It can be impossible and overwhelming trying to figure out how to tackle your job search. We wanted to help get you started by focusing on some of the basics: why people search for jobs, what the job search landscape looks like today, and how you as a job seeker can stand out from the crowd and successfully find your next job.
Starting the search for a new job can be a daunting task. The job search landscape is changing and it is difficult to know where to begin. What do I need? Where should I look? How am I going to stand out from the crowd? While there are many job positions available there are also many candidates actively looking for work. On top of that, most companies look to internal hires before branching out to new applicants and many companies are now targeting passive job seekers with the help of social media, which means there are even more candidates competing for the same jobs.
In order to start your job search you need to determine why you are searching in the first place. There are many reasons people look for a new job opportunity and you must take those factors that affected your decision to make a change and apply them to your search in order to make sure you are not making a lateral career move.
Factors that can affect the decision for a career change:
- Entering into a new career field
- Loss of previous job
- No longer challenged in your current role
- Want a higher salary
- Feel you should be promoted
These are just a few of the main reasons people look for a new position. It is important to remember why you are choosing to leave your previous job because while a position may sound exciting at first, it could contain some of the same problems as your previous job, so you want to be aware of what positions you are applying to, especially if you are looking for a new job in the same position/at the same level of the business.
Once you have decided which type of job you are searching for and what criteria you want in a new job you must actually start your search. The job search is constantly evolving and there is always a new way to find a job.
Top avenues for available job opportunities:
- Job boards
- Social media
- Corporate career sites
- Friends & family
Word of mouth is a huge factor in the job search. As the saying goes “it’s not what you know but who you know.” Many candidates are recommended and offered jobs based on the fact that they know someone at that company. While this is not always the case it is important to remember this in order to use it to your advantage. Network whenever possible and don’t let a lack of job offer get you down, there are many factors in play as to who is picked for a position.
The current job search landscape is online. According to a 2015 study from Careerbuilder, 77% of active job seekers used a Google search to look for a job. Of those job seekers 84% used company career pages to look for jobs and 74% used social media. Social media plays a huge role in the modern job search. Companies are actively using their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages to post jobs and recruit viable candidates. This is beneficial for candidates because not only are you getting first access to available jobs if you are active on social media but you are given the chance to interact with companies, show you appreciation and excitement, as well as gather information on the company from the endless amount of information available at your fingertips.
In addition to the online job search, another major job avenue is employment agencies. Employment agencies allow you to find a job through a third party that is recruiting for another company. This is often beneficial as these companies are given first access to available jobs and if you are registered with an agency your name could be on the shortlist for a position long before the general public ever has a chance to apply. Additionally, nowadays agencies are online and on social media as well so access to jobs has never been easier.
While the amount of available jobs is very high the amount of candidates for each job is equally as high. As stated above, with access to social media and people’s profiles on many online networks there are additional ways for employers to find candidates. So while they may offer a job posting on their company website they can also be searching LinkedIn (and more recently Facebook) for viable passive candidates. Passive candidates are people not currently looking for a job, with the idea that a good enough offer may change their mind. Companies do this in order to recruit top talent from other companies to theirs. So how do you combat this? How do you stand out from the passive candidates, the referrals from current employees and families and friends, and the other active job seekers?
How to stand out in your job search:
- Stay active on social media
- Offer a different type of resume
- Put in the time
In order to stand out from all of the other candidates you need to make an impression. Listed above are just a few of the ways job seekers can make a stronger impression on their potential employers. If you are active of social media, follow the big players in your industry as well as companies you are interested in working for, that gives you a strong advantage. You will be knowledgeable of all goings on at the company and in the industry as well as have immediate access to job postings. Interacting with said companies are another way to get you name out there. Let them know you’re interested in a job; most companies do not receive nearly as much customer communication as you would think so there is a good chance your voice will be heard. Do not bombard them with tweets or messages but getting your name out there and creating an interaction is a great way to start a relationship with the company and show your passion.
Another excellent way to stand out in your job search is through your fantastic resume. These days pretty much everyone’s resumes look the same. They are all the same format and if you’re applying for the same job, chances are they have the same skill set listed. For that reason you need to stand out. If relevant to your industry try creating a more creative type of resume. These are much more likely to catch the eye of the hiring manager and put your name to the top of the list. Check out this list of 45 create resumes sure to capture attention. Another type of resume that has become more prominent is the video resume. Instead of submitting a paper resume like everyone else you could submit a video that gives the employer an overall sense of your personality and skills. 89% of employers said that they would consider someone who submitted a video resume. Follow this guide for creating the perfect video resume.
Other ways in which you can stand out during your job hunt include networking (both on and offline), and putting in the effort. Many people just submit their resume and don’t do any additional work but if you put in the time to follow up with people, network at industry events, and join social media, along with an awesome resume you will have a step up on other candidates who are active but might as well be passive. They say that searching for a full-time job should be your full-time job and this is very true. You must put in the effort to stand out in this market. In a world where everyone wants things so quickly you have to make a strong impression to be noticed, and no one is going to help you get there, you have to believe in yourself and put in the effort.
With a clear understanding of the job you want, where you should go to find it, and how to go about standing out from the crowd you will be unstoppable in your job search.
Here is a resource to help put together a perfect resume and with these job search tips and this resume resource you should have no problem landing a job interview. When you do make sure you check out our Ultimate Interview Guide to help you through that part of your job search.