Career Advice Career Basics

How to be a better job seeker (Complete Guide)

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Successful job hunting involves using specific techniques to ensure you stand out to potential employers. Use these tips to become a better job seeker and invariably succeed in a competitive market by getting the job you want.

Job seeking tips to help you be a better job seeker

Job seeking involves more than looking for open positions and forwarding your resume to employers. You also need to ensure you’re a good fit for the job, could catch the recruiters’ attention and are adequately prepared to answer interview questions. We present to you tips that you can use to improve your chances of finding the job you desire:

  • Know your career goals.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Get resume and cover letter help.
  • Use all job search resources.
  • Customize your resume.
  • Research companies.
  • Apply with confidence.
  • Schedule informational interviews.
  • Succeed in your current job.
  • Network regularly.
  • Identify examples of your skills.
  • Prepare for interviews.
  • Follow up.
  • Expand your skills.

Know your career goals

Firstly, identify the kind of career you want. This is especially important for people entering the labor market for the first time or changing careers. Collect recommendations from family, professors, a career coach, or former coworkers. Ensure you have a clear and realistic goal, decide how you plan to reach it, and outline what qualifies you for that career path. These aforementioned steps can help you narrow your job search to job roles you are passionate about and will aid your professional advancement.

Plan ahead

Arrange yourself and your schedule to hunt for jobs more efficiently. Decide how many hours daily or what days of the week you will dedicate to job searching or networking. Ensure your resume and cover letter are up to date. If you require help creating those, click here for our templates or samples. Been prepared before every interview makes the job of recruiters easy, thereby making them see you as a good job seeker.

Always have a list of two to three references and their contact information handy to give employers.

Create or update your profile on professional networking platforms and create a spreadsheet to keep track of the jobs you have applied for and the interviews you have received. You can also choose to set up a professional email address to keep your job search messages separate from your personal ones. Completing these steps before starting your job search can make the process quick and seamless.

Get resume and cover letter help

Ask your friends, family members, coworkers, career counselor or other professionals to help proofread your resume and cover letter for errors, and also to offer advice. Some job seekers prefer to work with a professional resume writing service to save their time and enhance their resume and cover letter. An excellent resume makes you stand out from the crowd and give you the image of a good job seeker.

Use all job search options

Instead of limiting yourself to only online searches, take advantage of all the available job search options. This may include reaching out to organizations or recruiters in person, attending career fairs, using social media or using a career counseling service, also using job search engines to find openings on job boards, company websites, professional associations and more. Ensure to sign up for job alerts by email. 

Customize your resume

Modify your resume for each job you apply for. Analyze the job description to establish why you are a great fit. Then, add your skills, experience and significant achievements that are related to the position. Recruiters who sort through many resumes should read yours and sharply recognize you have the needed skills for the position, as this is one of the characteristics of a good job seeker.

To simplify the above steps, ensure you have a template of your resume and cover letter ready for customization. Keep major sections like your education and contact information the same, but personalize your capabilities or past job duties to suit the job role you are applying for. 

Research companies

As you find a publicized job that interests you, ensure to research the hiring companies before applying. This would arm you with information about their company culture, benefits and salary range, products and services, and work environment. The result of your research would tell you if you want to or are eligible to work for that company. It also gives you valuable insights you can reference in your cover letter or interview and it’s one of the key characteristics of a good job seeker.

Apply with confidence

Apply for those jobs you are interested but only meet some of their requirements. Although dependent on the position, employers may hire motivated candidates who are fast learners and provide them with skills training on the job. So if you meet a part of a job’s qualifications but know you can be successful in that role, apply. Include examples of your work ethic and capacity to learn new skills in your resume. Emphatically highlight how your goals align with that of the company.

Schedule informational interviews

Informational interviews are casual conversations with professionals within an industry or organization you may desire to work for. Find out if you are a good fit for a job by requesting informational interviews with a professional working in the field that interests you. Look for prospective interview subjects on professional networking sites or member organizations. 

Succeed in your current job

If you are employed presently and just looking for a better or different career, continue to carry out your current job with positivity and dedication. Maintain an excellent relationship with your coworkers and managers for as long as you’re working with them. Your professional approach and efforts can lead to job references or opportunities in the future.

Network regularly

Associate with people and develop professional contacts both online and offline. Begin conversations with people at seminars, social events or appointments. Inform them about you’d search for a job or how you want to work within a certain industry. They may have connections or advice that can aid you in your job search. You may also discover unlisted job openings or those people might recommend you for future opportunities. 

Identify examples of your skills

Generally, people are more inclined to remember engaging stories and examples over a list of facts. Be smart, plan before time by singling out personal experiences or accomplishments that highlight the skills needed for that specific job. Add those skills to your cover letter and utilize them during networking opportunities or job interviews. Always use the STAR method (which is Situation, Task, Action and Result) to tell your story effectively.

Prepare for interviews

Explore common interview questions, generate personalized responses for them and religiously practice those responses prior to the invitation to an interview. Request a friend or professional contact to perform a practice interview with you. If you are adequately prepared, you would be more confident and comfortable when you go into your next interview. This would make you not only a better job seeker but also a better prospect in the eyes of the interview.

SEE ALSO: Interview Questions and Answer

Follow up

Instantly after a job interview, send the recruiter a thank-you note. If you haven’t heard back from them after one week, follow up via a phone call or an email. As you do so, display your excitement and interest in the job. While waiting for a response, continue searching and applying for other jobs that interest you. A follow-up also creates the image of a good job seeker.

Expand your skills

If you are just entering the labor market or starting of a new career, you may need more training or experience to get a job. Think about getting an internship or volunteering with an organization in your chosen industry while applying for jobs.

Use this opportunity to enlarge your network of contacts or proceed to a full-time position. You can also take online courses or attend workshops to build specific skills or learn technologies and procedures relevant to your industry. Always update your CV as you obtain more experience or accomplishments

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