If you’ve applied to countless jobs and sent your resume to dozens of employers with no luck, it may be time to revamp your job search. Follow these tips to get noticed, meet the right people and get started with a career in your field.
Don’t Blend In
It can be hard to make yourself stand out among the hundreds of candidates vying for the job you want. Jesika McCauley, director of career services for Globe University, says that it’s important to create a personal reference for yourself so that you don’t get lost in the shuffle.
“Make sure you’re doing something more than just electronically submitting your application,” says McCauley. “Go the extra step to network – ask someone from the company to meet for coffee – to make a personal connection so that you’re not just a piece of paper.”
Think Outside the Box
You don’t have to wait for an employer to respond to your application for an open position. There are unique ways to connect with people at organizations and get your foot in the door. McCauley points out that thinking outside the box actually starts with thinking inside the box – or the people you know.
“Start sharing your story and your goals with those closest to you,” she says. “Don’t feel like you have to go directly to the source. Let your connections work for you, and don’t try so hard.”
McCauley says simply attending relevant professional events can introduce you to new professionals, too.
“Get out there and meet and talk to people at volunteer and networking events,” she says. “It’s better than sitting online and scrolling through job postings all day.”
Use Social Media Strategically
Social media is a tool that both job seekers and recruiters can use to their advantage. You can use LinkedIn to connect with potential employers, but more importantly, your profile should be optimized with keywords that highlight your skills and experience, making it that much easier for employers to find you. McCauley says you shouldn’t forgot about your other social channels, though.
“Make sure your Facebook and Twitter profiles are cleaned up,” she says. “But also use social media to do your research.”
McCauley suggests following organizations you’re interested in to keep tabs on what they’re up to.
“It’s a good way to stay up on current events, community service projects or get an idea of the company’s culture,” she says. “Then you can bring those things up in an interview to show you did your homework.”
Network with Your Peers
It’s important to network with those working in the field of your choice, but don’t forget about those who are in the same boat as you. Team up with fellow job seekers to support their efforts, and they’ll be likely to do the same in return.
“It’s a good way to build relationships and help each other out as professionals,” says McCauley. “Maybe a classmate found a job they’re not necessarily interested in, or you saw something you don’t think is a good fit for you, but you can share these with each other.”
Your peers can also be good sources for referrals. They may be able to put in a good word for you at their company once they’re hired, give you a heads up about an opening or send a recruiter your way in the future.
There are a few key pieces you should have prepared when job searching: your resume, references, cover letter and portfolio. Don’t forget to keep your LinkedIn profile updated as well, and make sure your professional wardrobe is clean, ironed and ready to go if you are suddenly called in for an interview.
McCauley says being equipped goes beyond physical materials, though.
“You should always be mentally prepared, even if you’re happy in your current role,” she says. “You never know what opportunities might come up, and you should always be open to exploring them.”
To learn more about Globe University and career support services visit www.globeuniversity.edu/about-us/career-services.