Job searches are not easy. They’re tedious, time-consuming, and unless you have a burning desire to constantly scour job boards and update your application documents, they require a lot of patience. As painful as they may be though, they are practically unavoidable in today’s job market – according to The Balance Careers, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times during their career. With those odds, you may be closer to your next job hunt than you think.
I recently wrapped up a job search of looking for a new gig that would bring me closer to my significant other, and the process was every bit as arduous as I expected it to be. Along the way though, I found ways to better refine my search and make the the experience more palatable.
If you’re bracing yourself for a career change, here are my tips for your job search.
Filter Your Search
If you have any sort of preference around your next job – title, salary, location, etc. – then filtering your search will significantly expedite the process.
On LinkedIn: The social networking site for professionals has recently beefed up their Jobs section, giving users a lot of control over their search. For general searches, you can filter open positions by keyword and location, so if you know the type of role you are looking for and the area you want to live in, this will be helpful for you. The LinkedIn Salaries tool allows you to take this search one step further by showing you your earning potential based on job title in various locations. Lastly, updating your career interests on LinkedIn will help generate more personalized job suggestions in the ‘Jobs You may Be Interested In’ feature. In this section, you can customize preferences such as shared interests with recruiters, how active you are in your job search, and types of jobs you’re open to. Making sure these preferences are in line with your current job search can help the right recruiters to find you more easily.
On Indeed: During my search, I used Indeed the most because of its ability to aggregate every open position that was relevant to my search criteria. Job hunting on this platform is straightforward as you are only given two options to define your search from the start: keyword and location. Knowing that I wanted to relocate to the triangle area and stay in social media marketing, filling in both of these fields was a no-brainer and exactly where I wanted to begin my search. Once you enter in those two queries, you can scroll through thousands of open roles and add in additional filters to your search like salary, full-time or part time, experience level, and more. To stay on top of open jobs, you can also sign up for email alerts when a new job is posted that matches your criteria.
Be Open to Unfamiliar Companies and Organizations
In today’s age of tweet updates and Instagram Story posts, our generation is constantly competing to have it all, including a career that both impresses and elicits envy in your followers. For the general population, this means working a job at well-known and highly-regarded company or organization. For those who work in sports, it means working at a Power Five school or with a professional team or league. This pressure to impress our peers (Twitter followers) can lead to a very limited job search when looking for a new gig, resulting in little-to-no roles that match our expectations.
While it’s great to have an ideal employer in mind, you shouldn’t hesitate to click on open roles with a company whose name you may not recognize. I can personally attest to this. While I was searching for open jobs in North Carolina, my first instinct was, of course, to look up all the professional teams’ and big schools’ open jobs. However, I quickly changed course when I had little luck in actually finding positions in my area of expertise at these organizations. Once I opened up my job search – and my mind – the search results were much more encouraging, and I found the listing that led me to my current role.
Keep an open mind, and do a little digging if you spot a role that may work for you but doesn’t have a flashy brand name attached to it. You may be surprised at what you find.
While this tip isn’t necessarily actionable, it’s sometimes important to reiterate the obvious. This is one of those times.
Along your job hunt, you will get frustrated. You will lose your patience, you will get discouraged, and you will want to throw in the towel. Don’t. Keep pursuing that opportunity that is the next rung on your career ladder, bringing you closer to your ultimate goal. Continue to button up your application documents and practice your interview techniques so that when you are contacted by your next employer, you’re ready.
Take it one step at a time, and remember that at the end of this process there is a new opportunity waiting for you.