Job searching: you might be doing it all wrong

Job Fair Held At 7 World Trade Center In New York


(Editor’s Note: this article originally appeared in the Examiner, as I also write about career advice, specifically looking for a job, as well as transitioning careers).

For most people, searching for a job can be a daunting task. It has been said that your job search can be a full time job, but in this day and age, it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to the advances in technology, not only can you search for a job easily, but it doesn’t have to take up your entire day.

Here are six tips that will help expedite your job search:

1) Which jobs should I apply for? The easiest ones. Job boards like Indeed, Careerbuilder, and Monster all have options to where you can easily apply for the positions. These are the ones that are linked to a specific email (Indeed and Careerbuilder will generally tell you what email your resume and cover letter will go to). If a company is still relying on an antiquated profile to attract/screen candidates, then that should tell you that they’re they’re not keeping in step with the times.

Plus, filling out a profile online is a giant waste of time. In the amount of time that it takes to fill out one online profile on average (45 minutes to an hour), you can apply for 30-40 jobs by clicking on a couple of buttons to submit your resume and/or your cover letter.

Think about it; which strategy is going to give you the greater chance of getting a call to get to the next steps in landing a job?

2) Speaking of applying for jobs, which specific positions should you apply for? The ones that you really want to do. Be specific, don’t just apply for anything. Regardless of what position you are in your career, you’re still building your resume. Do you want it to be filled with great jobs that challenged you and expanded your skill set, or just a bunch of random jobs that you took because you “needed the money”?

Every job that you take has to be better and pay more than the last one, and most of all, has to be fulfilling. Your salary history is taken into consideration whenever you’re applying for another job, and if you made less than the industry average, they may not take you serious enough to consider you for the position. This also works at the other end of the spectrum as well, so keep that in mind when applying for jobs.

While we’re on the subject of getting paid…

3) Make sure that you’re getting paid what you’re worth. Generally speaking, the position posted online will mention the pay rate, so that you can quickly determine if it makes sense to apply for it. In the event that it doesn’t, you can inquire about the rate when applying. If a potential employer will only discuss the rate during the interview, that’s usually a telltale sign that they’re offering less than what the industry average is.

Conversely, if you are contacted by a recruiter, and they don’t mention the rate in their initial email and/or phone call, ask what it is, before continuing on in the conversation.

4) The best time to apply for a job? Sunday evening. The later the better. Why Sunday evening? Because whatever job that you’re applying to will be sent in the form of an email to someone’s inbox. The first thing that you want them to see on Monday morning is your email, containing your resume.

5) Does your voicemail sound professional? If not, then change it.  Keep it simple, just advise them to leave a name, phone number, and the reason for the call, and assure them that you’ll contact them as soon as possible.

6) Are you on LinkedIn? If not, go and create a profile. If you’re not networking, then you’re not really looking for a job. Networking leads to jobs that are not advertised, which accounts for about 80% of all available jobs out there.

That being said, don’t limit it to just LinkedIn, your contacts on Facebook, twitter, forums, etc. are another great source of information. Someone you know knows of a job opening, or knows someone that does.

Utilizing these six tips will not only free up your valuable time to focus on other things, like working on your resume and networking, but will increase your chances of getting a call back to schedule a meeting. Look for the next article that’ll help you build the resume that will get you noticed.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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