3 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success in Your Job Search

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Looking for a job can certainly be stressful. It can take a lot of time and effort to unearth jobs you like, vet the companies, and prepare a resume tailored to these positions. Even if your application is stellar, you’re potentially competing against hundreds of other candidates. It’s undoubtedly challenging, which is why it’s so important to do your homework. 

If you prepare ahead of time, you can ease the strain and pave the way for a smooth search. Here are three things you should do before you begin looking for the job of your dreams. If you need help getting your resume ready for submission, check out our resume writing services.   

1. Maintain a professional online presence

You may think that a potential employer will use only your resume and cover letter to decide whether to bring you in for an interview. However, with so much information available online, that's simply not the case. A hiring manager can easily google your name to see what comes up and check your social media profiles. This is common practice among recruiters these days—with so many applicants vying for one job, they need to consider more and more factors to trim the candidate list.

Make sure your entire online presence, from LinkedIn to Instagram, is on the up and up and looks professional. Get rid of anything that may imply otherwise. There's no place for party pics or divisive language when everything is out in the open for anyone to see, including someone who may want to hire you. 

If you want to post content that recruiters may not like, make sure to keep it hidden from the public by changing the privacy settings of your profile. Also, don’t forget to untag yourself from any unsavory photos your friends may have posted.

2. Know how your skills fit in with the current job market  

Take some time to research which jobs are hot in today's market, then figure out how your skills match the positions available. Of course, you also want to consider what your career goals are, but this step will increase your chances of landing a job. 

Once you know which jobs are in demand, start applying! Make sure you tailor your resume to the specific needs of each position. After all, a hiring manager sifting through hundreds of resumes will only be interested in the most qualified applicants, so a generic submission won’t cut it. 

Start with a basic resume that highlights your work experience, education, and accolades. As for the skills section, customize it so that it includes specific keywords advertised in the job listing. This is crucial—not only does it show the hiring manager that you actually read the job description, but it also helps you get past applicant tracking systems (ATSs). 

ATSs are computer programs most companies use nowadays to handle the deluge of resumes they receive. These programs judge resumes largely based on the presence of keywords relating to the position, so failing to incorporate these keywords can get you thrown out of the race even if you’re a well-qualified candidate. When your resume is optimized with language from the job description, it has a better chance of making it past the ATS and getting in front of a hiring manager.

3. Prepare answers to standard interview questions

You can’t know every single question a hiring manager will ask you during an interview, but being familiar with the standard ones gives you an edge. Practice your answers to common interview questions, such as what your strengths and weaknesses are, why they should choose you over other candidates, and why you're interested in the position. The best way to practice is to do a mock interview with a career coach, who can give you feedback on what you’re doing great and where you could improve.

You should also take the time to research the company before the interview. Find out everything you can so that you can answer more thoughtfully and also ask more informed questions. The interviewer is likely to be impressed by your in-depth knowledge of the company, and you’ll even get a better idea of whether this is the right place for you.

Remember that looking for a job is usually a marathon, not a sprint, so go in knowing that you need to make time to look after yourself and take breaks when you need them. Keep your mind and body healthy by eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, and exercising to reduce stress. Delegating tasks, like crafting a resume, can also help, so don’t hesitate to use our resume writing services.   

Improve Your Resume or CV