How to Stay on Track, Save Time, and Avoid Job Search Faux Pas that Get Your Resume Thrown in the Recycle Bin
Let’s face it, sometimes we could all be a little more organized, especially when there are many pieces involved.
When you are job hunting, there are a lot of puzzle pieces to incorporate into the bigger picture.
So where do you start? From the inside and work your way out? Or do you start with the edge pieces and work your way in? Or are you someone that just puts together pieces from all over the puzzle as you find them?
We all have different jigsaw puzzle strategies–and that’s okay! But that isn’t the case when it comes to the job hunt, especially if you want to save time and avoid any job search faux pas.
There are ways to job search, and then there are better, more streamlined ways to job search.
1 | First Things First
There is a clear beginning, middle and end to the job hunt process. And your starting line is an initial round of research. To guide you in your research, first think about what you would consider to be your dream job. List some ideas and what work you enjoy doing.
But you also want to consider location. Do you want to stay local? What is your ideal commute time? Are you willing to relocate for your dream job (or one that will help get you to your dream job).
Next, list out your skills, experience and qualifications–this will come in handy later.
Now start searching for jobs that are like your dream job or one that will help you work your way toward your dream job. Ask yourself these questions:
- Would these jobs be something I would enjoy doing?
- Do these jobs have a commute or location I would like?
- Do I have the skills, experience or qualifications for any of these jobs? If you don’t have all of them, what do you need to work toward improving or learning?
Once you answer those questions, make a list of the job postings that fit your criteria and that you are mostly qualified for.
2 | Personality Perks
Now let’s narrow down that initial potential list of job postings even further. We’d say 99% of you reading this article don’t just want to be a warm body fulfilling a function at a company. You probably want to feel like you are contributing to something bigger than yourself. You probably want to get along well with your co-workers. You might even have a core set of values that dictate which companies you would actually enjoy working for.
That’s called cultural fit.
This isn’t just some catchy buzz phrase. It’s a real thing. And when we have a better cultural fit with our employers, we are not not only happier and achieve higher levels of personal fulfillment, but we are also more productive and creative! Which means you will continue to build on your own skills and achievements all while having a positive impact on your mental health.
So how do you find companies that would be a good cultural fit for you? The best way is by taking a personality test. No, seriously! But not just any personality test. Workzinga is changing the way jobseekers and employers come together. Our assessment is for both job seekers and employers. It also combines personality insights with soft skills (you know, things like communication and conflict resolution). Combined, it’s a powerful way to match up candidates and employers on a deeper level so you can make better, more informed decisions about what companies you would actually want to apply to.
3 | Tailor Made
You’ve got your matches on cultural fit as well as hard skills. Now it’s time to update your resume based on the job listings you are applying to. If you are applying to more than one job, make sure that you tailor your resume and cover letter to include keywords or phrases used in the job listing. Remember, generic is bad.
Want to create a resume that stands out from the crowd? Check out our five tips on how to make a resume that gets noticed.
4 | Tidy Up Time
Whether you like it or not, it’s nearly inevitable that an employer will look you up on social media. So be sure to get rid of anything that might be deemed “inappropriate.” We also recommend changing your privacy settings so that most of your information is private to those who don’t follow you or are your friend on a platform. LinkedIn is a little different, however. You do want to keep it professional here, as is the nature of this platform. Unlike other channels, however, set your profile to public, and make sure that your profile is eye-catching and showcases what makes you different from other candidates. Be sure to check out our tips on creating a great LinkedIn profile.
5 | Expert Words
Speaking of social media, these platforms are a great way to demonstrate your expertise by showcasing your knowledge or positioning yourself as a thought leader. Consider doing this through a personal website, blog, or Twitter. On LinkedIn, you can write articles as well as join groups and engage in discussion. This will make it easier for employers and recruiters to notice you.
6 | System Schedule
We understand that sometimes we can become disheartened during a job search, especially if you’ve been job hunting for some time. To keep you motivated and on track, create a routine or schedule. Think of it this way–finding a job is a job! Here are some things you’ll want to put into your routine or schedule:
- Searching for job listings
- Tailoring your resume and cover letter
- Applying to job listings
- Sending out follow up letters
- Preparing for interviews
- Sprucing up your social presence or publishing thought leadership content
- Lunch–you can’t do any of this on an empty stomach!
7 | Be Prepared
We have our fingers crossed that you land an interview! But you can’t go into it unprepared. Here’s what you need to do:
- Brainstorm possible questions you might get asked and then write down your answers to those questions.
- Prepare any questions you’d like to ask in advance
- Brush up on your resume, skills and experience.
- Find an interview buddy and do mock interviews.
- Pick out your interview outfit ahead of time
- Print out extra copies of your resume and cover letter and place them in your briefcase or a folder to take with you.
- Need to locate where the interview is at? Use Google Maps to plan your route and figure out how long your commute will be.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get ready the day of and arrive 10 minutes early to make a good impression. (Also, don’t forget to say hello and smile at the receptionist–they might be asked to give their impression of you to the interviewers!)
Searching for a new job doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to save time and stand out from the crowd.