4 Strategies for Success in the Modern Job Search

4 Strategies for Success in the Modern Job Search

For some, searching for a new job is an exciting experience. For others, it can be totally nerve-wracking. No matter how you feel about the job search, it’s important to be successful so you can land your next position. That said, the way people search for jobs has changed over time. The classified section of the newspaper was a great place to look for a long time. Then the internet came along and electronic job boards stole the scene. Nowadays, it’s important to use contemporary and relevant job search strategies, and with more visibility, it’s more important than ever to represent yourself well. Here are a few ways to set yourself up for success on the job hunt.

1. Update Your Resume

Update your resume before you do anything else. Period. Seriously, stop reading this article now and just do it. Interviewers and potential employers are going to want to see your work history. And many won’t even consider you as a candidate unless your resume is up to date and accurate. It’s a representation of you and your experience.

When updating your resume, you don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done. Focus on highlighting experiences and skills that are most relevant to the position. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, emphasize accomplishments and projects related to marketing strategies, campaign management, and data analytics. You can probably cut the section highlighting the summer you spent cutting your grandpa’s grass.

Tailoring your resume to match the requirements of the job will make it more impactful and increase your chances of standing out to potential employers. With tens, hundreds, or even thousands of resumes hitting an interviewer’s desk every day, yours needs to stand out. One way to make yours more memorable is by using an advanced AI cover letter generator. Simply upload your information and the builder will craft a custom, ATS-compliant cover letter tailored to each role. A well-crafted resume increases the likelihood an interviewer will notice you, so get yours in shape before you start submitting applications.

2. Strengthen Your Skill Set

If you’ve worked the same job for a while or haven’t worked in a while, you may want to update more than just your resume. Work changes over time, and employers are looking for people who understand industry trends and technological advancements. When was the last time you learned a new industry-specific skill? Now might be a good time.

Learning or re-learning a skill shows your employer at least three things. First, that you care about your industry and want to excel in it. Second, that your know-how is up to date. Third, and perhaps most importantly, that you’re a driven and proactive person — a desirable quality for an employee to have.

There are multitudes of skills you can learn online. Whether that’s something like understanding Microsoft Excel or learning a brand new language, it can give you a competitive advantage. Think about what skills are desirable in your target industry and research a course to learn them. You may be surprised by what’s available out there and how quickly you can grow.

3. Create a Personal Brand and Freelance

If being proactive and driven is desirable, then little says “I’m proactive and self-driven” more than freelancing. Now freelancing — essentially creating your own job — may seem antithetical to just finding one. And it definitely is a longer-term investment of your time. But be patient and diligent enough, and it may pay off tremendously.

Don’t think of freelancing as trying to create a self-sustaining business to carry your future. Instead, treat it as a side hustle to build your credibility. Freelancing within your industry shows that you have desirable skills that people will pay for. You can then use that work as examples in a portfolio during your next interview.

Freelancing, especially as a temporary gig, isn’t as hard as it may seem. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but you can find tons of work on websites like Upwork or Fiverr. It’s also worthwhile to create your own website as a repository. It may take a few months, but eventually, you’ll have some solid evidence to display. Think of freelancing as building a skill set and a super-resume that will really wow an interviewer.

4. Network

Networking is socializing to build and maintain connections with professionals in your industry. And of all the job search strategies out there, it may be the most valuable and effective. As of 2023, a whopping 85% of jobs are filled through personal and/or professional connections. Despite this, only 48% of people stay in touch with their network. Which means there’s room for you to move in.

You can improve your networking skills by attending networking functions both online and in person. For online connections, reach out to individuals on sites like LinkedIn. Or use other social media like Facebook or Instagram — it depends on where people in your industry tend to market and connect. Figure out where your industry-specific social media hotspots are and start schmoozing.

By networking online you’ll also start to find out about in-person networking events. In-person events present excellent opportunities to make new connections and maintain old ones. You can also find in-person events by subscribing to industry-relevant emails and newsletters. Research what the biggest annual events are and plan to attend. If you’re ever unsure how to spend your time and energy when performing a job search, put it toward networking.

Take Action

Don’t just sit around waiting for the perfect employer to accept your application on a job board. There are so many others out there doing the same thing, so you need to stand out from the crowd.

If you take away anything from this article it should be this: be proactive. Update your resume; develop your skills; create a side hustle; and get out there and meet people. Build momentum, and eventually you’ll start seeing the doors of opportunity start to open.


Feature image provided by Tim Gouw; Pexels; Thanks!

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