Job hunting isn’t what it used to be. There’s no more sifting through the daily newspaper to find openings. Now, you’re often competing with people across the country for a single position.
If you’re searching but aren’t getting interviews or offers, it’s time to re-examine your technique. Here are four ways to improve your job search, starting from the ground up
1. Make an even better resume
Your resume is the foundation of your application. It’s meant to summarize you as a candidate by listing your job experience and accomplishments. Of course, resumes are notoriously hard to get right.
There’s no one right way to make a resume. But a good resume will always help identify you as a uniquely qualified candidate.
Your resume should tell recruiters not only your responsibilities in past roles, but the results you achieved. It should also be easy to read and well-formatted so hiring managers aren’t hunting for information. There are tons of factors to consider, which may seem overwhelming to any job hunter. A resource like Copy My Resume’s guide can help break down the components of a resume and help you reassess yours.
If you’re not sure about your resume, consider seeking an outside opinion. Ask a trusted colleague to review your resume. You could also ask to see theirs for reference. If in doubt, there are even professional resume services out there to help you succeed.
2. Go to networking events
If your industry has a local professional society chapter, they’ll likely hold networking events or job fairs throughout the year. These events are an opportunity to meet face-to-face with other professionals and perhaps hand over your resume in person.
Lots of people shy away from networking because they think it’s uncomfortable to talk to strangers. But everyone at a networking event is there for the same reason: to meet new people! Even if someone can’t give you a job, it can be incredibly fulfilling to make professional connections.
When you show up to these events, make sure to look professional. Wear the same clothes you would to an interview. Bring extra copies of your resume and business card. Smile, be friendly and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.
3. Practice your interview responses
It’s very unlikely you’ll know what an interviewer will ask you before the interview. But there are lots of commonly asked questions that you can still prepare for! It’s helpful to think up genuine answers for questions like:
? Why do you want to work here?
? What are your strengths/weaknesses?
? Talk about a time you made a mistake and how you handled it.
? What are your long-term career goals?
There may be some questions that you may dread answering, like ones about your weaknesses. Even if they’re hard, you shouldn’t ignore them and just hope they don’t come up. Take the time to reflect and come up with thoughtful answers. You’ll be happy you did once you’re in that interview.
4. Check niche job sites
The internet allows us to find opportunities that we may never have otherwise discovered. That’s why it’s critical to use the web to its fullest extent during your job search
Everyone uses websites like Indeed and LinkedIn to search for open positions. But are there industry-specific job boards you should be checking?
A niche job site can help you out in a few different ways. For one, you’re likely to find a higher quality listing of open positions – not a thousand pages of job titles that happen to share a keyword with what you’re searching.
Second, you’ll find opportunities that aren’t necessarily listed on any of the big job sites. Plus, if you can create a candidate profile, you’re more likely to be contacted by recruiters who also use the site.