It’s hard to know where to start when you’re looking for a job. If you haven’t outlined a plan or narrowed down a field, you can waste a lot of time—time that could be spent earning money if you could just snag the perfect job in your desired field. But now that the summer lull is ending, it’s time to really seize your best opportunity. Companies are getting back to business at full capacity and looking to make hires who will get them through the winter months and can hang on for the long hull.
5 ways to find a great job this fall:
1. Refine your job search criteria
It’s important to narrow down your top priorities when it comes to the perfect position. If you know what motivates you, it’ll be easier to target companies that match those skills and ambitions. Then create a list of jobs that meet your criteria. Make a list or a spreadsheet to keep track of which positions meet which criteria. Read the job description thoroughly before you apply, so you don’t apply for jobs you don’t qualify for. You might think you’re casting a wide net applying for as many jobs as possible, but you’re just wasting everyone’s time if you’re not a good fit.
2. Customize your resume and cover letter
Each resume and cover letter you send should be tailored to the position you’re applying for. List your most relevant experiences and skills first so they stand out to your potential employer.
3. Activate your referral network
A lot of jobs never even get publicized, so the more people who know you’re looking for a job and might mention your name when an opening pops up, the better. Let people know that you’re searching and ask about openings. Connect with friends, alumni, and former colleagues and ask if you can send them your resume. Identify the most influential people in your network and ask to meet them for lunch or coffee to discuss your goals, skills, and experiences.
4. Attend events
Think industry events, conferences, relevant lectures and seminars, alumni events and training sessions. Introduce yourself to people and mention that you’re looking for a job—chances are someone knows someone who can hook you up!
5. Use Social Media
Tools like LinkedIn are powerful tools to connect you with the right people. You can search your target market based on your industry, your qualifications, and interests, and it’ll connect with the people who can help you—potential bosses and human resources departments in your industry. In Facebook, you can search for jobs near you and see a wide array of opportunities that you can apply to, right from your phone!
6. Job Boards
Many companies use job boards to find the right candidate. Find the right job boards for your skill set and qualifications and put your resume there. Use a catchy headline that captures attention and update your resume frequently—once a week or so—so employers know it hasn’t gone stale.
Are you looking for a job?