Looking for a new job can be daunting, depressing, filled with anxiety and lastly (when you finally land that dream job) satisfying. I know first-hand the trials and tribulations that come along with job hunting. I am what people call a “Job Hopper”, in the past 5 years since graduating from college, I’ve had (well, the ones that I put on my résumé) 5 jobs in total. I’ve had a lot of success when it comes to applying and learned a great deal along the way. Here are 11 tips on looking for a new job:
- Figure out what you really want to do. Take this moment (whether you were fired or left on your own accord) to evaluate your career choices and decide on your next steps. Did you like working with children? Do you enjoy being the one to make copies and get coffee? Do you like working in a database? Do you want to break into the $40k salary range? Whatever it is, use this time to find out what you really want. There are no guarantees that the next job will be all that you want but at least you know your areas of growth and the areas you want to stay away from.
- Edit and proofread your cover letter and résumé. Check for errors, misspellings and update any new job responsibilities. Also, add buzz words into your cover letter and résumé.
- Create/update your LinkedIn, you never know whose watching. Recruiters are on there, I’ve had hiring managers and supervisors who I’ve interviewed with check out my profile.
- Determine who your references are. Set some time to think about who you would like to list; mentors, old bosses, coworkers, etc. Once you determine your references, reach out to them and let them know you will be listing them.
- Download a job app. I personally use the Indeed app, it’s pretty amazing. By downloading a job app, you are always in the know of the newest jobs being listed.
- Set a number of jobs you want to apply to per day. This helps you stay focused during your job search. Whether its 2 jobs or 10 jobs per day, create your goals!
- When you are contacted requesting a phone/in-person interview be sure to research the company and read over the job description. I always try to make sure I know at least 3 things about the company/organization.
- Practice interview questions. Always ask yourself these three questions:
- Who am I?
- Why am I interested in this position?
- Why am I looking for a new job?
- Bonus: If you are a job hopper like me, make sure to practice an answer to “Can you explain why you haven’t stayed at a company longer than a year?”
- Create a list of questions to ask at the end of every interview. My favorite ones are:
- Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with?
- What are some of the challenges of this position?
- How does this company measure success?
- How does the first 30 days look like in this position?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- What is the salary range for this position?
- After an in-person interview, send a thank you email. It’s nice, polite, and it makes you look good.
- Always put your best foot forward when preparing for an interview; iron your clothes, determine your hairstyle the day before the interview, arrive 30 minutes early, have copies of your résumé, give yourself a pep talk, and remember to SMILE and give a firm handshake.
Bonus Tip: Lastly, and I think this is the most imperative tip; drown out the noise. Every single time I have been job hunting I’ve always had family, friends, associates and strangers question me about job hunting. “Have you found a job yet?”, “How are the interviews going?”, “You need to find a company you can stay at past a year.”. I know people mean well when they ask these questions or make comments but it does more harm than good. Unless they are paying your bills, just nod and say thanks. You owe them nothing more, you are doing just fine.
Someone once told me “Looking for a job is like having a job.”, truer words have never been spoken. There will be times that it will take one hour to apply for one job, or you have applied for 50 jobs and only 3 called you back, and on top of that your family and friends keep calling and texting asking how your job search is going, just keep your head up there is light at the end of the tunnel. Read that book you’ve always wanted to read, try to get out the house (other than for a job interview) and most importantly Stay Positive! Happy Job Hunting!
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