If you’re in the market for a new job, you may be looking for tips to improve your job search. Looking for a job can be frustrating, especially when you feel like your applications are going nowhere. Here are 8 awesome tips to improve your job search.
1. Tailor Your Résumé
One of the best tips to improve your job search is to remember to tailor your résumé for every application. If you’re applying for several jobs each week, this can be an ordeal. But it’s well worth it! The hiring manager for the job you’re seeking took the time to place key skills and requirements in the job description. It’s important that, when he or she is reviewing your application, they see the skills they’re looking for in an employee. Using the same wording will help your résumé stand out from the rest.
2. Include a Cover Letter
Another tip is to include a cover letter with your application. Most applications are done online these days, so your cover letter can double as the body of your email. If you’re submitting your application online through the company’s application software, add a cover letter even if it’s listed as «optional». It’s better to include a great cover letter in case the hiring manager wants to learn a bit more about you than to leave it off and risk submitting an application that’s not 100%. As you did with your résumé, be sure and tailor your cover letter for each job. Highlight how your experience could be a benefit to the company, and be sure to include your contact information and a request to connect such as "I look forward to connecting to learn more about your company and this position," or "I would love to discuss my skills in an interview setting." This lets the hiring manager know you're serious about the position.
Chances are, if you’re applying for a job it’s at a company you know a bit about and a place you’d like to work. When you’re writing your cover letter or including any comments while applying, make it evident that you are aware of the company’s past. Then, offer reasons why you are the right candidate for their future. If you’re not as familiar with the company, do a bit of research. Hiring managers like to see that effort. They want to hire people that believe in the company’s goals or cause in order to build a focused team.
4. Provide a Salary Range
Some applications will request salary requirements. This is always a sticky question. Should you give a lower salary to help you get in the door? Should you give a higher salary in an effort to prove what your skills are worth? A safe bet for listing salary is to give a range of about $5,000. This way you’re not too low or too high. If you’re applying within the same industry, make sure that your current salary falls within that range, even if it’s at the base.
5. Follow up
Was your application submitted weeks ago and you still haven’t heard anything? Do a little digging to find out who the hiring manager for the position is and send them a quick email asking how the hiring process is going and if you can send any additional information about your skills. You may think this is slightly stalker-esque, but understand that human resources professionals are used to this. Following up proves how interested you are in the position, and – should you not get the job – you now have a contact at the company you can call on again in the future. If you are lucky enough to know someone who works at the company, ask them to pass your résumé along to the HR department or, better yet, directly to the hiring manager. There’s nothing like a personal recommendation from someone who is already part of the team.
They say it’s all about who you know, and that’s true now more than ever. Networking can do a lot to help you get the job you want. By mingling with people within your industry, you can pick up tips and tricks from individuals who have been at it a bit longer than you. Perhaps you’ll shake hands with someone who works for the company you’ve had your heart set on working for. They might be just the opening you need to secure a position. Make sure to bring business cards, even if you’re currently unemployed. Simply list your name, contact information, and an overarching explanation of what you have to offer, such as ‘Digital Marketing Professional’ or ‘Location Sound Mixer.’ If you have a profile on LinkedIn.com – and you definitely should! – go through the cards you’ve gathered and connect with the people you met. LinkedIn is a great way to take networking to the next level and connect with professionals that could open doors leading you to your dream job.
7. Ask Questions
If you do receive a rejection letter, don’t let that be the end of the conversation. Especially if the company is one you really feel passionate about working for. Reach out to the hiring manager and ask them a few questions. Was there something specific you were missing that they were looking for? Was there anything you could have done to be more clear about your skills? Gaining answers to these questions can help you immensely when applying for future positions. You’ll have a better understanding of what the hiring manager might be looking for, and you’ll be much more confident through the process.
8. Don’t Get Discouraged
Finding a job is not easy! Sometimes you’ll find something new in no time, other times it seems to take a century. There really is no perfect formula, and it has a lot to do with being the right candidate at the right time for the right company. Do everything you can to understand what the company needs from the position you’re applying for and offer up the skills that meet those needs. Be easy to contact and follow up with so that you’re top of mind. Human resources departments and hiring managers see countless applications. It’s so important that your stands out!
With these tips, a little patience, and some determination you’re well on your way to landing the job of your dreams! Have you used any of these tips in the past? Did they work for you? Share your tips to improve a job search.