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How to Find a Job in a More Smarter Way Than Other Applicants

Filed in Education by on May 6, 2021

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How to Find a Job: It’s a great way to procrastinate, but not a great way on how to get a better job or better yet, to land your dream job. These articles will be very useful, but not nearly enough. The simple things you’ll need to get a job are well covered. You have to play your part after reading.

How to Find a Job in a More Smarter Way

My main word of advice to you if you are searching for a job is this: don’t just think in terms of ticking the boxes and meeting the criteria that an employer is looking for.

Applying for jobs is about really selling yourself to a potential employer – why should they pick you over other applicants? Think about how you can stand out from the crowd.

This is often overlooked by students who search for jobs by dropping impersonal CVs and cover letters into high street retail stores and bars.

How you handle the application process is a reflection of the kind of employee you are: come across like you’re not putting the effort in at this stage of the game, and it won’t impress anyone.

Also, try not to let failed applications knock your confidence too much. Remember the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ in secondary school? Well, this applies to the job market too.

Those who are willing to mutate (in approach) and take each rejection letter like water off a duck’s back are likely to succeed. Keep reminding yourself of this!

The job market can be hard to crack in either case, no matter your age or experience. Start by networking and searching online for job openings, tailoring your resume and cover letter to match what employers are seeking, and then sending in stand-out applications.

The process may seem daunting, but going in with determination and a plan will carry you through until you find the perfect opportunity. Now let me discuss these smarter ways of getting a suitable job with you.

1. Talk to Friends and Family

Staff referral is one of the most popular methods used for recruitment by employers, as companies often prefer to hire someone who their trusted employees can vouch for.

Take advantage of this by asking around friends and family who work in industries you’d like to explore. This can often result in you finding out about vacancies before the competition does, and instantly puts you at an advantage if someone can recommend you.

2. Try Online Networking

Get plugged into career networking sites like LinkedIn. You might think this is a step ahead of yourself if you’re still studying, but it looks great to employers if you’re already keen to know what’s going on in the job market before you’ve even graduated.

Join discussion groups for industries you’re interested in and start building your social network to keep in the loop for the latest job offers.

Following companies that you like and commenting on their posts is also a great way to get noticed, although remember to keep your comments professional, and save the rants for Facebook.

Note that it’s also bad etiquette to add anyone on LinkedIn who you don’t already know, so going on a mad connection-adding spree won’t work in your favor. Check out our guide to using LinkedIn to find a job and you’ll nail this bit.

3. Expand Your Search (and your mind)

Particularly thanks to technology, the job market is constantly evolving at such a pace that there are heaps of jobs out there that you’ve probably never even heard of – and that didn’t exist back when you were speaking to your career counselor at school.

For example, do you know what a UX designer is? How about a Content Marketer, a Backend Developer, or a Growth Hacker? It’s worth putting some research into this, as you might find that once you get past the unfamiliar names, these are roles you’d be interested in trying out.

Choosing to go down a less traditional career path can also mean less competition, and you might find there are more opportunities available if you expand your horizons and start looking at more niche positions.

4. Go Beyond Job Listings

Sometimes sticking to job listings isn’t the best way to move forward.

Focusing on specific companies rather than vacancies can work in your favor, as when you move on to the application process, you’ll already have an interest in the company. That should shine through in what you say, as opposed to just applying because there’s a job up for grabs.

Keep an eye on job listings, of course, but if you see a few positions going at a great company and none of the roles are suitable for you, send them a CV and cover letter anyway (remember: sell yourself!).

If a company is posting more than one vacancy at once, it’s a sign that they’re expanding. This means it’s the perfect time to make yourself known to them and show them what you’ve got.

5. Work for Your University

There are hundreds of part-time jobs on campus for students, including bar work, events work, admin jobs, and giving guided tours to prospective students.

With decent pay and hours (as well as usually being quite close to your dorm room and your lecture theatres), these jobs are gold dust.

Work for Your University

It also helps that the university already knows you, so are likely to be able to provide a glowing reference when you look for work after uni. Our advice would be to apply early, as these jobs tend to disappear quickly.

6. Be Confident and Personable

As we mentioned earlier, how you handle the application process will give potential employers an idea of the kind of worker you are.

For example, someone who takes initiative by emailing a senior member of staff to ask for a coffee will give off a much more positive, go-getter impression than someone who just sends in a flat CV and copy/pasted cover letter.

However, make sure that if you go for this option you do some serious research about the company before you make your move. You don’t want to be caught out as not understanding who the company is and what they do, as it would make all your effort go to nothing.

Of course, we’re not suggesting you barge into an office asking for work, but just asking to speak to someone from HR so you can tell them how amazing you think the company is will get you some serious gold stars next to your CV.

The chances are, you’ll stand out in their memory when they reach the decision-making stage.

7. Try a Recruitment Agency

Finding work through a recruitment agency can be a good choice, particularly if you find the whole idea of selling yourself particularly tough – recruiters are paid to do that bit for you!

Recruitment agencies regularly and actively search for work on your behalf, so this, of course, can lighten the burden a bit if you’re finding trawling for jobs particularly tiresome, and it can bag you a job quicker than expected.

However, while there are big positives, do be aware that temp work sourced by recruitment agencies can often involve a whole lot of licking envelopes for minimum wage, and nothing more inspiring.

Agency work for students tends to be poorly paid, often pretty boring, and (depending on the job) lacking in long-term security and prospects.

8. Try an Internship

This is a particularly good option if you’re taking our suggestion from tip number four on board and trying out some unchartered territory within the job market.

If a position is unfamiliar, you must get a chance to try it out before you decide if it’s for you.

At Save the Student, we’re against unpaid internships as we believe that no one should have to work for free but use your judgment on this one.

If you think you’d benefit from getting a bit of work experience before deciding if a certain career is a right path for you, maybe offering to do a month unpaid at a nice company would work well. Should you go for a position without a salary, check out our guide to surviving in an unpaid internship.

However, know your rights when it comes to internships, as unfortunately, some companies will take advantage of young people looking to kick-start their careers by making them work a full-time position without paying up.

Paid internships are really common these days. Although they don’t pay much, you’ll pick up invaluable skills, experience, and contacts relating directly to your preferred business and industry that will be extremely useful later.

Either that, or if the position goes particularly well, you might even get a job out of it!

9. Check Out Career’s Fairs

Careers and graduate fairs aren’t just about the freebies (although these are always a welcome perk!).

These fairs are a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk directly to big-time employers and recruiters. Remember, they’ve paid for the stall they’re standing at for the sole purpose of speaking to job-seekers like you, so take advantage of being in this rare position.

Make the most of the opportunity to network and be informed about application processes and chances.

Also, don’t forget to take a notepad – take down the names, positions and email addresses of the people you talk to and send them a follow-up email afterward (just a quick ‘hello’ to say how nice it was to meet them and get you on their radar!).

10. Perfect Your Resume

Before you apply to a job, you need to spruce up your resume. This document is your key to getting a company to notice you, so it needs to shine.

But here’s something not a lot of job applicants realize: 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies employ computer software — not people — to review resumes. These are called applicant tracking systems (ATS), and they resume bots that automatically scan sort, and rank resumes based on whether they meet certain qualifications.

Perfect Your Resume

So not only do you need a strong resume, but you also need to write for the bots. A few tips to make your resume ATS-friendly include:

  • Avoid images, charts, graphics, or funky symbols. The ATS has difficulty translating those.
  • Optimize your resume with specific job-related keywords. These are the words that the job listing (and similar ones) most frequently include.
  • Save your resume as a Word document — not a PDF. Word documents tend to be more ATS friendly.

Even if you’re not applying to a Fortune 500 company or a company that uses software to sort resumes, these tips will also help enhance your resume in the eyes of the human hiring manager. Perfecting your resume before applying to gigs will help you get noticed and snag more interviews.

11. Become Your Boss

Many students and graduates often feel discouraged from starting their own business due to risk or the lack of security it offers.

Although becoming your boss can seem like a scary movie, if you have a big idea and the motivation to push it then this could be the smartest move you ever make.

There is a growing number of organizations and websites designed specifically to help young entrepreneurs succeed in business.

If after the first year you decide it’s not for you, then that’s something valuable you’ve learned for life, and (hopefully) you’ll have no regrets in having tried. It will also look amazing on your CV.

12. Don’t Settle

Remain specific when it comes to where you want to work. Just because there are 10 openings in your field, doesn’t mean you should apply to all of them. Research their employer brand online and speak with friends and family, so that you find a company and position that fits your work values and needs.

Before starting your research, try compiling a list of what the perfect company is to you, the type of work environment you thrive in, and any companies that excite you.

13. Don’t Just Quit

You’ve done your research and submitted your application/resume, but now what? Keep your eyes open for other potential employers and opportunities as they come available, it’s better to apply for any positions that interest you than just applying to one or two.

If a company sends a rejection letter, take this opportunity to ask them what you could have done differently, and build on that for next time.

If you’re in a situation where you need to find a job fast, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. Trying to rush the process can lead to mistakes and oversights, which will ultimately slow you down. As long as you have a plan mapped out and you stay focused, you’ll be good to go.

You can make a way for your friends too by sharing this article with them on their social media handles.

CSN Team.

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