When you’re struggling to find a job, it helps to take a thorough look at how you can change or enhance your approach to the job search. Successfully finding a job may take some creative thinking to change how and where you look and how you’re presenting your skills. In this article, we provide tips and examples for finding a job and improving your chances of getting hired.
1. Wait before filling out an application
It may be tempting to fill out an application as soon as you find an ideal position, but waiting until you know more about the company can give you an advantage over the competition. Take some time to research the company so you have a good idea of what they are looking for in an employee.
You can follow the company on social media or use their product or service to familiarize yourself with the company culture and vision. Align your unique viewpoint or solutions to the company, and then complete applications with these ideas in mind.
For example, if the company you’re applying to is an informal business that likes to collaborate with its employees for feedback and ideas, you should highlight the skills that emphasize teamwork, communication and motivation to match the company’s ideals when submitting your application.
2. Improve your resume
Updating your resume to match your skills and experience to a position is a crucial step to landing a job. Inspect your previous job duties, transferable skills and education to tailor your resume to the open position. Research the company and study the job description so you have a good understanding of what the company is looking for. Adjust your resume to highlight the skills the employer is looking for to illustrate why you are right for the job.
For example, you’re applying for a marketing position with a coffee company, and since you’ve been a customer for some time, you have ideas for different flavors, combinations and more. Emphasize your creative thinking skills and explain how your ideas can improve the company’s profits and meet its vision statement.
3. Craft a compelling cover letter
While your resume lists your experience, skills and education, your cover letter goes into detail about why you are the right choice for an open position. Use your cover letter as an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and explain how you would benefit the business. Discuss an accomplishment or explain how you made improvements in a previous position. Use real examples or data to back up your claims as much as possible.
4. Update your social media profiles
Your professional social media profiles should outline your expertise, experience and enthusiasm. You can use these platforms to make yourself attractive to employers by providing insightful information about yourself and why you are the right candidate. Consider joining groups or discussions to share your knowledge and ideas to attract employers to you.
If you have social media accounts that are not professional, consider how the image you present on each site might appear to an employer and whether you should change its content. You can also check your privacy settings and perform an online search of your name to see what employers will see if they search for you.
5. Practice interviewing
Preparing to answer a variety of questions you might be asked can be a great help to the interviewing process. Ask a friend or colleague to participate in a mock interview, and practice answering various questions. Search for sample questions specific to the job role, and rehearse your answers before the interview. Practicing ahead of time allows you to really listen to the question being asked to understand what the employer is trying to find out and to craft an excellent answer.
6. Follow up and follow through
After submitting an application or completing an interview, be sure to follow up with the employer. Contact the hiring manager to alert them to your application and convey your enthusiasm for the position. Consider sending a thank you note after an interview to thank the hiring manager for their time and reinforce their memory of you. Remember to include your contact information so managers can easily reach out.
7. Use networking to your advantage
Networking with other professionals builds relationships with others who can help you find a job. When networking with peers or upper management, don’t be afraid to show vulnerability and ask for their advice or guidance in your job search. Join mastermind or brainstorming groups to generate fresh ideas and expose you to others who may be able to point you in a different direction or introduce you to valuable contacts.
8. Take a class or additional training
Enhancing your skills shows your willingness to learn and grow in your field. Consider taking a class or enrolling in a certification program related to your industry. Classes may turn into a networking opportunity, and you may meet people who can guide your career journey. Remember to include all of your education, volunteering and training on your resume.
9. Find a mentor or coach
Getting a mentor or coach to help you through the job search and application process can be very helpful. Mentors are usually peers with greater experience and knowledge who can help refine your skills and guide your career path. Mentors may be family members, teachers or former employers who serve as long-term guides even after you’ve landed a job. Coaches tend to assist with specific tasks, such as polishing your resume, practicing interview questions and crafting cover letters.
10. Look into complementary industries
If you haven’t been able to find a job, consider looking into a related industry or field. You can view this change as an opportunity to build on your experience and discover new ideas or approaches to your primary field.
11. Consider other job types
When you’re having trouble finding a job in your preferred position, think about alternatives to traditional jobs as a temporary solution. You may gain experience you wouldn’t get elsewhere that can help you get another position or be inspired to start your own business. Temp work, work-from-home jobs and side gigs like ride-share driving or food delivery are all ways you can gain valuable experience and a paycheck while you keep looking for the perfect job.
12. Adjust your mindset
If you’re feeling frustrated by your job search, consider taking a break. Frustration can lead to negative thinking, which can project onto applications and in interviews. Getting some distance from your job search can help clear your mind and refine your focus. Take some time to understand what you are looking for, what changes you can make, what available alternatives there are and start again.