Work is an inevitable reality that most adults are faced with. We live in a world where if you don’t work, self-sustaining can prove near impossible. The only exception to the rule is those who have come across a robust inheritance or cannot work and receive support.
It is unlikely that an individual will have the same job throughout their entire work life. According to an Economic News Release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years workers have worked for their current employer is 4.6 years. This means that the average person may find themselves unemployed or looking for a new job at some point.
Looking for a new job is stressful, and it can be hard to find an opportunity depending on the sector you work in. To get back on your feet and employed as quickly as possible, it’s crucial that your job hunt in the smartest way possible. You’re going to find out how you can maximize your job search productivity below.
1. Work on the Go
As the world becomes digital, people are becoming increasingly mobile. One way this can be interpreted is that they can now do almost everything from their gadgets and devices. This impacts how you go about your job search because you can now do it on the go.
A practical example of how you can do this would be to look for places to inquire about applications in between errands. If, for example, you’re looking for a managerial position at a grocery store, inquire every time you go food shopping. You could also bring along your laptop while you’re out and use your phone as a mobile hotspot so that you can send out your resume on the go.
Keeping track of potential leads and writing down any ideas you come up with is another way to work on the go. Potential leads could include gatekeepers within prospective companies and lead from places that are hiring. The goal should be to be proactive when it comes to looking for work.
2. Get New Certifications
No matter how educated you are, there is always room to learn more. When in between jobs, it’s the perfect time for you to update your knowledge. The good thing is that there are various ways you can go about doing it.
Some people opt to get a certification which can be a faster way of updating your knowledge. No matter what field you happen to work in, getting an IT certification could be useful for employers like IT-savvy individuals. It also creates an opportunity for you to develop new transferable skills.
Another benefit of getting a certification is that it could help increase your pay. PayScale provided Monster with the best certifications and the differences they made in annual pay. Most jobs saw a 25% increase in pay, which is an amount that makes acquiring a certification worthwhile.
3. Develop Your Skills
Similar to the last point, developing your skills could help you significantly when hunting for work. Seeing as you have more free time, use it to practice the skills you’re going to need in your desired roles. If, for example, you hope to get a job as a journalist, ensure you’re polishing your writing skills and working on creating engaging content.
You may also need to develop other closely related skills such as using a CMS system like WordPress. If you produce any documents or projects while practicing, use a project management timeline to help you create a structure, allocate time limits for each task, and track milestones. This is not only a way to stay organized, but it could also impress employers.
Aside from developing technical skills, don’t forget to work on developing your soft skills too. Knowing how to communicate, deliver presentations, or handle stress will always be useful. Some employers value these skills more highly than certain hard skills as hard skills can always be taught, but soft skills are more innate in the job search.
4. Work Smart
Working smart isn’t something that only applies to those who are employed. It is possible to use hacks to make your job hunt less arduous and help improve your productivity levels. When you work smart, you focus on tasks that will yield the best results as opposed to just being busy for its sake.
While looking for employment, you can work smarter by being specific about the type of job you’re looking for. There are likely thousands of job openings on the internet, so narrowing down your search will help you focus on the ones you want. Try filtering your search by salary, location, and company size.
Additionally, think about the type of organization you want to work for. Researching to find out what past employers’ experiences have been could help you avoid wasting time applying to a company you’ll end up hating. You should also take a close look at things like company values, work-life balance, and career progression.
This is a great time in the process also to consider the possibility of starting your own small business, especially if you are a woman trying to break into the industry. If none of the jobs you’re seeking out or applying to are checking all of your boxes, that might be a sign that you should look elsewhere, including other entrepreneurial endeavors.
5. Improve Your Online Presence
These days, employers want to hire people who know how to navigate their way online. Creating an impressive online presence could make a world of difference for this reason. There are multiple ways that you could do this, whether you’re a digital media wiz or not.
A common way to do so would be to build a website to give more insight into who you are. This is also a chance to put your portfolio in one place, so it’s easy for prospective employers to see all you’ve accomplished in your career so far. A personal website is a way to set yourself apart from other job seekers.
Bear in mind that your website doesn’t have to be overly elaborate. The goal should be to cover the basics, including images, work samples, companies you’ve worked for, and a summary of who you are. Use this opportunity to be creative, remembering that it’s a chance for you to showcase your personality.
Many times, jobs are circulated by word of mouth. This is why building a strong network of professionals is so critical. By doing so, you’re more likely to hear about job opportunities firsthand, increasing your chances of landing your dream job.
Maintain positive relationships with people around you, especially those who work within your sector. If you don’t know many people, commit to meeting new individuals at conferences, networking events, or social gatherings.
As with any relationship, you have to maintain these connections by keeping in touch regularly. A simple way to do this would be by sending greeting cards or personalized messages to them during the holidays. It’s also good to add value to the relationship by passing on valuable information to them or supporting their aspirations in any way you can.
7. Use Unconventional Methods
Although you can find success by applying for jobs in traditional ways like through recruiters and job search sites, consider more unconventional routes. One would be through cold calling or targeting employers directly. The prospect of doing this may seem scary, but it could yield positive results.
First, create a list of your dream companies and see where you would fit in and what value you offer. You’ll then need to draft an irresistible pitch that shows why and how you fit into the company. Lastly, do some investigative work and find out the appropriate person to send your pitch to, typically a decision-maker such as the HR manager.
It is possible that a job can be created for you if you’re outstanding enough and offer value. This is one of the many reasons you shouldn’t be afraid of selling yourself to your dream companies. By doing this, you not only increase your chances of getting the job you want, but you’re getting better at marketing yourself, which is an invaluable skill to have.
8. Work on Your Resume
This is probably obvious to many, but when hunting for a new job, it’s the best time to breathe life into your resume. As well as updating your skills and experience, there are other ways to make it worth stopping to look at. Seeing as employers only have a few moments to spare, you want it to get their attention quickly.
Tailor your resume to each job you’re applying for instead of creating a one size fits all version. Another ingredient for creating the perfect resume is to focus on your resume’s words as opposed to the design.
A study from job site Ladders also found that aligning the most important information along the left side of the page to create an “F pattern” could help you hold recruiters’ attention for longer.
If you have the right attitude and take the right approach, looking for work can be an opportunity for personal development.
It’s about approaching it like a full-time job and making the best use of your free time. Hopefully, by doing so for your job search, you’ll come out on the other side as a better version of yourself.