Even though there are multiple ways to find job opportunities, landing a job can be tough. Whether your contract has ended, you're looking for a change of pace, or have other reasons for seeking employment, finding the right job may feel like an uphill battle.
And even though there are many methods on how to successfully find a job, it's hard to know which one will work for you.
Your job search may feel even more stressful or out of reach with all of the viral, wild stories about how people are landing jobs nowadays.
Here, we're not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’ll focus on tried and true methods.
We'll cover six simple and effective yet frequently overlooked and underused job search methods that will help you find a new job faster. These techniques range from simple things like applying online to more advanced methods like using social media sites or finding freelance gigs in order to connect with employers who might not have found you otherwise!
Without further ado, let's get into it!
1. Use job boards and job search platforms.
Using job boards to look for job opportunities and submit job applications online is one of the most common job-hunting strategies.
This is probably the easiest way to find jobs because you get instant access to a number of job openings.
Frequently, online career boards are also helpful for writing cover letters and resumes, as they provide templates or forms that help you create a job application in a matter of minutes. You might also be able to submit applications to multiple companies directly from these sites by uploading them through an online portal, or your information can be available to employers who may be looking for professionals with your experience and skill set.
Since job websites are usually easy to use, many job seekers rely solely on this method to find a dream job.
Here are some tips for using these boards more efficiently:
Use multiple sites to find job opportunities.
Don't rely only on one job board or platform while job hunting (even if it's a huge one like LinkedIn). Increase your chances of finding a perfect opportunity by using a variety of different job sites.
Use advanced search tools.
Use advanced search tools like keyword filters and location options to make it easier for you to find relevant career opportunities via job search engines.
Keep your profiles up to date.
Keep your personal data updated on different job search websites while job hunting. If possible, make sure your profile indicates you're open for opportunities--this will help employers find you.
2. Contact headhunting and staffing agencies.
Headhunting and staffing agencies (i.e. recruitment or employment agencies) are a job seeker's best friend -- yet, they are frequently overlooked as a means of finding a job.
These agencies employ recruiters who have access to unpublished job openings and research the job market for candidates with desired skill sets based on a company's (their client's) specifications or needs. It means that employers may find you and contact you through recruiters before the job posting is public without you even applying for a job, helping you tap into the hidden job market.
To get the most of headhunters or recruitment agencies, follow these tips:
Be proactive and reach out to headhunters, recruiters or recruitment agencies in your area. You may be able to find them via Google, LinkedIn or your network.
Prepare like you're going for an interview.
Prepare well for a conversation with a headhunter or recruiter. Consider it to be an informal interview where you need to position yourself as an expert and be specific about your needs for them to be able to find you the best job and company fit.
View at recruiters and headhunters as partners.
Look at your relationship with a recruiter or headhunter as a partnership. Your success is mutually beneficial for both sides as you help them fulfil their client's needs. Your success in landing a job will be a win-win situation for both sides. So, build a strong relationship with them based on mutual respect, honesty and open communication.
Leverage social media.
Social media isn't just fun and games anymore. Studies show that 92% of employers use social media not only to build their brand and raise awareness but to screen and hire candidates as well.
From finding opportunities, researching potential employers, to expanding your network, there are many ways you can add social media to your job search strategy and use them to your advantage.
To efficiently use social media while job hunting, do the following:
Clean up your online presence.
Even if you don't use social media as a job search technique, it's wise to Google search your name and see what pops up. Clean up your online presence if needed -- meaning you should go through your social media and remove anything that might hinder your job applications.
Follow your dream companies on social media.
Follow your dream companies on social media and connect with them through LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date with any new job opportunities that they post.
Use social media to build meaningful relationships with people.
Connect with people who work at your dream companies via social networks. But don't just stalk and creep - instead, read their content, like, comment and engage to build strong professional relationships.
Join professional social media groups.
Join LinkedIn or Facebook groups related to your professional field. Ask questions about the group discussion topics, share interesting articles on these conversations and reach out directly whenever possible. Again, the goal isn't just to stalk for information. Instead, the aim is to connect with people who share a common interest and who could help you on your career journey.
3. Attend job fairs.
Job fairs are a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers, hiring managers, or at least their representatives before even having a chance to get into the hiring process and interview with them.
One of the best parts about job fairs is that they are so accessible. You don't need to know someone in a specific industry to get an invitation. All you have to do is put yourself out there by attending a job fair - especially nowadays when many companies participate in fairs and other events that take place online, so it's just a matter of joining a meeting invitation.
To succeed at a job fair, do the following:
Come well prepared.
Come prepared like you're coming to an interview with multiple companies. Dress professionally, prepare your introduction and familiarize yourself with companies that will attend the job fair that you want to speak to in order to make a lasting impression.
Talk with recruiters and try to exchange contact information. For you, it's best to bring a few copies of your resume and potentially your business cards to hand them out to employers.
Prepare questions in advance.
If you're attending an online job fair, prepare a few questions to stand out and build an initial connection.
Follow up after the event with people you've met to maintain the connection and expand your network.
4. Ask for referrals.
As you can see, there are many job search methods.
But a few techniques work as well and efficiently as getting recommended for a job opportunity by a trusted person.
According to various data, referred job seekers have a higher likelihood of getting job interviews, and they are offered jobs quicker. Many hiring experts argue that referrals are the single best way to get a job.
To make the most of referrals, do the following:
Proactively ask for referrals.
Ask your friends, family, former co-workers or college alumni for a referral. Even if they know you're looking for a new job, they may not recognize the need to help you if you don't point it out. Many people have connections to other companies and may be able to refer you, so it's always worth asking!
Have your resume ready.
Have your resume prepared. Having an email introduction with your resume attached handy can help you speed up the process. It will also help people who referred you since they'll be able to simply forward it to the people hiring.
Be specific about the opportunities you're looking for.
When asking for a referral, don't ask people if they know about any opportunities that would be good for you or say that you're open to anything. Make sure the person knows what kind of work you are looking for so they can make an informed referral. The more specific you are, the better they can match you with available opportunities -- and the chances are higher they will actually do so.
Ask for permission to share their name.
When talking with hiring managers, mentioning an inside person can help you stand out as a credible and trustworthy candidate. But to avoid any awkward situations, ask the people who referred you if you can drop their name in a job application or during an interview.
Volunteering may be a more time-consuming job search method. At the same time, it can also be crazy effective.
If you volunteer when people ask for help, it also helps get your name out there without being too pushy about the job search. It can improve job prospects, provide job leads, all while building your professional skills and expanding your network.
The most significant benefit of volunteering is that it helps you get your foot in the door at the company, which is the first and the most challenging step in a job search.
To ensure volunteering helps you in your job search, make sure to:
Do your research.
Do your research before volunteering. Volunteer at organizations and companies that align with your job search goals and values to ensure you're dedicating your time to companies you may want to work for. Alternatively, make sure that volunteering helps you build skills that can help you on your career path.
Treat volunteering as a job commitment.
Being serious about volunteer work shows employers you're a reliable and competent person. These are the exact traits every hiring manager looks for in job candidates. So, volunteering is a great way to prove you have the qualities employers seek even before an interview.
You might also find volunteering for the same organization more than once will help you understand what they're looking for in job candidates, which could give you an edge over other applicants with similar skills who don't have that knowledge from volunteering.
Connect with people.
Volunteering lets you explore other industries or fields and meet the people you wouldn't have otherwise met. These connections can lead to job opportunities and offer a different perspective on your career. So be open-minded and friendly. Build relationships with people, exchange contacts and keep in touch as these can be valuable resources on your career path.
6. Be open to short-term employment.
Similar to volunteering, short-term employment helps you bridge the gap to the most challenging task in a job searching process -- getting your foot in the door.
Short-term employment is also an opportunity to prove yourself as being qualified and valuable before landing a long-term job. It allows you to build not only your experience and skills but also establish a relationship with the company. At the same time, it helps you fill any gaps in a resume while adding some income, so it's a win-win.
To leverage short-term employment in a job search:
Treat short-term employment seriously.
Even though there is an end date to it, don't let that diminish your drive. You never know what the job might turn into! To make the most of the opportunity, stay focused and do your job well. It will be the best evidence of your capabilities, which may make employers reconsider its duration.
Be open about your aspirations.
Open communication is key to ensuring both success and longevity in any employment situation. If you're interested in staying with the company long term, let them know about it. Be aware that job security is not guaranteed.
7. Find a freelance gig.
While job hunting, you can take advantage of freelance gigs in the process as they can - and often do - lead to full-time job offers.
In essence, freelancing is a temporary, contract- and commission-based employment that can add some extra income on the side while looking for a more permanent job. It also allows you to expand your skills, build your experience and fill any resume gaps. Not only that, but by delivering freelance work for your clients, you're also expanding your network. As such, freelancing is a win-win option.
To make sure freelancing helps you in your job search, do the following:
Land a gig with freelancing platforms.
Don't wait for job offers to come your way. You can find freelance gigs on websites like Upwork, which are the best and fastest way to step into freelancing. You'll have access to a wide variety of freelance gigs that are posted by clients all around the world. Once you find one that interests you or matches your skillset, make contact with them and see if there's an opportunity for both parties.
Deliver high-quality work.
Freelancing is an excellent opportunity to show a potential employer that you're worth investing in. If you want your clients to consider you for long-term, full-time employment, make sure to always deliver high-quality work on time.
Stay in touch with clients.
Freelancing helps you build a strong network. Presumably, all your clients will be people in the field you want to pursue your career or at least have some connections in it. Make sure you're building good professional relationships with them and stay in touch on a regular basis.
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Final tips for making the most of your job search - regardless of the method
There are many different job search methods out there - some of them are more effective than others for certain people. In the beginning, don't rely only on one approach.
Do your research, try different options and find out which job search methods are right for you.
However, even with the most elaborate approach, a job search can be a bumpy journey filled with challenges and obstacles.
Don't forget to be kind to yourself throughout the process, take a break when needed and start again when you’re ready. Staying positive and keeping yourself motivated day in and day out is the key to success.
Don't give up - the right opportunity is waiting for you!
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Job boards, partnering with headhunters and staffing agencies, attending job fairs, volunteering, short-term employment and freelancing can all help you land that dream job faster than expected.
Each of these methods will not only help you find available job opportunities but also make interesting professional connections and expand your network in a seamless and authentic way, all while building your skills and experience.
If you are looking for the next step in your career, try adding one of these methods to your job search strategy and watch the job offers roll in. We wish you a lot of success!