Job searching may be hard, but don’t give up hope!
Searching for a job can be a difficult process that might leave you feeling frustrated. But you’ve got to stick with it to get results. It can take a lot of applications before you get a job offer. That’s the just nature of the process.
If you have been sending out applications and not hearing back, you may need to re-consider your job search strategy. Try these tips to get your job search back on track.
1. Start with your Career Services department
If you attend a college or career training school, there is probably a Career Services department. Career Services professionals are there to help you with your job search! Many schools even provide this service not only to their current students but also to their recent graduates. They can help you:
- Develop a strong resume
- Craft a winning cover letter
- Practice interview skills through mock interviews
- Give you leads on job openings in your field
- Suggest places where you could volunteer
- Help you get an informational interview
2. Develop your career network
Most people will tell you that networking is a better way to find a job than submitting applications “cold” to online job sites. The online job sites are so large that most job positions get hundreds if not thousands of resumes. With this kind of competition, a better way to get noticed is make connections within your field.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people you are looking for a job. Ask if they have suggestions or if they know of anyone who works in your field.
- If you find someone who works in your field, see if you can get an informational interview. Ask them for advice on how they got started in their first job.
- Create an all-star LinkedIn profile.
- Use LinkedIn actively. Join LinkedIn Groups. Post articles about your career field. Use the “endorse” feature to compliment your colleagues’ skills.
- Attend networking events. Don’t be afraid to talk to other people at these events. Ask them about their careers and how they got there before talking to them about your own career goals.
- Get your elevator speech down. Be able to tell someone in a concise way what you are looking for.
- For more tips on networking, read 10 Tips for Job Networking.
3. Give your resume a makeover
These days, it is likely that a computer will read your resume before a person does. It is important to create a resume that is computer-friendly. You don’t want the resume scanning system to disqualify your resume because of a technical issue. Try these tips.
- Use a simple font throughout the resume, like Calibri, Times New Roman, or Arial. Scanners can get stuck on the fancier fonts.
- Avoid formatting and design elements.
- Use standard headings like “skills,” “education,” and “experience.”
- Submit your resume exactly how the job ad requires. If it is not specified, submit it as a Word document or a text document. (PDFs can trip up the resume scanners.)
- Use keywords. Look at the job ad and determine which job-skills-related words are the most important in the ad, and be sure to work them into your resume where possible.
4. Carefully target your job search
When people spend too much time searching for jobs on sites like CareerBuilder or Indeed, they may be tempted to send their resume to every single job ad they find that even remotely resembles their career field. This can take up a lot of valuable time and it is not particularly effective. Instead, use these tips to target where you should apply:
- Choose 10 to 15 organizations where you would like to work. Check the Careers sections of their websites to see what kinds of positions are open. Apply through their company website. Also follow these companies on LinkedIn to keep track of what’s new. See if you know anyone who works at these companies who might alert you to a job opening and get your resume in front of the hiring manager.
- Set up automatic alerts on your job search sites so that they email you when new jobs are posted. Carefully customize your job search so you are getting jobs that you are qualified for and that meet your specifications. This way you don’t waste time scrolling through hundreds of ads.
- Be willing to broaden your own parameters. You may not get the perfect job if you are new to your career field. You may need to travel farther than you had hoped. You may have different hours than you wanted. You may have to start out lower in the organization than you wanted. It might be worth it to give up some of your preferences in order to land that first job.
5. Find job searching support your community
Look for job search support groups in your community. They may have ideas and resources to help you find a good job lead. You may also find useful resources at One-Stop Career Centers. Don’t be afraid to use the resources that are available to you.
This article was provided by the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health. Our campus in Manchester, NH offers training courses for students to become Licensed Nursing Assistants, Patient Care Technicians, and Practical Nurses. Find out more by contacting us online.