If you’ve spent hours scouring job sites and sent out what feels like hundreds of resumes only to get a handful of replies that turn up dry– you aren’t alone.
Tens of millions of people are looking for jobs in 2022 and coming up empty-handed despite more job openings than job applicants.
You probably feel discouraged and defeated if your job search is going nowhere. You might even wonder what skills other applicants landing these jobs have that you don’t.
Chances are they aren’t more qualified; they likely just know about a few job seeker secrets that help them search smarter, not harder– resulting in less time weeding through jobs and more time interviewing with the right potential employers. Seriously, the solution could be as simple as a new email address!!
Read on to learn about search strategies that are proven to help you land a job faster and easier, get you hired for the best job that matches your unique skilled trade, and not get scammed along the way!
What Job Searching Skills Are and Why You Need Them
You can be a master at your skilled trade, but that won’t get you very far, and you will find yourself really frustrated if you don’t master your job searching skills and have a solid job search strategy.
Job-searching skills are exactly what they sound like. It is acquired knowledge that gives you an edge and makes the job-searching process less of a headache.
If you want to spend less time job searching, stand out amongst the over 10 million Americans currently looking for employment, and actually land interviews, then you need a honed-in strategy that goes beyond blindly searching job boards, hitting send, and keeping your fingers crossed.
Whether you are unemployed and desperately in need of a paycheck or one of the millions of Americans looking to leave their current job in search of something better— if you don’t have a solid game plan, your job search will have you feeling depressed and distressed.
Having job searching skills is the best and quickest way to find a job. And not just any job; a good job that is a perfect fit for your education or skill set.
The 8 Most Effective Modern Strategies for Job Hunting
Gone are the days when landing a job is as easy as having a high school degree, attending college, having some experience in your field, and sending out a few cookie-cutter resumes that list your experience and special skills.
In 2022, to even get your resume seen, little alone land an interview, you need to have a game plan that keeps up with modern times.
Luckily, there are proven job search strategies that work whether you are a software engineer or registered nurse with decades of experience looking for a higher paying job, are hoping to find work that allows you the flexibility of working remote, want a work-from-home side hustle, or are fresh out of college and eager to land your first “real” job.
You might want to do a few things differently if you are unemployed versus searching for a new employer. We’ll talk about those a little further down.
First, let’s review eight universal job-hunting strategies every job seeker needs to know that are helping people land jobs in 2022 and will continue to be the most effective job-search strategies going into 2023.
1: You Need a Solid Resume + Cover Letter + References
There is one thing that hasn’t changed over the years: you need an eye-catching resume, cover letter, and list of relevant references.
Resumes and cover letters are the foundation of any job search. You must ask yourself if yours contains what it needs to stand out in a pile of hundreds or even thousands of other job applicants.
You must grab the job seeker’s attention off the bat. Surveys show the average time an employer spends reading a resume in 2022 is only 6-7 seconds! Yes, seconds! If you want some tips on how to make your resume top-notch, check out this article.
2: You Might Need A New Email Address
Your resume can be gold, but it might never get opened if your email address is unprofessional. Recent stats reveal that 76% of all resumes automatically get tossed due to their email address alone.
Suppose your email address is still the one you used in college and doesn’t sound very professional. In that case, you should consider creating a new domain solely for job searching. It should be simple, as close to your name as possible, and, if possible, portray your skill set.
3: Start Networking
Most people think the best way to find a job is to scour online job boards. That is something you should be doing daily, and we will discuss how to do so successfully further down. But job boards shouldn’t be your only job search strategy because many open jobs aren’t posted online, including on the company website.
Often, you will only know about a job opening if you have an internal connection. For this reason, it’s no surprise that one survey found a whopping 85% of job offers are filled through networking.
You should spend just as much time, if not more, on building relationships with people who work in your industry of interest.
Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with professionals on job sites such as LinkedIn or even social media like Facebook and Instagram. And don’t just join these social networks to browse or post “I need a job.” Be active by engaging and posting helpful content that showcases your skill set.
4: Ask For a Referral
When landing a job, it’s indeed about who you know. Surveys show that referred job candidates are at least 45% more likely to be hired.
Don’t underestimate the power of having a friend, acquaintance, former co-worker, or even people you don’t know very well but have met while networking to hand deliver your resume or put a bug in the hiring team’s ear to be on the lookout for your application.
Always make the most of your connections, new and old. Make a list of potential people to reach out to and have at least one or two new weekly conversations.
5: Use Multiple Job Boards
If you’re only using one or two job sites, you are probably missing out on a lot of potential opportunities. While you might see the same jobs posted across multiple platforms, that isn’t always the case.
To maximize your chances of landing a job, you should be active and sign up to receive notifications on as many reputable job sites as possible. For example, many jobs listed here on WorkForce Essentials can’t be found on popular sites like Glassdoor or LinkedIn.
Many often wonder if LinkedIn is still a viable job-searching tool in 2022. While there are plenty of newer job boards, LinkedIn remains one of the best places to find employment and for employers to discover you.
Whether it’s LinkedIn or another similar job site, there are a few tips job seekers need to take advantage of to make their profile stand out. We will discuss those under job strategy #8.
6: Look For The Right Job Fit
While it might be tempting to apply for anything that even remotely looks like a decent fit, your primary focus should be applying to appropriate job fits.
Don’t stop there; look at company benefits, perks, and workplace culture. Search for companies that you’d be excited to work for.
Start by making a list of all of your skills, certifications, and strong points. Then make a list of “bucket list” companies you would love to work for one day. This will give you a solid idea of the type of roles and companies you should spend most of your time searching and applying for.
That said, don’t hesitate to take a proactive approach and reach out to the department heads and managers at your “bucket list” companies, even if you feel you aren’t fully qualified, or they don’t have an opening listed. You can easily find these contacts on job boards such as LinkedIn.
7: Stay On Top Of Industry Trends and News
Knowledge is power!! Spend at least 30-minutes every day reading everything you can find from reputable sources about your industry.
This insight will not only give you content ideas to improve your job board and social media profiles (which we discuss next,) it will help you be more prepared for any questions an employer might ask and give you endless tidbits to talk about during your interview that will impress an employer.
8: Perfect Your Profiles
Most job boards like LinkedIn and social media platforms like Facebook have an “About” section. Many also have an area where you can list your work experience.
The about section is a chance to show a potential employer why they should even read your resume. List the key bullet points you would use in your cover letter and the answers to common interview questions such as, “tell me about yourself” – “what are your strong points” – and any other tidbits that detail why you are an expert in your field.
In the work experience section, go beyond listing all the places you have been employed and your job title. Include your accomplishments and ways the company benefited from having you as an employee.
While at it, you should also consider cleaning up your social media pages or making them private. It goes without saying that most hiring managers will check out your LinkedIn page if you have one (and you do, right?) But many also look at your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok accounts.
If you don’t want to make your page private, consider hiding or deleting any potentially offensive posts. Replace them with more appropriate photos and industry-related news, quotes, or articles.
If you aren’t already, you should also un-follow “tacky” accounts and start following relevant companies and inspiring people in your niche. This shows potential employers you are passionate about what you do and up to date on trends within your industry.
Specific Job Hunting Strategies For The Unemployed
If you are unemployed, searching for a job should be your full-time job. While you should treat it as such, that doesn’t mean you need to spend 12 hours a day sending out resumes to any job that looks even slightly appealing.
As mentioned, your focus should be on applying to jobs that fit your skill set and at companies you want to work for. And don’t forget to spend equal time, if not more, networking and reaching out to friends, family, and acquaintances to see if the company they work for is hiring.
You should also use features on job sites that let employers know you are actively looking for work. Many job boards, such as LinkedIn, have an “open to work” feature that lets recruiters and your network know you’re looking for a job.
Specific Job Hunting Strategies For Career Advancement
Many people aren’t looking for “a job”; they are looking for a “new job.” Recent stats show that about 65% of currently employed individuals are looking to either do what they do at a different company or switch careers altogether.
In 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans quit their jobs. This mass exit continued to rise in such record numbers that it is being deemed “The Great Resignation.”
The reason for this unusually high number of people searching for a new job varies. Some feel they aren’t advancing within their current company fast enough. At the same time, many job seekers are happy with their job role but don’t like being asked to go back to an office after realizing during the pandemic, they perform better working remotely or enjoy the flexibility of working from home.
No matter your reason for searching for some “greener employment grass,” – you will want to use the same job-searching strategies outlined above.
However, it is probably not a good idea to flag your current employer that you are looking to leave if you haven’t turned in your resignation letter. It would be best if you didn’t change the status of your LinkedIn profile to “open to work “and probably shouldn’t list your current manager or co-workers as a reference unless everyone at your workplace knows you are job hunting.
Beware Of Job Search Scams
Unfortunately, the robust labor market also means job scams are rising. Scammers have been targeting job seekers for years, but they are getting more aggressive and clever with their schemes.
Most scammers are trying to get your personal information. Others are trying to hire job seekers to perform an illegal job, such as re-shipping items purchased using a stolen credit card.
Here are some red flags to look out for …
- Promises of “quick money,” unlimited earning potential and over-the-top perks. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Asking for personal information beyond your name, address, contact information and resume. A legitimate company will never ask for your social security number or to perform a background check in the initial interview stage.
- Requests for banking information or payments. A potential employer will never ask for your banking account or routing number unless you have landed the job. They also will never ask for any type of payment. The only money talks you should have during an interview should be about compensation.
- Unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Being contacted by a “recruiter” isn’t always a scam, but you should certainly use caution and ask detailed questions about the company, position, and job duties. If the solicitation comes from an email, always check the domain for misspellings, and go online and see what domain the company uses before replying.
- Getting a job offer without an in-person interview is also a red flag. If the job is remote, most employers will at least want to conduct a zoom interview before hiring.
What To Do When Your Job Hunting Skills Aren’t Working
Before you get down in the dumps, you should know that it takes 5-6 months for the average person to find employment.
Finding a good job requires patience. However, if you implement the strategies outlined above, it should drastically reduce the time it takes to land an interview and get a job.
Let’s recap the key strategies you need to ensure you are honed in on before you throw your hands in the air and say, “nothing is working”….
- Build an eye-catching resume and cover letter with solid references. Then take things a step further and personalize for each job you are applying for.
- Network, network, network! Attend at least one networking event each week, in-person or virtual. Also, connect and “friend” as many people as possible in your field on job boards and social media. Networking is the single most helpful tool in your job search toolbox.
- Call, text, or email your family, friends, and acquaintances to see if their employer is hiring. Always take advantage of referral opportunities.
- Register on multiple job boards, sign up for notifications, and check these sites daily.
- Polish your profiles on job boards and social media and take advantage of every setting and tool they offer.
Stay focused and keep plugging away at your job search; eventually, you’ll find the perfect role.
How To Stay Sane During Your Job Search
If you’re feeling discouraged, don’t lose hope. Keep showing up every day using the proven strategies listed above.
We know that is easier said than done, especially if the bills pile up and there isn’t any money to cover them.
Here are a few things to consider that might help keep you sane while you search.
- Exercise: It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, cardio, or hitting the weights. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to deal with stress. Physical activity helps your brain release endorphins (happy hormones) and lower stress hormones like cortisol.
- Meditation and Breathing Exercises: Both meditation and specific breathing techniques have been shown to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, defusing the stress feedback loop and teaching your brain and body to relax.
- Journal: Writing down your thoughts and emotions during the job search process can be very constructive. It’s also a great way to do some soul-searching. Ask yourself what motivates you? What you could talk about for hours? What drives you to want to work hard? Uncover what your purpose is. What motivates you? What drives your passion for your work?
- Try Something New: Find a new hobby. You never know; it might spark a new fire that turns into a totally different career path!
- Take A Course To Improve Your Skill Set: If you are unemployed, you have some extra time on your hands that you wouldn’t have if you had a full-time job. Take a course, read a book relevant to your industry, or even return to school; instead of scrolling social media or watching TV, use your free time to strengthen your resume.
If push comes to shove, you might need to take a part-time or temporary job that isn’t ideal. If that happens, remind yourself that the situation is temporary and continue being aggressive in searching for your permanent job home.
It’s a tough job market right now. There are millions of people searching for a job, and employers are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of excellent prospects.
If you are using the job search strategies above, be patient. Eventually, your efforts will pay off, and the perfect job will come!
How Workforce Essentials Can Help With Your Job Search
If you are still struggling despite having a solid job search strategy, we have many programs and services that can help further sharpen your job search skills.
We can help with resume writing, interview skills, and filling out applications. We also have various workshops and training that can help boost your skills. And in some cases can even offer short-term tuition assistance and financial support during your training.
Click here to learn more about the services we provide!