Excel in Your Job Search with These 7 Simple Habits
Anyone who has searched for a job knows that it can be a drawn-out, exhausting process. However, it isn’t always as long as you might think. While searching for a job is complex, mastering the tricks of the trade can aid you in wowing hiring managers and acing job interviews. Developing certain habits can help you stay organized and excel at your job search.
If you need assistance getting on the right track, turn to our career coaches, who can not only help you determine your career goals but also provide you with the tips you need to rise above your competitors. Here are seven simple habits that can significantly facilitate your job search.
1. Designate a time each day to look for jobs
It’s easy to put off looking for a job—you may have other responsibilities, or the process may simply be too daunting and you keep procrastinating. The best way to fight this is to build the job search into your daily routine.
Allocate a specific block of time for your job search—it doesn’t matter when, so choose what works best for you. Whatever time you designate for this, the best strategy is to be consistent, but if you need to search at different times, that’s okay, too—the most important thing is to search daily. This will ensure you see new job postings when they’re still fresh.
2. Stick to your field
You can waste a lot of time scrolling through job posts irrelevant to you and your career. Filter the results by your skills, experience, and other applicable factors, such as location or salary. Unless you actually want to switch careers, stick to job postings in your field—anything else is just distracting noise that can hurt your productivity and prolong your job search.
3. Add to your qualifications
It can be discouraging to come across ads for enticing jobs only to discover that you don’t have the required qualifications. If you’re truly interested in landing one of these jobs, don’t give up—invest the time in acquiring the necessary skills. You can take online courses and do volunteer work or an internship to gain experience in that field. It’ll probably be too late to land the position you initially saw, but you’ll soon be able to get a similar job.
4. Apply for the job immediately
If you find a job that interests you, don’t save it for later! Send your resume and cover letter immediately. Well, not quite immediately. First, you should customize your resume and cover letter for that particular job. If you already have a solid resume, this will be relatively easy—just go through the job description, pick out the keywords (they should be distinct in some way, for example, italicized or bolded), and include the ones that apply to you.
Generic submissions almost never land jobs, so it’s definitely worth taking a bit of time to tailor your resume and cover letter. Once you’ve done that, apply immediately or you may miss the opportunity.
5. Work on your portfolio
Your portfolio showcases anything that contributes to your professional success. It could include your cover letter, resume, social media profiles, LinkedIn account, and personal brand, to name a few. If you’re an artist or a programmer, it will also contain samples of your best work. It’s imperative to keep your profile up to date to demonstrate your growth as a professional.
6. Remember the follow-ups
It’s normal not to hear back from hiring managers after you submit a resume, but you should always check up on your application status. A good rule of thumb is to wait a week to hear back. If you don’t, reach out and reiterate your interest in the job—your passion and tenacity can spark the hiring manager’s interest in you.
After you follow up, they may tell you that they won’t be pursuing your application. That’s okay—at least now you know. The purpose of the follow-up is to find out which companies are interested in you and which aren’t.
7. Stay organized
Being organized helps in many aspects of life, and the job search is no exception. There are multiple ways to stay organized, but using a spreadsheet to track which jobs you’ve applied for, which jobs you have an interview for, which jobs have rejected you, and other important information can be of immense help. Keep track of these things, along with the dates, so you can monitor your progress and know when to follow up on certain jobs. This simplifies your search and helps you remain calm throughout this stressful process.
A job search can be intimidating, but breaking it up into manageable tasks greatly relieves the burden. These seven simple habits can make a world of difference in your job search. Do you need help with this process? Get a career coach to assist you.