Job hunting 101. Here are some useful tips

How do you search for a new job in a world still gripped in a pandemic?

COVID-19 has certainly changed the rules of the game in some surprising ways. Though that’s not news to anybody. You’re going to have to reevaluate how you approach job hunting right now, and I want to give you some vital tips on how to maximize results.

What are some of the recent changes during the job hunting process?

Everything has gone digital. That’s one of the biggest changes and requires people to do a lot more research to find new job openings. The good news is that there are still jobs available. Not every industry was negatively impacted.

Another major change is that people have become a lot more intentional with their job choices. A good example of this is the current resistance in Americans to return to low-paying service jobs. The result is higher competition for quality jobs.

A great many are also looking into ways to escape the regular job model altogether. It’s not uncommon to see a lot of new businesses startup. People are interested in more flexibility and a greater sense of control and security.

Here are some useful tips for job hunting

Track the companies you like

Any job can feel suffocating and pointless if your heart’s not in it or you dislike the company. My guiding principle when looking for a job is to think about what you want to work and where you want to work. People tend to get discouraged around the talk of dream jobs, but honestly, it’s a lot more achievable to land the job you’ve always wanted than you’ve thought.

Do some research. Identify the companies you can get behind and read into what to do. What talent do they need? Who are their employees on LinkedIn? What positions do they advertise?

Use RSS feed reader

I can’t recommend RSS feed readers for job searching enough. They’re superb in accomplishing the difficult task of being present everywhere, all at once. Given how big the Internet is, that’s a massive undertaking. You’ll often hear about how looking for a new job feels like a job in its own right. That’s because you’re not using RSS readers.

You have so many features at your disposal – even at the free-to-use level. Inoreader is an example. Users can directly subscribe to any site’s feed directly through Chrome thanks to its extension, and Inoreader makes content discovery an easy thing. Thanks to superb support for social media and other feed types, users can receive newsletters, Google Alerts, search results on hashtags, posts in groups, and so much more.

Customize your CV

Updating your CVs is everyone’s least favorite task. How do you synthesize your work experience into a single document and hook the hiring staff? The biggest mistake I’ve seen is not taking notes over the months and subsequent years you’re spending on your current job and then having to play detective to remember everything you’ve done.

A successful strategy would be to maintain a single document, which serves as your inventory of accomplishments, transferable skills, completed projects, and accolades. Now, you’re not going to need every single one in your actual CV. Nobody has the time or patience to read a novel. The trick is to adapt your CV to the needs of a specific job position. If you’re not doing this already, now is the second-best time to start.

Give recruiters what they want to hear in order to convince them of your suitability.

Prepare for interviews

Do your homework, or don’t bother showing up to the interview in the first place. Not briefing on the company you’re applying for is a big misstep and shows poor professionalism and disinterest. Make sure you take note of the most important facts about the company, its products, reputation, and position. I would also recommend you look up articles on common interview questions, basic mistakes people often make, winning strategies, and interview etiquette in general. This comes in handy if it’s been a while since the last time you’ve interviewed for a position.

If you’re feeling nervous, then why not go through a mock interview with a friend or a colleague in the same industry to help you run through possible scenarios. It works wonders for people with social anxiety.

Lastly, prepare questions yourself. Interviews are conversations, and it gives a good impression to take the lead here and there.

Apply through the companies’ websites

You might spot a job opening on a job board, but the best way to approach your application is by submitting it through the company’s website. It’s a nice gesture that shows you actually care about the job rather than just firing off your application at any business on platforms like Indeed or [X] that fits your overall requirements.

Also, if you follow your dream companies, you’ll already be informed about new open positions. I highly recommend this type of research (best done with an RSS reader) because you’ll have a good head start on preparing for a potential interview.

Be active on LinkedIn and contact people there

LinkedIn often gets somewhat kicked off to the side in favor of job boards, but it’s designed to get you to the next stage of your career. Now that most communication and networking has moved to online spaces due to the pandemic, LinkedIn should take a more central place in your job hunt.

While things are opening up bit by bit, we can’t all go to conferences, trade shows, seminars, and other networking events as often or in the same way before. Digital is still the mode of operation for quite some time, so you better dust off your profile and treat it like your primary social media.

Follow leaders in your industry, connect with people already working at your dream company and join relevant groups. There are always recruiters lurking around. With the right presence, you can land a good interview.