Sometimes, it’s hard to find the motivation to start looking for a new job, even if you’re fed up with your current employer.
Just thinking about finding companies with open positions, polishing your resume, preparing for an interview, and bracing yourself for some disappointment can be overwhelming and exhausting.
One way to minimize the stress of job hunting is to turn to experts for advice. Below, we’ve assembled the top 10 pieces of advice from human resources pros who hire candidates like you every day.
Implement these tips to start prepping for a new job that will help you move beyond living paycheck to paycheck.
Brush up on your video interview skills
Remote work is here to stay, which means interviewing over Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams has become normal.
So, before your scheduled interview, take the interview technology you’ll be using for a spin. For example, make sure your Zoom app doesn’t need to be updated well in advance of the interview.
When your interview time rolls around, make sure to choose a spot with excellent internet service and pay attention to your surroundings.
The coffee shop you usually work from might be too loud and chaotic for an interview. Booking a conference room at your local library can send a better impression.
Make sure you understand keywords
When you submit a resume, don’t assume a real person will be the first one to read it. Most companies use resume-screening software to decide if a candidate’s job experience matches what the firm is looking for.
If your resume includes keywords that match the job description, the resume software will likely pass the resume along to a human recruiter. If it doesn’t have these keywords, your job application could be dismissed off the bat.
Focus on creating solid work relationships
Creating solid connections at your current place of employment can impact how far you go in your career. That is especially true when it comes to getting good references or being referred to other companies in your industry.
All relationships take effort, and work relationships are no different. Even if you work remotely, take time every day to actively connect with your team members.
Ask yourself if you’re being a team player and supporting colleagues in their jobs. Are you contributing to a positive work culture and looking out for everyone on the team?
How you answer such questions is crucial to your industry reputation — not to mention your personal job satisfaction and quality of life.
Become a better listener
One way to build relationships with colleagues is to practice active listening on a daily basis.
A good listener doesn’t passively absorb information while waiting for their turn to talk. Instead, good listeners proactively pose insightful questions, listen carefully to what other people are saying, and ask follow-up questions.
Active listening benefits you in a job interview. It helps you answer an interviewer’s questions appropriately. Perhaps more importantly, though, active listening is a crucial part of becoming a good team member in the workplace.
In an ideal world, you would get a job based on your qualifications alone instead of having to rely on your connections. But in the real world — where hundreds of people might apply for a job — anything that sets you apart from the crowd is a major asset.
A good referral can lead a recruiter to pick your resume out of a stack of applicants. So don’t be afraid to ask trusted people to help you network your way to a new job.
Pro tip: If you are struggling to find the right job, don’t give up. If paying the bills is a problem, consider taking on part-time work, a side hustle, or another way to make money while you patiently look for the best jobs.
Update your LinkedIn profile
Resumes still have a place in your quest for a new job, but they might not be as important as you think.
Many recruiters now look for candidates on LinkedIn. So, if you don’t have a robust LinkedIn profile, you could be passed over for jobs for which you are perfectly qualified.
LinkedIn is also ideal for networking and creating industry relationships.
When you find and follow companies you’re interested in, comment on posts, and reach out to potential mentors, you start making a name for yourself in your industry and stay on recruiters’ social-media radar.
Always remain professional
When you’re searching for jobs via the internet, it can be easy to slip into a more casual online persona. That is especially true if you’re networking on social media sites.
But don’t confuse being approachable and authentic with being unprofessional. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is free of typos and grammatical errors.
Dress professionally for an interview, even if the job is a remote position. Always be polite and direct in your email correspondence with a potential new employer.
Craft a narrative for your career
You can assume that most people applying for the job you want have skills and backgrounds similar to yours. So, while it’s important to showcase experience, simply hitting your career highlights isn’t enough to set you apart from the crowd.
Instead, create a personal brand that emphasizes what you’ve learned from your job experience. Your narrative should detail the journey from where you are today to where you want your career to go from here.
Schedule informational interviews
An informational interview is a talk between you and someone who already works at a company you’re interested in. This gives you a chance to learn more about the job.
Informational interviews can help you decide if you want to find a job with the company, but they’re also ideal networking opportunities.
Reaching out to an industry expert and asking to learn from them shows you’re serious about your line of work.
Look for free job advice
Reading job-related articles (like this one) online is a great way to jump-start your career, but it’s just one of many resources you have for turning yourself into the best possible applicant.
Many public universities offer free or discounted seminars that help job seekers brush up on their interview and resume skills.
Some colleges have open-to-the-public writing labs where you can take your resume and review it with a writing coach. If you don’t live in a college town, public libraries often provide many of the same services.
The job of your dreams might not be out of reach. With these 10 HR tips under your belt, you’ll be better prepared to wow interviewers, impress potential employers, and continue your career at a company you love.
So take steps toward eliminating financial stress and increasing job satisfaction by putting these tips to work today.
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