Searching for a job can be daunting. Here are some tips to help make your job search more effective.
[Learn how to manage your online presence.]
1. Identify Multiple Job Sources
Hiring companies use a diverse set of strategies to find the right job candidate. This includes a wide variety of job boards and career sites.
The sheer quantity of online job sources can be overwhelming. Your best approach is to search the Internet for recommended sites and make a short list of the ones that are targeted to your goals.
- Set aside some time to research different job sites. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make a list of the top three to five sites that you’ll use for your job search. Bookmark your favorites, and check them regularly.
- To save time, see if the site offers the option to receive e-mail notifications when matches are found.
2. Work with a Recruiter or Staffing Firm
A recruiter makes an excellent partner since they work with hiring managers every day—and it shouldn’t cost you a penny. Staffing firms can find you full-time or temporary work.
- Check out sites like recruiterlink.com and onlinerecruitersdirectory.com to find recruiters that specialize in your field.
- Visit the American Staffing Association website (they match firms and job seekers based on skill set and geography).
- Avoid recruiters that charge a fee to job seekers. Reputable recruiters will be paid by the employer once a match is found.
- Interview recruiters to ensure that you’ll be comfortable working with them, as they will be representing you to potential employers.
[Is your professional presence up-to-date?]
3. Know Your Competition
The job market is a competitive place. Looking at those who are applying for the same jobs as you can help you craft better responses to job postings.
- Search within LinkedIn for connections with similar jobs to see how they present themselves.
- Visit CareerBuilder’s free tool, hireINSIDER. The tool enables you to compare yourself to other applicants in terms of experience, education, salary, cover letter, and employment status.
- Create a to-do list of actions that will help you surpass your competition. For example, you may need to change the format of your résumé or upgrade your computer skills.
4. Use Old-School Tactics to Follow Up
In a digital world, using paper can sometimes command a hiring manager’s attention and give you the edge over other candidates.
- In addition to your electronic application, send a hard copy of your résumé on good stationery.
- Write a thank-you note after an interview to set yourself apart from other applicants.
5. Be Creative
In a tough job market, creative job-seeking tactics can help you stand out from the crowd. About 9% of hiring managers have hired someone who used an unconventional tactic to gain attention (according to a 2010 CareerBuilder survey).
- Research a problem that a target company needs to solve, and send them a letter outlining possible solutions.
- Create an advertising campaign for yourself focusing on your well-honed knowledge and skills. For example, create a video of a former boss providing a recommendation.
Career Journey can help you learn other valuable techniques for effective job searching, such as using social media, networking, and lifelong skills development.
- How can social media transform my career?
- Why is networking so important, and how do I start?
- How do I tap my network for intelligence?
- What type of formal & informal learning do employers want?