Finding a job can be an exhausting process, in this article we discuss the best way to find a job . It’s not always easy to know where to start, and once you do find the right place, it often feels like there are hundreds of other applicants in the same boat as you. So how is one supposed to win at this game? One thing that many people don’t realize is that they have more tools available than just using their internet browser or word processor. In this blog post I will explain some of the best ways to find jobs online and give some tips for what to do when applying for them!
The first step is to have a strategy. You may think that you can just apply for jobs willy-nilly, and eventually your efforts will be rewarded. But if you try this with little forethought, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself making time-wasting mistakes. What keywords should I search for? How am I supposed to arrange these results in order of relevance? In the long run, this kind of haphazard approach to searching and applying will result in more frustration than anything else.
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you’re willing to do. Are you a restaurant person? Would you be happy doing manual labour? Do you have a specific career in mind, or are you open to anything that will pay the bills? Once you’ve answered these questions about yourself, your next step should be to research and learn everything that you can. The best way to find a job is by improving how people perceive the applicant pool! For example, if I wanted to work in computers, it’s obvious that I’d want my resume and cover letter tailored as thoroughly as possible. If I were applying for something like fast food or clothing retail work on the other hand, I would instead focus less on my qualifications (although this is still important) and more on how I can show that I’m a great fit for the position.
Considering all of your options in this manner will save you a lot of time than if you just cast a wide net and apply to everything that looks interesting. You’ll have fewer applications, but each one will be stronger!
Another good step when looking for jobs online is to make sure that you know what you’re talking about. This might seem silly or obvious, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do their research before applying for things. If you want to work at an optometrist’s office (for example) and you’re sending in applications for plumber’s work, it’s going to be very obvious as soon as the employer looks at your resume! In fact, by applying for jobs that you don’t know much about, you run the risk of giving an interviewer negative information about yourself. If they ask you a question regarding your career goals and you’re unable to provide an answer or make something up on the spot, this will be remembered as a red flag during their assessment of your qualifications.
I’ve discussed what not to do when looking for jobs online, but what are some good strategies? The easiest thing is always to look locally- just go through craigslist or some other local job posting site. But if you can’t find anything interesting there, it’s time to widen your reach with google. I like using tools like Google Alerts which will alert you when results are posted to a chosen query. This is very easy, but it can also lead to a lot of noise. Another method which I like personally is using advanced search operators . These special characters will allow you to change how the results are sorted. For example, if you wanted to look for jobs related to “freelance copywriting” in my city, I could use this query:
Google has many more operators than these as well, so do some experimentation with them and see what else you can find! In addition to searches on google, people often overlook job boards such as careerbuilder , monster , and even craigslist’s own job section . These all have their merits (they’re great ways to get your name out there) but you shouldn’t neglect local services like your school’s job board either!
Another way to find a job is by looking for part-time or temporary work. This is essentially the same as any other kind of job search, except that it allows you to make a lot more connections and get some experience in the field that you’re interested in before making a full-time commitment. It also gives you time to build up your resume and cover letter without needing to worry about money right away (which might motivate people who don’t actually want the position). Just remember not to commit to anything unless you’re sure that you can follow through on doing it. One piece of advice I got from my father was “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” I think this is a good quote to keep in mind while looking for part-time jobs because it can be easy to lose focus and burn bridges if you aren’t careful.
One other thing which I haven’t touched on much of yet is networking. This ties into the “put yourself out there” mentality, but often many people forget just how effective networking can be as a way of finding a job. The easiest way to network for your job search is probably by asking others what they’re doing and cultivating relationships with them professionally . You don’t want to get too personal (note: even if you know someone personally, it’s important that you keep professionalism in mind when starting conversations), but having discussions about things outside of your jobs and then subtly working the job search into them with questions like “so, what do you think about [something relating to the field]?” can be a very effective strategy. This is because it’s essentially a thinly-veiled way of asking someone else for their opinion on whether they think this career/company would be a good fit for you, which is really what an interviewer is doing when getting a feel for whether or not they’d like to hire you.
As with anything in life, it’s important to keep looking at things from multiple angles. Whenever I’m thinking about finding my next project, I always take time to consider some kind of other angle besides just applying online. The more methods and strategies that we have available to us, the better chance we’ll have at finding what we need to do well and succeed.
However, sometimes no matter how many options you explore it feels like there just aren’t enough jobs out there. The good news is that whenever this happens I always seem to find that I was simply expecting too much. When this happens, think about what your real expectations are- as an experience designer , would starting off doing something like customer support be a good way for you to make connections with others who could potentially become valuable contacts in the future? Or might taking on some paid freelance work or part-time work be a good way to help you find a position that’s more aligned with your passions? If nothing else, it can help you build up your resume, portfolio, or skill set which can help you find a more satisfying position in the future.
You’re also probably not alone- I’ve had many things which came down to having to decide between something that wasn’t exactly perfect for me and either no job at all or waiting it out until my ideal opportunity comes around . And you know what? That’s okay. In fact, it happens so often that if someone tells me they have a dream job (or are working on achieving their goal) but don’t seem to be happy or satisfied with what they do right now, I automatically assume there’s some reason behind it other than them being picky. You never know how long it might take before everything lines up just as you like it, and even if you’re not ever completely satisfied with what you’re doing that’s okay. It doesn’t mean it has to be your end goal, but like many things in life sometimes we just have to compromise until we get the ideal situation .
Another way I like to look at job searches is by asking myself “where am I going to be five years from now?” In other words, when looking for a job that you’ll enjoy and feel excited about in a few years, it can be easy to get lost in the long-term. When this happens it’s important not only to keep perspective but also remember that opportunities can come up at any time .
I find that as soon as something in my life changes (like moving or graduating), I start thinking back about all of those times when things went differently than expected, whether good or bad. It’s sometimes hard to remember how much life has changed over the last few months/years and even harder to stay disciplined with our goals given how many different distractions we have at our fingertips nowadays. Taking the time to reflect on how far we’ve come and with all that we currently have going for us can help us get out of these ruts.
Just like so many other things in life, the thing which helps me find jobs is not any one specific strategy or method but rather a combination of them . That said, I’m always discovering new ways to look at my job search and even though some aren’t as helpful as others it’s still valuable be aware of what they are and when they might work best. At this point it seems silly for me to continue writing rather than just getting right down into what might end up being a list of tips- if you’re looking for more advice about finding a job then here’s what I would suggest:
1) Just Get Started
I remember when I first started looking for a job and was trying to figure out how best to tackle it. Looking at the one or two sites I’d found led me to believe that this process would be difficult, time consuming, and require some sort of advance planning. Now, don’t get me wrong- you should absolutely have an idea of what you’re looking for (your end goal), but in my experience nothing is going to help you find a job quicker than just starting your search . That can mean setting up an account on LinkedIn and posting your resume; or simply sending out applications when you see something which interests you. Just make sure that once you do start looking for a job (and hopefully successfully find it too) that you don’t forget about building up your resume/portfolio, and the rest should start to fall into place .
2) Start Slowly
If you’re not sure where to begin looking for a job (or in my case had no idea what I wanted to do with my life), then simply start doing something which will get you on the right track. That could mean volunteering at an organization which interests you, taking classes related to something interesting- even if they’re only “out of curiosity”-, or maybe even going back to school for information technology or business degrees (if that’s something you’d be interested in). On top of potentially helping develop marketable skills, this might also help give you some sort of direction in your life .
3) Build a Portfolio/Resume (and Keep It Updated!)
Much like the previous tip, building up a portfolio and resume is something which will help you find jobs regardless of whether you’re just starting to look or you’ve been struggling for years. I mentioned earlier that I did eventually figure out what I wanted to do with my life but it was certainly not an overnight thing; in fact, it took me over a year just to get started. After taking classes and working as hard as I could at them it became clear how much progress I’d made, both in terms of knowledge and work experience. That’s why having this type of updateable documentation is so important , especially if we’re about to change jobs or careers.
4) Find a Mentor/Teacher
While not specific to finding jobs per se, this is a great strategy which can help us along any path (especially the one we’re currently taking when looking for work). It’s always beneficial to find someone who knows more than we do and is willing to help (whether they be family members, friends, or professional mentors), but if you already know what your goals are- then don’t limit yourself! Finding someone who has accomplished what you’re working towards can go a long way in helping you achieve your own goals. You might even luck out and end up working with them someday…
5) Self Reflect & Be Patient
Now that I’ve finally found a job I love, it’s difficult to remember just how frustrating the process was for me just a few short months ago. During this time I had no idea what I wanted or even what kinds of jobs were out there (in my area), but looking back at why I didn’t succeed then can help me understand why others face similar challenges . There are many obstacles which get in our way when trying to find work we’ll be happy with, and those are things we need to overcome in order to reach our goals. It might take weeks- or even years- but if you keep putting forth the effort, sooner or later you’re going to find that perfect job , so don’t give up hope!
6) Be Flexible/Do What You Can
If all of the above options have failed you and you’re unable to find a job, then it may be time to start thinking about doing what’s necessary to get by. It might seem like our ability to land a dream job is limited (especially if we’ve been unemployed for an extended period of time), but that doesn’t mean we give up hope! There are plenty of great jobs out there which only require us to work hard , and not necessarily go back to school or start with our previous careers . If you decide you need something more than just temp work, try your best to build up your resume/portfolio while keeping in mind these ” career experiment s” I’ve mentioned before , as they can really help turn things around for you. Remember, too: doing work you hate makes it more difficult to be happy every day, and no one wants that!
7) Have Fun with the Process
For me personally , there’s nothing worse than being in a miserable mood all day at my job because I’m dreading what comes next. It’s not only stressful but it lowers your spirits by making you feel like the situation is permanent (even when something better could be just around the corner). Don’t worry -while looking for a new job can often be difficult, there are many things we can do to minimize our stress and make ourselves happier while doing so . For example: try your best to keep up with social activities which will help increase your happiness . This could include spending more time with friends/family, participating in sports/exercise, or even making new hobbies .
Regardless of your personal situation, finding a job you enjoy is always going to be difficult. Stay positive and keep working hard , because I certainly promise it’s all worth it in the end!
If you want to read about how one person went from unemployment to fulfilling his dream job check out our Opportunity page.