How to Find a Job in a Smarter Way than Other Job Seekers.
How to Find a Job: Right here on this spot, I’m going to walk you through the best ways to find jobs quickly and easily, without wasting time or having to submit tons of applications on job boards without hearing back from them.
Your resume is perfect. It’s keyword-optimized, industry-specified, and full of achievements, backed by data, and double-checked by an expert.
So you’re ready to find your next job. And Monster career expert Vicki Salemi, who spent more than 15 years in corporate recruiting, says now is as good of a time as any to start looking for it. “Companies hire year-round,” she says. “You never know when the right position will open up.”
But with more than 5 million jobs on Monster, US jobs, and others, where do you even begin? Follow my tips and tricks below to help you find better, faster.
How to Find a Job: Top 10 Job Hunting Tips
To get you started on your whole new, smarter approach to job hunting, here are ten tips that you may never have thought of when attempting to nail that student or graduate job application.
1. 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 actually 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Be Confident And Personable
As I 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 really understanding who the company is and what they do, as it would make all your effort go to nothing.
Of course, they’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.
6. Work For Your University
There are hundreds of part-time jobs on campus for students, including bar work, events work, and 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.
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 University. My advice would be to apply early, as these jobs tend to disappear quickly.
7. Try An Internship
This is a particularly good option if you’re taking my 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 own 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 my 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!
8. 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.
9. Check Out Careers Fairs
Careers and graduate fairs aren’t just about the freebies (although these are always a welcome perk!).
These fares 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 to 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. Become Your Own 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 own 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.
Their Head Honcho, Owen, began Save the Student as his own business venture while he was still studying for his Geography degree and never looked back (read more about Save the Student’s story here).
There is a growing number of organizations and websites designed specifically to help young entrepreneurs succeed in business.
Do You Know What Sites You Should Use?
I’ve done the research to help you determine the best sites to use for finding a job. And with an abundance of sites that are dedicated to specific industries, I’ve broken them down by those that are more general and specialized services.
No list of best job search websites would be complete without this entry. CareerBuilder has two big points in its favor: Size and longevity, as it’s one of the biggest and longest-lived job boards on the internet. Its robust search function allows you to filter by several criteria, including location, job title, and pay range.
The site uses Google AI to help match job seekers with suitable opportunities and provides career advice and resources for job candidates. For employers, monthly subscription plans can aid in candidate searches with targeted recruitment emails, candidate management tools, and more.
This top networking site allows you to find jobs not only through direct employer listings but also through communication with your extended network.
Your profile serves as your resume, and you can easily find and share career-related content, dive deep into thought leadership posts from prominent people in your field, and solicitor supply recommendations.
Additionally, industry groups allow you to participate in professional discussions and follow companies you find interesting and relevant to your job search. Premium paid features offer more advanced search functions and services.
3. Robert Half
On their mobile app and website, you’ll find thousands of job listings from the companies they work with around the world. Many of the opportunities are exclusive to Robert Half so you won’t find them anywhere else.
Submit your resume, apply for temporary or full-time positions, and subscribe to job alerts to stay updated on brand-new opportunities.
They also offer tips to land a job and career development advice on our blog, a robust library of research into workplace trends, and our annual Salary Guides for current compensation rates for hundreds of positions across the fields we service — all at no cost to job seekers.
Employers, their website also allows you to browse our candidates and submit a hiring request for immediate follow-up. Are you hiring remote workers? They can help with that too.
This large site offers weekly job alerts, job search advice, a resume builder, and, of course, job postings. This job search website also allows you to upload your resume for hiring managers and recruiters to find in their searches. The site uses AI and blockchain technology to connect job seekers and companies through a fully automated process.
In addition to employer-posted jobs, Indeed aggregates postings from across the web including from company career pages and professional associations, and allows you to search locally or globally.
Indeed hosts more than 150 million resumes and claims that 10 new jobs are added to its site every second, globally. Free resources for job seekers include a resume builder tool and a career blog.
Robert Half has been helping job seekers find great career opportunities since 1948. Let them find the right job for you.
This site focuses on job openings for senior-level professionals, executives, and those who are aiming for upper-management positions. Candidates seeking jobs paying an annual salary of $100,000 or more can gain access to vetted openings after they’ve paid a subscription fee.
Glassdoor not only lets you search for jobs but it also allows people to review companies they’ve worked for and share salary and benefits info, giving insight that job seekers wouldn’t otherwise know.
Professionals who have interviewed with a company can also give details on the business’s recruiting processes. While all this information should be taken with a grain of salt, it can be quite revealing. On the hiring side, Glassdoor allows employers to identify job candidates and market their companies to job seekers.
8. Google for Jobs
Google for Jobs aggregates job listings from sites across the web, including several of the ones listed in this post. Use it just like you use Google, and from their same main search page. Search for key phrases like “accounting jobs” to get a list of available positions.
Results also show company ratings and salary info for the position, if available. If something catches your eye, click a button that reads, for example, “Apply on LinkedIn” to go directly to the source of the job listing and apply. One key benefit of Google for Jobs is that it eliminates redundant results and displays only one listing for each open position.
SimplyHired is a job search site that collects listings from all over the web, including company career pages, job boards, and niche job websites.
The company reports that it lists job openings from 700,000 unique employers and operates job search engines in 24 countries and 12 languages. Employers might want to note that the site sends your job posting to over 100 job boards for increased visibility.
ZipRecruiter began as a tool for small businesses to post job listings affordably. It’s now an online employment marketplace that uses AI to connect businesses of all sizes with job seekers through mobile, web, and email services.
Use ZipRecruiter’s mobile app to browse and apply to jobs and get notified as soon as your application has been viewed. The company has partnerships with several leading job boards.
Though Dice is one of the largest and best-known boards for jobs in technology and IT, it contains much more than just tech positions, such as accountant, administrative assistant, copies editor, and more.
You can search for opportunities by company, title, skill, keyword, and location on Dice’s website or mobile app. Candidates need to register to upload their resume and access other services like custom job notifications.
The site also provides a range of content for job seekers, from career advice and tech news to salary prediction and career pathing. (Check out this blog post for a list of more tech job boards.)
12. Individual company websites
Most businesses have a Jobs or Careers section on their site. Identify the top companies in your field or any that you’re interested in working for and see what opportunities they have available.
Some companies may not post all their open positions on job boards, so visiting their website could be the only way to find out about opportunities at these firms.
Check back regularly, though some may even have the option to set up job alerts for the types of positions that appeal to you most.
To improve your chances when you’re looking for a new job, make sure your resume is polished and professional. Your resume and your profiles on career websites are marketing collateral for a very important enterprise: your career. Make this an opportunity with your friends too by sharing this article with them.
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