Are you on the hunt for a new job? Whether you’re the workforce for the first time, moving to a new city, changing careers, or recovering from a job loss, you’re going to have to go through the process of searching for a new job, and that can be time consuming and intimidating. Advice for job seekers abounds, but when you’re having difficulty landing the job you want, it can start to feel hopeless. But don’t worry! There’s a great job out there for you if you have the right tools and the right attitude. That said, there are certain key things that every jobseeker ought to do to maximize their chances of success when it comes to finding a job, so run through this checklist and make sure you haven’t overlooked anything significant.
Clean up your act on social media
You may feel like your wild party pictures, political rants, and sincere personal confessions are entirely your business. Why you might ask yourself, would a potential employer search your Facebook or Instagram feeds, anyway? The truth is that you should probably go ahead and assume that they will do just that. To protect yourself, scrub anything even mildly offensive or risqué from your social media profiles and lock down the privacy settings on anything you can’t bear to delete. That way, if a hiring manager looks up your social media accounts, they’ll have no reason to worry that you could potentially reflect poorly on the company if you become an employee.
Activate your network
When you’re in need of a new job, that’s the time to call old friends, check in with family, visit anybody who owes you a favor and make sure everyone in your social circle knows that you’re looking for a job. Connections and referrals are your aces in the hole during a job search, and knowing somebody who knows somebody who’s hiring can be one of the best and easiest ways to cut through all the stress and hassle of searching for and landing a great position somewhere. Even if none of your friends and family can hook you up directly with a job opening, it’s a good idea to strengthen your social bonds and lines of communication so you can use people as personal or professional references when the time comes.
Customize your resume
Your most powerful weapon in the battle against unemployment is your resume, so make it as sharp as you can! There are many resources online to help you craft the perfect resume, which means that there is no excuse not to get your resume just right. You can peruse a resume samples page to get an idea of what it should look like, then adapt it to reflect your objectives, education, and experience. One important thing to remember in this day and age is that many resumes will be scanned by applicant tracking systems (ATS) to search for keywords the employer is seeking. You can be eliminated from consideration if your resume doesn’t contain the particular skills and experience the employer lists as essential in a job ad. Take the time to customize your resume for each job ad to mention those critical skills.
Get comfortable with the interview process
A great resume can get you in the door, but you’ll go no further if you don’t nail the job interview. For many jobseekers, this is the most stressful and intimidating part of the process, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get. Practice with mock interviews, and keep in mind that even interviews that don’t result in a job offer are still valuable practice and will help you the next time around. Also, remember that the interview isn’t just about whether you’re a good candidate; it’s also your chance to get a feel for the company, its environment and work culture, and whether you feel like you’d be happy there. Come prepared with your own questions for the interviewer, and don’t miss the opportunity to get a good sense of the place. After the interview, be patient. Of course, you want them to call you immediately with a decision, but the hiring process often takes longer. In fact, you may even have to return for a second interview. Don’t be in a rush to get a final decision; if the job is the right one for you, it’ll be worth the time it takes to get hired.