In a competitive job market, be sure to give these job search tips a try
Looking for a job can be a stressful time of life. You want to find a job that fits your skills and interests. You want a job where your work will be respected. And you want a job that pays you what you deserve. It may take a little time to find the right fit, and you may get frustrated. But don’t give up! Keep looking, keep applying, and keep up your professional networking. Here are some job search tips to help make your life a little easier!
1. Go to the Career Development department
If you’ve gone to college or a career training program, your school probably has a Career Services department. This department is dedicated to helping students get prepared for the job market. They can provide you with job search resources, job leads, and job references. They also offer help in developing your resume and practicing for interviews. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their services. That’s why they are there!
2. Learn to network
Building a career network takes time, but it is worth it. If you are new to your field, you may not have many contacts yet, but you may have more than you realize. Start by creating a LinkedIn account. Connect with others in your field, such as your instructors, Career Services advisors, and any mentors that you may know. You can also connect with other professionals who are not in your field, such as friends or family members. But remember, it’s not a social site; it’s a business-related site.
Next, start talking. Don’t be shy about telling people that you are looking for a job. Look for opportunities to be around other people in your field. Here are some suggestions:
- Tell friends and family you are looking for a job
- Ask friends and family if they know anyone in your field that you could talk to
- When you meet someone in your field, as them for advice on finding a job
- Find a volunteer position in your field, and treat it as seriously as you would treat a job
- Join a professional association in your career field
- Join a LinkedIn Group related to your career field
- Attend job networking events in your community
Learning how to network can be a useful skill not only when you are looking for a job, but throughout your career.
3. Give your resume a makeover
Resume writing is rapidly changing. More and more employers are using online application systems where a computer filters out resumes. You want to make sure your resume is easily read by the resume scanning system. Here are some tips for creating a scanner-friendly resume:
- Use a simple sans-serif font like Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri. These scan well, and they are also easier for hiring managers to read on mobile devices.
- Avoid formatting such as boldface, italics, lines, logos, and symbols. These may trip up the computer scanner.
- If the employer does not specify what file format you should submit, stick with something safe like a Word doc or a text file. Avoid PDFs, unless that’s what the employer requests.
- Insert keywords into your resume. Look at the job ad and determine the main job-related keywords that the employer is looking for. Try to use these exact words in your resume, since the computer scanner may be looking for resumes that have these terms.
- If you need an example, try a sample resume.
4. Target the right job postings
When you search on Indeed or Monster, you will find hundreds of jobs available. It can be overwhelming. To make your job search more efficient, you may want to consider these tips:
- Sign up for email alerts. Most job sites have an email alert function. Create an email alert with specific parameters to help narrow down how many job postings come your way. Then the site will email you when new jobs are posted that fit your parameters. This saves you the time of scrolling through hundreds of unrelated job posts every day.
- Visit websites of specific employers. Are there certain employers that interest you? Places you have always wanted to work? If so, go directly to their websites and look at their Careers page. There may be openings that have not yet made it to the big search engines. You can apply directly through the company’s website.
- Apply carefully. Completing a job application can take a long time. You need to customize a cover letter and resume for every job application. And you need to fill out the company’s specific job application forms online. For this reason, be sure to apply only to jobs where you are truly qualified. It’s not worth your time to apply for jobs where you are not qualified, and it can just add to your frustration.
- Be flexible. If you are not getting responses on your job applications and feeling that there is “nothing out there,” then you may have to change your expectations. Try to be flexible. You may need to take a job with a longer commute than you had hoped. Or you may need to take a job that is more entry level than you had hoped. You might need to look at other employers that you hadn’t considered before. Or you may need to work a schedule that you don’t love. Being more flexible may be the ticket to getting into your career field.
We hope these tips help you to target your job search and get better results. It can be a long process, but if you keep up your patience and persistence, the right job may come along soon!
This article was provided by the American College for Medical Careers in Orlando, Florida. With programs such as sonography, medical assistant, and health information technology, we are preparing our students for today’s healthcare job market.