How’s the holiday season treating you? Hopefully well! I’m currently curled up by my fireplace with the Christmas lights and holiday movies playing as I write this. Anyways, if you’re anything like me, as much as you love the holidays, you also like getting a head start on the New Year. For many of you young adults who will be looking for summer internships, or your first job if you're graduating in May; this one's for you. To start your new year job search, I’ve put together a couple of job search strategies and tips that will hopefully give you some guidance.
80-90% of jobs are found through networking. This means that the majority of your actual job search process should be spent networking. For more on how much time you should spend on your job search, click here.
Networking looks like: spending time talking with your mentors, reaching out to those on your LinkedIn in your industry who you admire, and connecting with people at companies that you might have an interest in. Write up 3-5 good questions that you have about the industry, the company you’re looking at, and any advice that your network may have on your job search. Reach out to them via email, phone, or LinkedIn asking for 30 minutes of their time over coffee or a phone call to further cultivate your network.
Many job positions will be filled through people at the company’s network, using word of mouth or reference to recommend candidates to that job, sometimes even before it’s open to the public. Referrals are everything, so the more you can network with where you want to be, the better off you’ll be if your dream job at the company does open up. You’ll be the first they think of!
Depth, Not Breadth
Whatever you do, do not mass apply to every job that remotely fits your qualifications. This is a waste of time. Sites like Indeed.com and Monster are great for getting a feel of the jobs that are out there, but they get hundreds and hundreds of applicants. It’s a waste of time. Instead, truly focus on the 10-15 positions that truly interest you, that you’re highly qualified for, and offer the values you care about after researching them.
What do you care most about? Benefits? Location? Your would be boss? Find out what’s truly important to you in the job that you want, and only apply to positions that fit those core values. Then, once you’ve selected the jobs you’re most interested in, apply via the company website and avoid the mass job boards if possible. Also, be sure to follow up within a week and a half if you haven’t heard anything since. Reach out to someone at that company that you’ve networked with previously, or the recruiter listed on the job app. Remember that these are busy people, so often times they may just not have gotten around to reviewing your application yet. And when you do follow up, be sure to courteous, respectful, and have one or two relevant questions so that you’re not just ‘checking on job status.’
Patience is a Virtue
Finally, when it comes to the job search process, it really all comes down to patience and persistence. Don’t give up and recognize that a job search takes about six months on average. Don’t feel disheartened. Just keep at it! Be sure to follow up regularly, keep checking your application status, having job alerts on for new ones of interest, and keep nurturing your network. Remember that career building is throughout your entire life, not just during the job search. You will get the job, it’s just a matter of time! If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.
Happy new year Ramblers, good luck!