What to Do to Kick Your Job Search into High Gear this Year
2020 and 2021 were unlike what we have collectively seen in years past. The job market has been included in this systematic shift, as more and more people participate in the Great Resignation and reevaluate what they value, and companies struggle to retain talent and keep up with return to office delays, people quitting in record numbers and what workers are demanding. Basically, the whole dynamic of work as we know it is being turned upside down, not only because of WFH, a lack of hazard pay and other factors. And, let us face it, it likely will not change anytime soon.
As 2022 begins, perhaps getting a new job and getting back on the job search is a top priority for you. If it is, check out the ideas below to reach your goals and get into this ever-changing job market.Read More »
Tip 1: Determine Your Goals and Your “Why”
Before starting something as big as a job search, think about what you really want to gain. Do you want to get a new position at your current employer? A new job entirely? Switch industries? Whatever it may be, determine your one or two bigger goals before breaking them down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Secondly, determine why you want to get a new job. Is it for better pay and working conditions, or are you simply feeling like you need to quit because seemingly everyone else is? If the latter, maybe now is not the right time to be looking for a new job, and that is okay! Take the time you need to make the best decision for you, and do not be afraid to ask trusted friends and family members for their thoughts, too. Remember: at the end of the day, it is your decision/goals, so do not choose lightly!
Tip 2: Rework Your Application Materials
If it has been a bit since you last submitted applications, find your old application files (resume, cover letter, portfolio, etc.). Do a cursory read and then add any new positions that are not reflected yet. Complete some reworking to keep it to about one page for entry-level job seekers and up to roughly two for more senior-level searchers. Look at some current job postings to see if materials match up with what employers are looking for. Does your cover letter contain relevant keywords? How can you make a cover letter compelling? What does your portfolio need to be an accurate representation of your current skill level? Tailor your resumes to your target industries and always, always proofread! If that is not your strong suit, ask someone who is to help. These days, candidates are going up against technology, recruiters, selective hiring teams and a talented candidate pool, so it is essential to make a good impression when you can!
Tip 3: Find Target Jobs/Industries
Next, find target companies, jobs and industries that catch your interest. When choosing companies to apply to, be intentional and honest to yourself: what matches where I currently live and can relocate? Could I realistically do the job, based on my education and skill set? Look online or in newspapers, flip through books and interview people you know about what they do to get inspiration. If you can narrow things down into 1-2 industries or specializations, things will be much easier for you in the long run. Plus, recruiters and hiring teams like people with focus and realistic goals. Do not stretch yourself too thin!
Tip 4: Do your Research
The job search process is hard because candidates need to do just enough research to be knowledgeable about roles and companies, but no so much that they are overly invested in case things do not work out. Even so, start looking into what the companies or businesses you like do. What are some recent milestones? What does it take to get hired? What are some recent setbacks that new hires may have to help remedy? Look at ratings on career review sites. Look up national or local reputations. Your findings may surprise you, and make it even easier to cross potential employers off your list! When done right, research pays off.
Tip 5: Set Application Goals
Even if it is just to get an application done a day, something is better than nothing. Start small and go from there. If you are in a niche industry, aiming for one application a week may be good, but those who are looking to get, say, a restaurant or retail job, may want to submit multiple applications a day. It all depends on how fast you need a job, what you are willing to accept and what is currently available.
Tip 6: Do not Be Afraid to Network
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Ah, networking. Yes, it sounds scary, but it does not have to be. Get in touch with old friends, reach out to schedule informational interviews with those at your target companies (this works best for office jobs—be polite no matter what the outcome) or offer to lend some advice to those in need. The purpose is to build your social connections while getting advice. Perhaps you can pay it forward as well.
Tip 7: If at First You Do Not Succeed, Try and Try Again
Be prepared for a long and difficult search, especially in this market, unless your skills are in high demand and you are in a geographic job center for your industry. While some rejections are crushing, do not let them get you down for too long. Try again and push yourself to succeed, even when it is hard. Perseverance pays off. Remember to stay humble and not burn bridges, and reach out to friends and other loved ones for support. You are not in this alone, and you may be surprised to find that many others are in a similar boat.
Tip 8: Take Breaks
Job searching can feel, at times, all-consuming. But it does not have to be. Perhaps for every hour you spend searching, applying and networking, take a 10 to 20-minute break to meditate, walk, drink some water, read, listen to music or do another relaxing and healthy activity. Set time and day limits and stick to them. They will make you happier and more productive.
Tip 9: Celebrate the Small Wins
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Get an interview? Submit an application you are proud of? While it can feel like the job search process is unnecessarily long, celebrate the small victories. Be proud of what you have accomplished and know the right opportunity for you is out there.
Tip 10: Have Patience
This one can sometimes be the hardest one of all. In these unpredictable times, pack your patience. Do not be afraid to bow out of processes that do not feel right and only apply to opportunities (if you can swing it) where you will likely thrive. Due to constant turnover, COVID and other factors, candidates, hiring teams and employees are overwhelmed. Recognize the current moment, do not rush things and be understanding. Follow up within reason, but, sometimes, it is best to wait it out. You will get a job eventually.
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