you can’t force it. Formal introductions typically comes with added pressure to deliver results while an informal introduction is simply a friendly conversation.
Social media was designed for the specific purpose of networking with your friends, family, classmates and colleagues. Social networking is a great way to promote yourself and seek out new opportunities that might exist.
Social media has opened up new doors for anyone willing to knock. With the ability to tag, direct message and even video chat with other people, even strangers; you can expand your network with anyone in the world.
Use social media to your advantage and sift through your network online. You will be surprised to see how many people you know. Never underestimate the power of using social media to find a new job. This does not mean you will get hired for posting a picture of your dog on Instagram. But it means you can tell a story through your media profiles and formulate the right message you want to get across to your audience.
The more networking you do, the more chances you give yourself to find the right connection. There are great networking events and online tools to help you expand your connections. Building a rolodex with well-connected contacts is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your future-self.
Although you might feel awkward attending an event at first, once you break the ice it will come natural to you. You shouldn’t feel like conversations are forced at events. Instead, you should actively pursue learning about other people who attend these events. This will help you become interested and proactively help you forge relationships with new people.
Catch-Up With Old Friends
Everybody has a busy schedule these days, so it’s hard to keep in touch with everyone. You never know what other people are up to, so it is always good to catch-up with old friends. Whether they are from high school, college, fellow teammates or old co-workers; catching-up with old friends is highly recommended. Some of the most prestigious job opportunities become available to those with strong alumni relations.
Although you might not think it is fare, it is rare to see a person get hired for a position over another candidate who was referred to by a close friend. Referrals by friends are often the hidden secret to getting your foot in the door with a company.
3. Be Clear About What You Want
Avoid beating around the bush and don’t play games with yourself. Be clear about where you want your career to go in the future. Being clear about what you want and what you are looking for will help narrow your job search to zone-in on the best opportunities available. When you have a clear and concise idea of what you want, you’ll be able to make a plan of action to reach your goals.
Don’t hesitate to ask for what you want, you never know what the outcome might lead to. Some companies like when a potential candidate speaks up for themself. It shows courage and confidence in yourself to know what you want. This does not mean employers will always deliver on your desires, but it will show them you are serious about moving forward in your career.
4. Brand Yourself
Don’t be shy when you are branding yourself, this is where you can brag a bit. Take advantage of your resume to list all of your education, work experiences and any relevant extra curricular activities that you have been apart of over the course of your life.
Creating a strong persona for potential employers can include a well-detailed resume, cover letter and even an online portfolio. You can find many free website design platforms like WordPress or even Medium to get started. Maintaining a website to host all of your past projects can be a fantastic way to show potential employers that you mean business. Not only does this show potential employers that you are well organized, it also shows them that you will continuously put in effort towards your career as you grow as an individual.
Other ways you can display a portfolio for yourself is through LinkedIn, GitHub if you are a developer, photo galleries if you are a photographer and even a YouTube channel if you are a consultant. Carefully putting together relevant content that can explain your experiences can go a long way in a hiring manager’s eyes during your job search.
5. Boost Your Skills
Early on in American history, education was a privilege that only the wealthy could afford. Paying for a college education could cost an arm and a leg today; student loan debt is at an all-time high. While advancing your education might be a good idea, you don’t necessarily have to attend a collegiate university to continue improving your toolkit.
There are many different free online courses you can enroll in that can help boost your skills. Here are a list of different programs you can look into if you want to advance your career through an online educational course and even get certifications in specialized fields.
- Coursera – wide library of different courses
- Udemy – online learning platform designed for adults
- Skillshare – learn from professionals in almost any field
- FreeCodeCamp – teach yourself how to code for no cost
- Facebook Blueprint – online training for marketers
- Google – library of certifications for data, analytics and marketers
- HubSpot – certifications for advertisers and marketers
Although these online courses and certifications might not be accredited universities, they offer tremendous value to advancing your education during your job search. Try to read more about current events and history to expand your horizons of knowledge; the more you know, the better.
6. Be Open-Minded
You never know what you might stumble upon by networking, learning new skills and speaking to new connections. Although you might have been working in one industry recently, there are always ways you can find opportunities in other industries by simply keeping an open mind.
By keeping an open mind when searching for a new job, you might uncover a hidden gem that you would have never found previously. There are thousands of different job openings listed every day depending on where you are located and what field of work you are in. Although it isn’t easy, there is a good job out there currently looking to hire a person just like you.
CareerOneStop is a great source for helpful information about your job search and can help you navigate the potential opportunities that might fit your criteria.
7. Show Gratitude
Showing gratitude can come in many forms. If you are interviewing and speaking with potential employers, be grateful by thanking them for their time. Nobody is required to speak with you about a potential job opportunity, so it is important to show your gratitude and appreciation for their time. Your job search is not their concern, so it is helpful when you can connect with t
Be grateful for the people you get to speak with, the opportunities you might be considered for and the gift of each day you get to live. Pursuing a new job is stressful, but it is a blessing in disguise. Putting positive energy into the universe with gratitude will bring positive energy back in your direction.
8. Pay it Forward
While you are well aware of the stress a job search can cause, you will feel so relieved once you secure the right job for you. As mentioned, relationships are the key driver to a successful career. Although you may have secured a job, it is always good to pay it forward. Continue networking, keep conversations rolling and stay in touch with people in your life.
While you might not need a job, someone else might. Keep your ears open for open opportunities and try to be mindful about the people within your network. You never know what kind of introduction or referral you can make for someone else. It may lead to nothing, but it can also lead towards new opportunities for the both of you. Stay motivated and enthusiastic throughout your career; you never know where things will take you.