Looking for a job is a job in its own right, and there are things every job seeker should know before starting their search to make it easier and faster to find a job.
So because we want you to start your job search on the right foot, we’d be addressing things you should know before applying for a job.
The fact is, job hunting is never fun, of course, but if you are looking for work and are well prepared, you are more likely to make the process less stressful.
What you need to know before applying for a job
Looking for work is not a science and there are many factors that come into play, but when conducting a job search in today’s market, there are a number of things that everyone will be happier to know from the start.
Use your network
Let’s begin with something that might be out of your control. More and more unannounced posts are being filled. You will have a hard time conducting a job search now without using the networks, and that is especially true in the market as it is. A referral is more likely to get the position simply because HR staff is busy and why not hire someone who already has an advocate within the company?
Because casual hiring is happening on a bigger scale, so if you are currently looking for a job, always remember that you are searching for a job. Do you have a party or cookout? Maybe your soccer or baseball partner can be a connection. Don’t just focus on the old ways of looking for work – get out there, meet the people, and treat every interaction as a potential opportunity.
Clean your social networks
Companies mostly Google candidates before employing them, and social media can be an instant red flag. So before you begin your job search, ensure to clean up your social network pages. Many people respond to this advice defensively, feeling that it is grotesque to have your actions monitored even on social media, but the truth is that once you are available, it is difficult to eliminate it. Check your privacy settings and, if it is questionable, you can leave it offline.
You are going to need an excellent resume
The benchmark for resumes changes all the time, and just because it worked two or seven years ago doesn’t mean that resume will work now. Since the vast majority of jobs that make it to job boards will use online applications, the look of your resume is far more important than the content. Sure, you should still be attractive and easy to read, but color and art style will confuse computer screens. In fact, some of the ATS software does not read serif-type fonts, so their incredible career path doesn’t even reach one person just because the font of their font is not recognized by the computer. Keep your resume fancy. Content is key in the digital age, not the thousand colors and graphics that confuse.
Be aware of the Applicants Tracking System (ATS)
Moving on to the resume theme, another element that will affect the likelihood that your resume will pass the software is the use of keywords. When the advice posts tell you to use keywords or read the post, they mean it. If the job advert states that you need experience with A, B, and C, ensure A, B, and C are on your resume if you have the experience. It could be more work, yes, but submitting a resume only to be rejected by a robot is not a great use of your time either.
Focus on your achievements
If you are applying for a position as a cost assistant or sales manager, we all have a basic understanding of your job description. Submitting a resume with a generic list of cost or sales responsibilities won’t make you stand out. Why are you the perfect cost assistant? What differentiates you from the other 420 sales managers applying for the position? The answer is simple: achievements.
Did you create a new way to save and synthesize financial information? Was your sales team the first to seize and win the market? These are the key points to focus on on your resume. While the details in your job description can affect keywords, they shouldn’t be the basis of your resume. What makes Will Smith different from Chris Jones?
Will was the first sales manager in the region to get a contract with Amazon. That is worth it!
Get a feel of the company during the interview
So you’ve updated your resume and it’s working. You started getting interview calls. The first interview you did if you have been out of the job search for a while can be very different. First of all, you may expect to meet more than one person. Team interviews are more common because it’s not just about work. It’s not about how you do with one person, it’s about how you fit in with the team. The work is collaborative, so why shouldn’t interviews be? This may take some getting used to, but remember, no matter how much you want or need this job if you are not comfortable with the interview team, do you really want to work there long term?
Be patient after the interview
The interview is done. They’ll call in a week, right? Most likely, they will not. Not only will it take you a while to hear from them, if you do, but the interview process takes longer than it used to.
If you go into the interview thinking that it will take longer than it used to, you will be shocked when they inform you that the next step is another interview, and then there are three or four more steps. In fact, companies often now have candidates and the finalists come for trial periods. Sometimes it is an hour and sometimes it is a full day of shadows. It can take a long time, but in the end, the goal is to find something that you can do for a while, and the company has found someone who will want to stay.
Keep an open mind
The harsh truth is that this is a terrible job market for job seekers. Salaries are lower overall and more positions are being cut to freelance or part-time. The job you’ve always loved may not have the same title and can be shared by a team now. However, instead of seeing this as a negative, consider the opportunities. Maybe you like sales, but you always wanted to ask some questions. With the market as it is, you may work harder, but you can also open up to new things. And new things bring new skills and connections. The lower salary is an adjustment, but fewer hours means volunteering or following that entrepreneurial idea you’ve had. In the end, that can be a blessing.
Keep everything in perspective
Another difficult reality is that this means that it is even more competitive. It is not uncommon to show up for an interview and find that they are interviewing other candidates for the same job. You can think of it as one of five called for an interview, only to find that they are interviewing 100 people, out of 500 applicants. Keep everything in perspective, but again, chances are that if you don’t get the job, another position will open up when the candidate you selected left your position for it.
It is not personal
The last thing that is useful to know, and probably the most important, is that it is not personal. It is very difficult not to be discouraged. You can conduct hundreds of interviews, submit thousands of resumes, and wait for that call. Friends and family will offer advice and say things like, “The right job will come,” but sometimes it’s hard to believe. You are not alone, and the truth is that only one is needed.
For every rejection, remember that it just isn’t the right fit. It is not you. Someone suggested keeping a tally: every application or every interview that is a no, please mark it. When you hit 100, start over, but chances are that, as endless as it seems, it’s unlikely you’ll get to 100 without an offer.
You will feel that it is inevitable, but the work is available. Somewhere a hiring manager is looking for someone like you. However, jobs aren’t that different from dating, and all those frogs you have to kiss? It’s the interviews that don’t work for some reason. This is the hardest piece of advice to believe, but it’s a must because some days seem like there is no end. If you really become impossible, give yourself a day off in your quest to do something that makes you happy. Then dust yourself off and come out again.