If you’ve recently found yourself searching for a new job, then you’ll undertsand what a struggle it can be! Looking for employement in 2017 is a job in itself. Your resume isn’t enough, you need to have a killer cover letter, some employers want salary history and recommendation letters.
That’s only the tip of the icing, we haven’t even discussed the actual act of searching.
The truth is that at some point or another we’ve all had to look for a job. I’m only 26 years old and at 14, I had my first job. I went to the job center wall at my high school and snatched one of those little paper strips. You know the ones that advertise, “Summer Job, Great Pay!” I had no experience and no resume. Just my mom’s written consent since I was a minor. Fast forward to when I turned 21 and applied to work for Bank of America. Talk about an upgrade from my side jobs throughout my teenage years. Not only did I need to create my resume, but I had to complete a series of online tests to measure my “intellegence”. Once I passed those tests, I had to go in for a crimincal background check, fingerprints and all. It was surreal how much went into even landing this job. Needless to say, it was sooo worth it! The pay and benefits were amazing. I actually had a 401k plan, so grown up of me…or so I thought.
In more recent years I’ve bounced around jobs and each time I’m more discouraged by the search process. Between Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and who knows how many others, it can be an extemely overwhelming process. Every job search engine requires that you create a very lengthy profile. They basically ask you all of the things that can be found on your resume and then some. Which makes me question why they even want your resume. Once you’re all set up, you begin to receive numerous emails with job alerts. Now, here is the problem I’ve encountered with their “job alerts.” They spam you with so-called related jobs. Even after you’ve set up your settings to only alert you of certain jobs, within the distance you’re willing to travel etc. They oddly still alert you of jobs that have nothing to do with your career path. The second problem I’ve encountered with job sites is the cost! Am I the only one who finds it absurd you have to pay to find a job? I mean, chances are if you’re looking for a job you need money because you don’t have a job…right? These job sites may give you access to a certain amount of listings but if you want to apply to a listing you have to pay! This is insane to say the least. Long gone are the days where you could actually just click “apply” and call it a day. All of this is extremely discouraging when you’re already feeling down due to lack of employment.
It can be overwhelming and frustrating not being able to just reach out to a potential employer and submit your resume for consideration. Because I know I’m not alone I want to give you a rundown of the mistakes and lessons I’ve learned throughout my process.
1. Choose One Career Job Search Site!
I hate to say it but if you can’t beat them, join them. I don’t like the idea of having to pay for job listings but your chances are more favorable if you pay the $9.99 for a monthly suscription. You’ll have access to thousands of job listings, daily alerts and first dibs. Try a few different sites to get a feel for which one you like best, don’t commit to paying for anything until you find one that you think will benefit you the most. Narrowing your job search to one company will not only increase your chances of landing the job you want but it will also prevent your inbox from being boambarded with countless spam emails from other parties.
2. Be Very Selective When It Comes To Craigslist Postings!
I’ve personally been a victim of scammers. I replied to a Data Entry position for an architecture company and it was suppose to be remote work, meaning I would be working from home. Everything seemed super legit, I checked out their company website and was put at ease. The pay and benefits were amaizng, or so it appeared. They said they would mail me a check so I can purchase work related computer software among other things. That’s when I had a gut feeling to dig deeper into this company. Anytime someone willingly offers you cash you should be on alert. I received the check, and decided to compare the name on the check to the Presidents name that appeared on their company website. It didn’t match! I also didn’t find the lady I had been speaking with anywhere in the company directory. Later I found out that the address they gave me also didn’t match the corporate address found on the company site. I reached out to this so called company and flat out told them I knew they were a fraud and to never contact me again. Moral of the story, trust your gut! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out your social secutiry number over the internet. If a potential employer wants your social, offer to meet with them and go to their office. Don’t let anyone guilt you into giving them personal information, especially if you’ve had no face to face contact. Do your research BEFORE you reply to a Craigslist Ad. Not all money is good money and taking the time to really look into an employer can prevent you problems down the line.
3. Dedicate A Certain Amount of Time Each Day To Job Searching
Treat looking for a job like a real job, because that’s exactly what it is. The more time and effort you put into it, the better results you’ll have. I’ve found that the best times to search for a job are late at night or super early in the morning. If you look during the night you’re prone to find brand spanking new listings. Not only that, but you can be among the first to get your resume in which increases your chances of having your application be looked at. Early mornings offer you fresh new listings as well. Besides, waking up early and having a routine keeps you on your toes and gives you this work vibe. So set your alarm, have your coffee and look for a job.
4. Don’t Underestimate The Old School Method of Searching
Just because everything is online doesn’t mean that you can’t do a little extra. Go online and look up companies that you may be potentially interested in working for. Go to their careers tab, send out personal emails inquiring about work. You might be surprised at how much that can benefit your chances of getting hired somewhere. Don’t be afraid to show up at the companies offices with your resume and cover letter in hand. Even if a company isn’t currently looking for employees, if you leave your information you never know when they might call on you in a time of need later down the line.
5. Don’t Get Discouraged!
You might have to apply to 100 different employers and get 99 messages saying, “Thank you for your recent interest in our company, unfortunately we’ve decided to go with another canidate at this time that is a better fit.” In order to get that one email saying, “Congratulations, we’d like to have you come in for an interview.” A million doors will close before the right one opens. Instead of getting down about all the no’s, continue applying because the more people you reach out to, the bigger your chances of hearing a “yes” will be.