If you’re unemployed, just starting out, unhappy at your current position, or feel like it’s time for something new, you should be searching for a new job.
The process can be intimidating. If you need help finding what type of jobs you’d like to apply for, start with some research on UltiCareer.
You’re already so busy it can be difficult to find the time, motivation, and courage to put yourself out there. To help you out, I put together this list of tips I learned during my last job search.
Try to stay positive.
Keep your chin up! It can be tough trying to keep your head above water while you’re applying for jobs. If you’re currently employed, applying for jobs can take up a lot of your limited free time. It can add stress and often feels like a second job in itself. If you’re unemployed, the pressure of finding a new job can be daunting. You’re working against the clock and job applications can feel overwhelming at times. No matter your situation, you need to keep an open mind and remain positive. Try keeping a gratitude journal or practicing meditation, and schedule at least a little time each day for something you enjoy. Which brings me to my next point…
Schedule your time
When you’re searching for a new job you’ll be much busier than normal. If you don’t carefully block out time to specifically dedicate to your job search, it can easily fall to the bottom of your checklist. When you have to do laundry, cook dinner, work another job, etc., it can be difficult to prioritize your job search. You have to remember your goals and keep them in the front of your mind to stay motivated. Blocking off a chunk of time each day will help you stay focused and burn through those applications. Try to set a goal of at least 2 hours of job search a day, or at least 2 applications sent out a day. Try to find a pace that works for you and stick with it.
Check out local working spaces
When you’re trying to find a new job, it can be tempting to search for openings while you’re at your current workplace. Please avoid this. It’s disrespectful to your current company and boss. If you’re feeling unmotivated and distracted once you return home, check out your local café or library. During my last job search I went to the library for a few hours every night. This helped me stay focused and motivated throughout my search.
You’ll probably be applying to a lot of jobs and you’ll probably only hear back from a few. It’s important to keep track of all of the different applications you’re sending out. It would be pretty embarrassing to hear back from one company, but confuse it with another you also applied to. For my last job search I created an Excel sheet that I used to track all of my applications. I included the company, job title, description of the job, link to the job posting, date applied, and, if I heard back from them, the date they responded. I cannot stress enough how much this helped. Not only did it feel great when I could fill in the “date applied” column, but it was clear to me which job applications I wanted to prioritize.
Be personal in your approaches
Don’t make the mistake of sending the same cover letter and resume to each company. Update your resume to prioritize the positions and skills that the application requires. Most crucially, make sure your cover letter is tailored to the company. Highlight how your skills will uniquely benefit them. Research the company and demonstrate your research. If the company stresses the charitable aspect of their team-building, mention your past experience running a 5k to fundraise. Be personal, professional, and talk about the specific company you’re applying to.
Don’t just reread your cover letter. Read it again, and again, and yes, again. Ask your friends to read it. Ask your family to read it. Read it out loud. Read it backwards. Print it out and mark it up. Just be 100% sure that you’re happy with how it reads, that it portrays you correctly and admirably, and that, for goodness’ sake, there aren’t any typos.
If you can’t represent yourself well in a cover letter, then how can the hiring manager expect you to represent their company well?
Prepare for the interview
Make sure to review and research before your interview. To start, reread your resume and cover letter. At this point you’ve probably submitted so many different variations of each, it’s important to be clear on what you’ve already presented to the company. Also, make sure you do thorough research on the company. Look up some example interview questions and do some trial runs with a friend. If you know the person you’ll be interviewing with, Google them. Try to find out as much information as you can. If you’re prepared going into an interview, you’ll sweat a little less.
Ask if it’s okay to take notes during the interview
If you’re like me, and probably most people, a job interview can be a terrifying experience. I get so nervous that my forehead is sweaty but my mouth is as dry as a bone. Preparing for the interview definitely helps alleviate some worry. But I’m usually so hyper-focused during the interview that it can be hard for me to remember the most important points when I leave. Ask your interviewer if it’s okay to take notes during the process. Chances are they’ll say yes, and they may even be impressed. Your notes will help you determine how the interview went once it’s over, give you some insight into whether the job is a good fit for you, and help you with your follow up email. Which reminds me…
Always send a follow-up email
After your interview, send a thank you note. Express your gratitude that they took the time to meet with you. If anything came up in the interview that you need to address, do so in this email. Briefly reiterate why you think you would be a great fit for the position. Finally, express your interest and enthusiasm for the position. And again, proofread!
With careful planning and positivity your job search will go smoothly. It will still be a lot of hard work, but these tips will help you through the process.
If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, do some research on UltiCareer to determine which career path is right for you. Do you have any additional advice for jobseekers? Help people start their search on UltiCareer by submitting a description of what your type of job is really like. Share your story today!
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