How to find a job while tackling explosive competition, a tightening economy, and a labor market filled with paradoxes? According to a January 2022 LinkedIn report, as of October 2021, 11 million labor roles were to be filled in the U.S. But surprisingly enough, a whopping one-third of Gen Z’s ghosted their employers in 2022 because the recruiter was rude to them or lied about the position. This shows that despite abundant jobs, employees seek greater flexibility about where, when, and how they work. What’s more, COVID-induced disruption has added to the mass resignation of mid-level employees, thus shifting recruiters’ priorities to secure a talent pool rich in leadership roles and business acumen, setting different benchmarks of coveted skill sets for the workforce.
This comprehensive guide divides the overwhelming task of how to find a job into smart, achievable modules of action supported by insights from the job industry.
Learning the Fundamentals
There are three primary aspects of a job search:
- Pre-interview preparation is where you hone your skill sets, discover your areas of interest, undertake market research, make a compelling portfolio, and prepare and apply for interviews
- The actual interview process and mastering the relevant interpersonal skills
- The follow-up section deals with following up after a job interview
We will now delve into each of these fundamental checkpoints on how to find a job.
How to Find a Job That’s Right for You
The first central element in this stage is to find a career path that resonates with you. So here’s what you need to do:
Deep Introspection: Finding Your Talents
As job and recruitment conditions evolve, you can underline your core competency in the following ways:
- Talking to your friends, parents, present or former colleagues—anyone who has a practical idea of your skills
- Looking back at your past professional experiences
- Jot down keywords on topics that interest you and commit to further research
- Take a look at your past extracurricular activities and reflect on what you thoroughly enjoyed
Research and Practice
Zeroing in on your skill sets entails thorough research on their technical nitty-gritty and extensive practice that will be helpful in the selection tests.
For instance, if graphic designing is an area of interest, its underlying skill sets include learning fundamental design software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. If you are familiar with Photoshop, you can start working with the latest updates, such as the Object Selection Tool Update or Emoji Glyph Support.
Alongside developing your skills, market research should be given equal importance as it helps you understand the following:
- Potential domains for high-paying jobs
- Gaps in skill sets
- What recruiters are looking for
- The customer base you are going to serve
Preparing a Solid Resume
A common misconception in the job industry is that a resume and a CV mean the same when they are actually very different. While a CV is a comprehensive overview of all your academic and professional credentials, a resume is specific to the job. Taking the same example of a graphic design job profile, a candidate’s resume will highlight links to published works and list one’s software proficiency to specific design applications. An ideal resume should list the following soft skills:
- Empathy and interpersonal communication
Here are the must-include elements of a resume:
- A brief description of your work ethic and governing ideologies
- A brief history of your professional work
- Education, achievements, and certifications
- A list of skills relevant to the job profile you are applying for
Starting the Job Hunt
Innumerable websites let you design attractive resumes and update your portfolio absolutely free of charge. Once that is done, job-hunting is the next step in finding a job.
How can you make your job search more efficient?
A productive job search always points toward quality rather than quantity. Here are some tips to consolidate your focus:
- Appropriate job search keywords go a long way
- Shortlist the companies that appeal to you within the chosen domains
- Know where to be—although there are thousands of job listing websites, one needs to know where to look specifically
- Connect and reach out to your online network
- Join seminars and career fairs to track how business trends are evolving
What are the best places to look for a job?
Here are some popular job websites and their areas of focus:
- Indeed: Tops across all benchmarks
- Flexjobs: Best known for remote jobs
- Glassdoor: The go-to website for employer research
- LinkedIn: Used mainly for building networks and connecting with recruiters
- Angel: Popular for startup jobs
How to make your resume stand out?
Approximately, over 50 million people search for jobs on LinkedIn every week. This means even more people have already signed up for at least one of the job boards. As the number of applicants increases, recruiters often don’t have the bandwidth to check thousands of resumes in detail. Here’s how to find a job and entice recruiters at the same time:
- Each industry has its own set of requirements, and one should tailor their resume accordingly
- Frame your skills in a way that they seem transferable
- If you are applying via LinkedIn, send a connecting personal note to your recruiter
- Your resume summary should promptly respond directly to the job description to save recruiters time
- Describe and properly quantify your achievements
- Industry-related keyword usage highlights your resume, especially in the era of bots
- Have a professional email address that looks authentic
Preparing for the Interview
This is where the actual preparation for the interview starts. Listed below are the best practices on how to find a job and ace your interview:
Write a Compelling Cover Letter
A cover letter communicates the intangible benefits of working with you that aren’t readily apparent from the resume. Here are the basic characteristics of a cover letter:
- Company and job profile research is a must and should reflect in your writing
- Cover letters focus on what you want to do
- Always lead with a strong opening statement that grasps the reader’s interest
- Take the opportunity to highlight your value
- The language should be active but not boasting
- Enthusiasm to want the position
- An ideal cover letter varies between half a page to a full page, but not more than that
How to Talk to Your Employer During the Interview?
Before we get into this section of how to find a job, it is important to realize that interviews are time-specific and outcome-oriented. Here are four tips for charming the interviewer:
- Establish a basic modicum of trust by lucidly communicating what you can do for the company.
- Remember, you are more than the sum of your achievements: Recruiters look for balanced personalities who can perfectly showcase the humanistic appeal of a brand or business.
- While sharing your achievements, highlight two success stories and the resources you utilized. Share an insight about the other resources that facilitated your success.
- Make sure you bring up a story of challenges and failure: Recruiters take this as a litmus test for how you speak about your mistakes and how well you can introspect and undo the disruption within the shortest span of time.
How to be Inquisitive About the Company?
Your questions on past company decisions will boost employers’ trust, hinting at your deep engagement with the company. While learning how to find a job, always have questions like these up your sleeve:
- What was your thinking behind this specific marketing strategy? (Domain-specific questions will vary according to industry.)
- What constitutes success in this job?
- What do you want me to achieve within the first 90 days of the job?
- Can you give me an example of a formidable challenge the company faced recently?
- How did you deal with the issues at hand?
- Can you tell me about a recent success story? How did you reward the personnel responsible for this success?
Types of Questions Recruiters Usually Ask
The trick to cracking interviews is looking at each question as an opportunity to highlight your strengths. Here are some fundamental areas recruiters usually cover:
- Personal questions: Recruiters ask such questions to get a summary of your personality and thought process as well as your decision-making patterns
- Culture-fit questions: Such questions gauge your compatibility with the job profile, company values, and behavioral expectations
- Questions on knowledge, background, and hard skills: This is your opportunity to highlight your preparedness for the job role
- Work habit questions: Given the rise of different kinds of work scenarios, recruiters actively investigate your work patterns in times of professional emergency, how you respond to criticism, how you handle hierarchy, etc
- Career outlook questions: Use this open-ended opportunity to talk about how you foresee your professional future and align your vision with that of the company
The Day of the Interview
What to Wear?
Finding what to wear is an essential ingredient of how to find a job. Your attire reflects how you present yourself within a professional space. Moreover, in a world of first impressions, bagging a job entails researching dress codes, choosing neutral colors, and staying updated with the latest trends professionally to reflect your sense of investment in the offered job role.
Interview etiquette is another essential element regarding how to find a job. It entails:
- Being punctual.
- Positive body language is paramount; greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and smile.
- Do not be embarrassed if you are nervous.
- Focus on the grammar of your speech. 77% of recruiters see grammatical mistakes and typos as dealbreakers. Articulation is thus a very important criterion for success.
- Listen intently. The best responses are mostly intuitive and will come to you only when you listen attentively.
- Clean up your social media profiles. Recruiters will definitely check your social media presence to garner perspectives beyond what you put in your resume.
- Take the interview as a conversation between two like-minded individuals.
- Patiently wait for the interviewer to bring up the subject of salary.
- Always close on a positive note.
- Finally, most job offers take up to two to three interview rounds to finalize a candidate. So, don’t expect the recruiter to drop the mic in the first interview round, even if you perform exceptionally well.
How to Negotiate Your Salary?
Discussing your salary needs is the first step toward a transparent recruitment process. But as an interviewee, you must know when to pick up the cue when the interviewer approaches the topic. Here are some crucial tips to consider while negotiating your salary:
- Put all your focus on your strengths, and relay your needs effectively
- Always state how you will add more value to the organization
- Take a hint from the latest industry standards
- Consider the organizational bandwidth to better gauge salary rates
- Keep a specific number in mind as a yardstick for negotiation
Following Up After the Interview
Why Should You Write a Follow-Up Letter?
- It anchors the interview experience in the recruiter’s mind
- It reconfirms your interest in the job profile
- You can talk about the skills you missed mentioning during the face-to-face interview
- It is a great chance to reiterate your potential value to the organization
- Strengthens your hiring chances by providing important reference information
Essential Rules to Follow While Drafting a Follow-Up Letter
- Wait for two to three days before following up—there’s a thin line between following up and giving the impression of being too desperate
- The language should hint toward positivity and genuine inquiry
- Recall the experience that transpired between you and the interviewer to highlight some lighthearted connection
- Recall any question from the interview whose answer wasn’t up to your standards
- A polite and positive reflection about the entire association with the company
Prepare for the Future
Given these facts, perhaps the question of the moment should be, ‘How to find a job in times of maximum synergy of technology and human resources?’ The answer lies in upskilling and synchronizing your interests with market demands. One way would be to explore the exhaustive specialized courses offered by Emeritus. Good luck!
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