As a new job seeker, there are many things you need to know! Landing a new job requires you refresh your job search skills to keep up with the times.
If you haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of looking for a new job in a while, you will want to brush up on some skills and gain insight from job seekers who fought the job battle before you.
As painful as job search is, it has become a new normal. The average employee spends 4.2 years in a role. That means you’ll be changing jobs every 4 years and will need to keep your network alive and interviewing skills fresh!
New Job Seeker – Take Note
1. Stay Positive and Motivated
This mantra is easy to say but difficult to carry out. The job search process comes with rejection, or worse, indifference.
It also requires you to use new skills (like managing relationships and writing persuasively) which may be uncomfortable. When you go at it alone, it can get pretty discouraging and you may feel like you are the only one who’s having a hard time. Since it is your attitude that will ultimately convince a future manager to hire you, you’ll want to create a support system to help you stay positive.
2. Defend Against Looking Like Damaged Goods
Get help with your job search sooner rather than later, especially if you are not working. As crazy as it sounds, given the number of people who become unemployed due to no fault of their own, there is still a stigma associated with being unemployed.
Even if you are employed and looking, you should know that searching for a new job has become more competitive, and you want to make sure you are using up-to-date and effective job search tactics – not the ones you used years ago. The faster you can successfully land interviews, the better.
3. Self Promotion Is an Ugly Necessity
You don’t like bragging – few people do. But, your ability to accurately and effectively promote yourself determines your success in landing a new job.
There is more competition today, and it’s up to you to convince the employer you are the most desirable candidate. This doesn’t end once you land the job, either.
Managers are always being asked to do more with less, and you don’t want to be the one to get axed just because you didn’t feel like you should have to talk about your successes. A good manager should know, right? But when tough decisions need to be made, managers only know what they’ve been told. That is up to you!
4. Don’t Get Weeded Out. Get Referred In
Applying to jobs through job boards is so alluring. You simply send your resume electronically (or fill out the online application), and you’re hired, right? Wrong. Applications flood the company’s system and recruiters quickly sift through the keyword selected candidates. As a new job seeker, you should know that your odds of being chosen for a pre-screening phone conversation are slim.
Instead of posting and praying, turn to a friend. Ask someone inside the company to refer you, and see how your application rises to the top of the “must-call” pile.
5. Keep Your Ears, Eyes and Mind Open
You never know where your next opportunity will come from or what it will be. In fact, your next job may not look or sound like a match initially. A new job seeker must:
- Learn about every opportunity you’re presented with or stumble across.
- Read between the lines of the job posting, if there is one. In other words, spend more time reviewing the job posting.
- Research the company, leadership and employees, and learn all about the customers, products and services.
It sounds like a lot to do, but you never know what you’ll learn. Organizations have varying job titles, structures and cultures. It is difficult to know if you’ll be a fit unless you do the research.
6. Job Stability is Dead. Long Live Career Stability
The rug may be pulled out from under you, but if you have cutting-edge skills, a strong network and a resilient outlook, you’ll have career stability. You’ll have more than a dozen different jobs during your career, so learn how to stay up to date, keep your head out of the sand and embrace change.
A version of this post originally appears on US News & World Report On Careers
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.