Whether you’re between jobs or looking for a better position, searching for employment can be a challenge. That said, there are numerous tools at your disposal to help make the process easier. With a little dedication and persistence, you could turn a daunting task into a great opportunity to advance your career. Here are some of the best ways to accomplish this as you search for a new job like a pro.
1. Revise Your Resume
If you haven’t updated your resume in years, now is the time to do so. Organize your resume so that the most relevant work experience is at the top, and make sure you highlight your most significant accomplishments rather than just listing job responsibilities. If you haven’t had much work experience, or have recently just graduated, it may be better to emphasize your educational background. For example, it could be helpful to include any classes that were relevant to the field. Have a friend or trusted colleague read over your resume to make sure it’s clearly written. As a last line of defense, carefully proofread your resume for errors before sending it to prospective employers. Any mistakes will be judged critically, and could make the difference whether or not you’re called for an interview.
2. Work Smarter With Templates
Use your word processing software to create several template versions of your resume and cover letter that you can edit to individually tailor to each position to which you are applying. If you notice the requirements for a position lean heavily on certain skills, you should have a template that emphasizes your experience in those areas. You may even want to place those skills first when listing them, and provide relevant work accomplishments that comport to such skills. Templates make it easier to put your best foot forward with every job application.
Search Job Listings in Your Area
3. Update Your Contact Info
You need to have an easy and appropriate way for recruiters to contact you during your job search. If your resume includes a phone number, make sure your voicemail is set up in case you miss a call from a prospective employer. Also, make sure your away message sounds professional. For email correspondence, consider creating a separate professional email address for your job search to present a better face to recruiters and keep your search organized. Don’t forget to regularly check your messages across all platforms, including business networking sites such as LinkedIn, so that you can promptly respond to any opportunities that may arise.
4. Earn Money in the Interim
When you’re between jobs, it’s tempting to take the first offer you get regardless of whether it’s actually a good fit or not. While you could keep yourself afloat by collecting unemployment, it may be better to look for alternative sources of income, such as driving for a ride-share service or working freelance. That way, you can afford to be selective and find the right job that will best advance your career.
5. Do Your Homework
Every application should be, at the very least, tweaked to fit the individual company or organization where you’re applying. Before you send out an application, do some research on the company. Make sure you understand not only the details of the job description, but also what the workers do and what’s distinctive about the organization. Use that knowledge in your cover letter and bring it to your interview. Doing this homework beforehand will be evident to the interviewer and could help show that, if hired, you will bring that same level of dedication to the job.
6. Find a Recruiter
Working with a professional recruiting service or staffing agency can lighten the load of your job search, so go ahead and find out what’s available. These agencies are in business to connect qualified applicants with great careers. They will likely be able to guide you through the hiring process, from submitting your resume to getting a job offer. They may also have better access to opportunities before they become more widely publicized. A good recruiter can be your best ally when it comes to finding your next job.