I often get requests for job tips from people either venturing out on their own for the first time or wanting to transition careers but aren’t exactly sure where to start. Even though these people are in different stages of their career, they both want one thing: to find a job. And not just any job, the right one. It’s just one of those things in life where it pays to be prepared, and these super easy tips will get you 10 steps closer:
1. Cover letters should be different for each job, but making a template will make your life so much easier – Then you don’t have to start from scratch with each new job.
2. Save, save, save – Save job descriptions somewhere offline in case you get a callback after a posting expires and need to review the post. You should also save each cover letter you write and emails you receive –all helpful in an interview.
3. Print then proofread - Print your cover letter and resume for an easier time proofreading. There’s nothing worse than printing off a resume minutes before an interview only to find typos and errors.
4. Be specific about what you want from the job and what you want to offer - Knowing this not only helps you find jobs you’re a great fit for, but makes it easier for you to articulate what you bring to the table.
5. Start small in your search, then expand – There’s no reason to apply to a bunch of jobs that you don’t really want unless it’s urgent. Start your search by only applying to those dream opportunities and then expand to other positions if necessary later on.
6. Know you’re not overdressed - Many jobs don’t have a formal dress code, so how should you dress in an interview? Even if the job itself only requires casual dress, you should still dress up in an interview. It might not be necessary if you were the only candidate, but since there are probably several people interviewing, you want to stand out any way you can.
7. Don’t be afraid to follow up - Don’t expect a response from everyone you reach out to – it won’t happen. But if you really like the job, whether it’s one you just applied or interviewed for – don’t be afraid to send a friendly email asking about the status of your application. It shows that you’re truly interested AND gives you peace of mind.
8. Spread those thank-yous - Whether it’s sending a thank you card after an interview or making sure to always thank potential managers in email, make your gratitude known. Even when it seems like you’ve already made your point – do it again!
9. Think outside the box - Don’t just stick to Craigslist or job search websites in the hunt. Many companies just post on their own websites and some don’t post at all – they wait for you to come to them. Send letters of interest to companies you’re not sure are hiring. Join online communities that allow individuals to post jobs. Network your heart out. Consider a staffing agency. There are many ways to find a job!
10. When you get discouraged, remember this - You are not alone! The job hunt is daunting and rarely does anyone find (or create) his/her dream job overnight. Those that say looking for a job is a full time job aren’t kidding. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that whether it takes three days or three months – you WILL find a great fit for you.
What is your dream job? How will your next position help you get there? Share your story in the comments below.
Read my quick tips to learn how to boost your resume in under 10 minutes.