Improve Your Job Search Skills to Get the Job You Want

Job Search Skills

Hunting for a job can be difficult! There is a resume to create, job postings to sift through, interviews to prepare for, networking to undertake and a variety of expectations in different sectors and from different employers. The process can be complicated and stressful. So how can you find and land your dream job? The following are some tips to improve your job search skills so you can get the job you want. 

  • Be clear about what you want: Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Ponder the type of work that you enjoy. Think about what’s important to you (title, income, promotion, location, company culture, etc.) Use this information to decide what type of job you’re looking for. 
  • Do your research: Investigate what the job market is offering. Compare job listings in terms of responsibilities, salary, benefits, company culture, etc. Determine which companies would be a good fit for you. Check out company reviews. Follow their social media. 
  • Create a plan: Set daily and weekly goals for the number of informational interviews undertaken, networking calls made, and applications submitted. Spend no more than ½ an hour per day on job boards. Spend the bulk of your time networking and looking for job referrals. Be persistent. Apply often.
  • Fine tune your resume: As no two jobs are identical, adjust the specifics of your resume according to each job description. Locate keywords in the job listing and use them in your resume. Make your CV concise and aesthetically pleasing. Showcase who you are as a potential employee.
  • Incorporate a cover letter: Add value to your application by allowing the prospective employer to feel your excitement through your cover letter. Provide a customized letter for each position you apply for. Be eager and energetic. Tap into what motivated you to apply for the job. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction that expresses your enthusiasm about the position and the company. Follow with a description of your skills, accomplishments, attributes and qualifications as they relate to the role. Then state how you can add value. Thank the hiring manager for their consideration. 
  • Be organized: Develop a spreadsheet to keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for, whether you have been interviewed and when/if you’ve heard back.
  • Go online: Subscribe to websites and publications that carry job postings. Make and/or update your Linkedin profile. Bookmark your favourite job search sites and organizations. Leverage the power of the internet to make your job search successful. 
  • Network: Put your networking efforts into overdrive. Seek out industry events where hiring managers can be found. Join relevant groups in your industry. Show that you are a knowledgeable, well-rounded person that is worth watching. 
  • Prepare for interviews:  Learn about the business where you’re hoping to work. Pay attention to the mission statement, company culture, recent news and social media accounts. This will give you insight into the organization’s plans, goals and methods. If possible, find out the name of your interviewer and research him/her as well. Look into the company’s competitors to help determine what sets the organization apart.  Prepare three to five selling points (what makes you the best candidate, how your experience prepares you for the position) and be prepared to explain why you want the job (what interests you about the position, what it offers you). Research common questions for the job you’re interviewing for and prepare your answers. Practice with a friend or in front of a mirror. Prepare a few stories to relate that emphasize your strengths, skills, contributions and creativity. Record your answers and then play them back to see where you need to improve.
  • Pay attention to your online activities: Keep your social media accounts clean and work-friendly in order to increase the chances of an employer seeking you out. 
  • Consider short-term, part-time and/or temporary assignments in specialized areas. They allow you to gain experience, develop skills and acquire knowledge. Network while you are working, to position yourself for possible full-time employment later. 
  • Utilize mobile technology: Employers and recruiters use smartphones to contact candidates and often send alerts when new positions become available. Make the best of this technology. 
  • Take advantage of referral opportunities: Friends, relatives, fellow alumni, past employers, coworkers, clients/customers, and professional associations are all possible sources of referrals. Utilize them.
  • Be professional in your communications. Fill out forms and submit resumes in the fashion requested. Make things convenient for your possible employer.  
  • Pay attention to your attitude: Show initiative, creativity and a positive attitude. Be respectful when being contacted and/or interviewed.
  • Be timely: Don’t wait for the deadline. Apply as soon as possible. 
  • Remain positive: A series of “nos” can deflate and discourage you. Take time to look after yourself (exercise, meditate, watch a movie, see a friend). Create a support network of people who understand your situation. Ask for support and advice.
  • Enlist the help of an agency: Job placement agencies have the experience, understanding and skills to assist you in your job hunt. They have a vast network of opportunities at their fingertips. Take advantage of their services. 

Don’t let the time and effort of job hunting get you down. Be clear about what you want in a job, do your research and create a plan. Fine-tune your resume(s) and cover letter(s) and prepare for your interviews. Consider short-term, part-time and contract assignments. Take advantage of all referral opportunities. With persistence, planning and good job search skills, you can find the position that is right for you. 

Looking for a new position? Need expert advice and assistance finding the best job for you? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.