Here’s a Robust Strategy to Help You Land  a Great Job

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Improve Your Resume or CV

Securing employment can be a challenging endeavor, whether you’re a college graduate looking for your first job or an experienced professional keen to try something new. If you develop the right strategy, however, you will find the job search gets a lot more efficient. Whether it’s about knowing the next move, working on your resume, or preparing for an interview, hire our professional resume experts and career coaches to assist you in your pursuit. Before you do that, let’s delve into a robust strategy for finding your dream job.

1. Define your career goals

It’s important to have a goal before you start looking for a job. If you don’t determine what you want in the long run, you’ll easily waste a lot of time and likely fail to secure the job that will advance your career goals. Whether you’re entering the professional world for the first time or changing careers after years of working, set a goal for yourself. 

When you’re identifying your goals, be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to be a store manager.” What kind of store do you want to manage? What attracts you to being a store manager? What’s the next step you want to take? What’s your ultimate career goal? These questions will help you narrow your search and focus on what you truly want. If you’re hesitant about applying for a job, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Does the company’s mission align with your values?
  • Does the job allow you to enjoy a work-life balance?
  • Does the job require the skills you have while also challenging you to learn new skills?

2. Build your network

One of the most important but overlooked aspects of the job search is building a network. Talk to friends and family in the same or a similar profession. They may be able to direct you where to apply or even know of a company currently hiring. In the best-case scenario, their own employer may have an opening suitable for you, and they can put in a recommendation, giving you a decided edge over other candidates.

To connect with professionals outside of your family and friends,  create a LinkedIn account. Whether you’re a fresh college graduate or a veteran professional, you can use LinkedIn to showcase your skills and experience as well as meet people who can help you develop your career and blossom into the professional you want to be. Building a network is an invaluable element of finding a good job. 

Finally, you can do some freelance work in your field to meet new people while also gaining experience. The connections you make can open up countless opportunities for advancing your career. It’s also a good idea to create a website that showcases your best work. The more opportunities you have to connect with fellow professionals, the more likely you are to get a job. 

3. Develop a plan of action

Having a schedule is as important in the job search as in an actual job. It’s easy to procrastinate, especially if you’re feeling discouraged, but designating a specific chunk of time to the job search can help you stay on track. Don’t make the mistake of throwing your schedule out of the window after sending out a few resumes: You should never stop looking until you have been offered a position since there are never any guarantees. Develop a plan and stick to it. 

Organization matters, too. The more organized you are, the more effective you will be in your search. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for, when you applied, what the response was, whether you have an interview (and if you do, when), and other important information. Staying organized will prevent you from applying for the same job twice or double-booking yourself for interviews. 

4. Update your resume

Your resume is the hiring manager’s first impression of you, so you want to make the best first impression possible. Depending on the job you’re applying for, you could have hundreds of competitors, and out of all those people, only about 10 or so will be called in for an interview. That means your resume must be top-notch, immediately grabbing the hiring manager’s attention and blowing them away with your skills and expertise. So, what are hiring managers looking for?

  • Keywords: Incorporate any keywords listed in the job description into your resume (as long as they apply to you, of course). This means you have to update your resume each time you apply for a job, and while it can be time-consuming, it’s necessary for standing out as the best candidate. 
  • Applicable skills: Even similar jobs in the same field may require somewhat different skill sets. You should tweak your resume for each submission to highlight the specific skills that job demands, changing the order in which you present your skills or even substituting some skills for others.
  • Error-free text: Your resume should be free from errors in grammar, spelling, format, and content. Also, you shouldn’t have conflicting points in your resume: Everything should be consistent.

Following the tips above is essential for getting past the applicant tracking system (ATS) to reach the hiring manager. The ATS, a computer program that judges resumes mostly based on relevant keyword usage, is your first obstacle in this process. 

Even if you make it to the hiring manager, you won’t get much further unless your resume is superb. Most hiring managers only look at a resume for about six seconds, so you need to grab their attention immediately. This requires a combination of the right qualifications, the right words, and the right format. Need help making your resume effective? Reach out to our resume experts to ensure no hiring manager can resist your resume. 

5. Check your social media

Your resume isn’t the only thing that will make an impression on recruiters. These days, they usually check a candidate’s social media profiles to get a better idea of the person behind the application. 

If your social media is filled with inappropriate photos or objectionable posts, get rid of them! In case you’re not on social media at all, create some accounts and showcase your passion as a professional. A social media presence is particularly important for those in the creative fields, where social media profiles can serve as portfolios of sorts. However you use social media, make sure you’re showing hiring managers the side of you you want them to see. 

6. Research the company

It’s important to research any job you apply for—you want to know exactly what the company does and what its mission is. Learn about its values, culture, and what working there entails. If you get the job without having this knowledge, you may quickly become disgruntled.  Look up reviews about working for the company and try to get in touch with employees, both current and former. 

Another advantage of researching the company is that you can better tailor your resume and cover letter (yes, you should always attach a cover letter unless the job post explicitly states otherwise). Similarly, in the interview, you can better connect with the interviewer and demonstrate your knowledge of the company, which will certainly give you an edge.

7. Prepare for interviews

After you apply for a job, you should begin preparing for a potential interview. You may never get it, but it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard. Be ready to answer any questions the hiring manager may have about your resume, and come up with your own questions for them that indicate your engagement and passion for the job.

Also, make sure to dress appropriately for the interview. You always want to present yourself professionally. Even if the company has a casual culture, play it safe and dress up a bit. Plus, dressing up can boost your confidence.

Tips for fresh college graduates

  • Attend job fairs: Many colleges host job fairs that give you an opportunity to meet professionals from different fields. Make all the connections you can—they could lead to great jobs or at least facilitate your career development.
  • Focus on your strengths: You may not have the most experience, but you do have strengths that can place you above other candidates. Don’t let your weaknesses keep you from applying.
  • Be patient: Don’t get discouraged if the first few job offers fall short. Rejection is normal. Keep at it, but take every opportunity to improve your resume and job search strategy.

Tips for career veterans

  • Fall back on your experience: Whether it’s paid or volunteer work, use your experience to show you have what it takes to do the job.
  • Highlight your skills: You’ve probably picked up many skills during your career. Highlight the ones relevant to the job you’re applying for. 
  • Be passionate: If you’re switching careers, show your passion for the one you’re pursuing. Sometimes, passion can take you further than skill. 

Whatever your circumstances may be, the key to a successful job search is a clear strategy. If you’re having trouble devising a robust strategy or need help with implementation, contact our career coaches for help at each step.

Improve Your Resume or CV