Job hunting can be a stressful endeavor, but there are plenty of helpful tips for anyone looking to take a step towards a new career. There are many discouraging factors, like a lack of responses, the impersonal nature of applications, or feeling inadequate for the positions you want. These are all natural feelings, but you can work past them easily if you put in the effort. Here are some helpful tips for your job applications to improve your chances and keep motivation up!
1) Customize Resumes and Cover Letters
Often times, those who are going through a job hunt will spend a great deal of time continuously improving their resumes and cover letters. Considering that, some people might find that making multiple of each is too big of an endeavor. However, having a few resumes and cover letters can be incredibly helpful, especially if you have a variety of experiences or if you are applying for a variety of job types. Depending on the job you are trying to get, different experience is suited for different companies. For example, an office would be less interested in food service work than they would in administrative work. That being said, a variety of experience can be helpful too, but you should keep your desired positions in mind. Cover letters should be even more customized than resumes, including specific information like the company name, it’s mission, and reasons why you want said company to employ you. Your resume and cover letter are the basics of most job applications, so don’t spare any effort with them.
2) Where You Apply
Another of our helpful tips is to consider what type of positions you are applying for. You will surely find positions that sound like amazing work to you, which you would be incredibly enthusiastic about. You should go for your dream work, but you should also try to be applying to an assortment of positions. Search for companies with room for growth. People don’t end up in their dream job immediately, and lower level positions are much more likely to hire. Find a low level position where you have opportunities to learn about the position you want and gain experience. Just finding a company that is involved with your passion is a great step, so don’t be too proud to take a position as an intern or assistant.
3) Use Action Words
During a job hunt, you will often find you needing to describe the type of work you’ve previously done. Whether it’s during an interview or in a resume, whether it’s about school or work, you should choose your words carefully. Some words are bland and uniformative, especially to the ears of job recruiters. Verbs like “worked” or “did” do not tell your audience much about your experience. Use your words wisely to highlight your accomplishments and skillset. Instead of saying “I worked at a grocerry store”, say “I assisted customers to find products, handled cash exchanges, and improved my organizational skills”. Your words matter, so don’t feel bad taking a moment or two to consider them carefully.
4) Sell Yourself
Similar to the last item of our helpful tips, but distinct in a way many people are less familiar with. Many people consider humility to be a positive personality trait, not wanting to appear arrogant or full of oneself. This is a perfectly normal quality, but one that must be worked through during the application process. You are selling yourself to others, and a modest person is less likely to be considered. You must embolden yourself and highlight your positive traits. Confidence is key for interviews, as it makes candidates more memorable and more favorable in the employer’s eyes. Take a look at your past experiences and examine them carefully. Find what you learned from each experience, and why that experience makes you the ideal candidate.
5) Apply Widely
Many companies do not respond to job applications quickly, if they do at all. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by only applying to a few positions and waiting. When searching for potential work places, you should consider anything you are eligible for. You might not even want some jobs, but it can still give you valuable experience communicating with an employer. Give yourself a chance to get comfortable with interviews. Consider a myriad of jobs you might enjoy. One useful technique is to sort your potential jobs into three ranks. The highest rank are your ideal workplaces that you would love to work at, the middle tier contains jobs you would consider just average, and the bottom tier is of jobs that are your safteys and last resorts. Give yourself a period of time to apply for the highest tier, then after that, apply for both top and middle tier. After some time applying for both, start applying for the bottom tier as well. This way, you can manage your job hunt in a timely way while still giving yourself the chance to get your dream job.
6) Research Your Potential Workplace
Applying widely is a good way to find work faster, but many companies are aware that job applicants do this. So most companies search for signals that you care about their company, and that care comes from knowledge about the company. Find unique reasons why you want to work at every company you are interested in. There can be a great deal of reasons, like appreciating their work atmosphere, caring about the company’s mission, or even just having a previous, positive association with the company. No employer wants to know that they are just a place to get a paycheck. And through your research, you will likely find the qualities they value in employees. Keep those values in mind and search for your own personal connections to those values. Know your workplace and your application will drastically improve.
7) Letters of Inquiry
Another helpful tips is to search for companies you like that may not show signs of hiring. If you find these companies, you can send them letters of inquiry These are similar to cover letters. These letters will detail the positive traits you offer, why you are interested in the company, and ask to be considering if a position opens up. A letter of inquiry can even be an intivation to your employer to let you buy them a cup of coffee or lunch. By offering a meeting in-person, you prove that you are proactive and show genuine interest in the company. Paying for the meal is good curtosey to make them consider you further. This is a long-term strategy, since a position might not be available soon, but it is still a good way to make a positive impression with a company you are interested in.
8) Look For Posters
If you find that an online job hunt is leading you nowhere, try walking down a street with businesses. You will find many stores that have hiring posters on their windows, likely with a site or phone number you can apply through. This technique is less helpful for jobs that require more experience, but you can still find plenty of options. Some companies are always hiring, and some companies do not put out advertisments online in traditional job searching sites. While job hunting has largely switched to the internet, there are still remenants in the real world that can help you find what you’re looking for.
9) Your Experiences
Look at your own past thoroughly. It can be easy to forget your own experiences if they aren’t a traditional job, but they still offer valuable skills and knowledge that helps round you out. Clubs, sports, bands, camps, or many other previous experiences can be helpful to fill out your resume and show your diverse skillset. All you need to do is show why these experiences are relevant. Even just showing your time commitment to something can show that you are a dedicated person who isn’t going to abandon ship at the first opportunity that arises. Pull from any experience you have and use it to your advantage.
10) Don’t Get Discouraged
The last but not least of our helpful tips, remember to keep your motivation up and not get discouraged. Job applications can be stressful. No one likes the feeling of being evaluated as a person based limited knowledge. But getting negative will only harm your own applications. Getting depressed will mean you apply less and lose confidence in any interviews. You’ll find your perfect job eventually, even if it doesn’t happen immediately.