Chicago Job Search Strategy + 5 Tips (2020)

Nov 17, 2020

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

Are you launching a new job search in Chicago? You’re not alone.

Chicago, Illinois has an affordable housing market and some Americans are considering a move in 2021. Other people have moved to the suburbs, looking for a remote job or less commuting. Whatever your reason if for wanting a new job in Illinois, the Zipjob team has some tips for you!

Here are 5 tips and resources from our team of career experts for a strategic 2020 job search in Chicago.

Chicago job search tools

1. Look for top Chicago companies in your industry

If you’re looking to land a new job quickly, you need to be organized and specific. One way to narrow down your job search is to make a list of target companies. This list will help to focus your attention on researching what the company is doing and networking with current employees.

To get started, check out our lists of the best financial companies and the best marketing companies in Chicago:

Check back soon–more industry lists will follow!

2. Check local job listings online

In addition to top job search sites, you should look for local job boards to find jobs in Chicago. These websites might have opportunities that bigger aggregates don’t have.

Here are the Top 12 Job Search Sites in Chicago, Illinois to help you out.

Don’t make applying to jobs online your only job search strategy! This brings us to the next tip.

3. Check out recruiting and headhunting firms in Chicago

You can’t hire a recruiter to get you a new job, but you can work with recruiters to learn about certain opportunities.

If you are a great candidate you can attract recruiters as they try to source excellent candidates for companies or industries.

Start with this list of the 25 Best Recruiting and Headhunting firms in Chicago) and then reference these related posts:

4. Write a great cover letter for your move to Chicago

It can be a good idea to mention your relocation on a cover letter as part of what makes you a great candidate. Take note of what a good cover letter looks like in 2020 and make sure you tick these boxes:

  • Short and direct
  • Highlights your qualifications (without regurgitating your resume)
  • Demonstrates your value with examples and numbers
  • Tailored–preferably addressed to the hiring manager
  • Employer-focused

Job openings receive around 250 applications on average. Cover letters are one of the most effective ways to stand out!

5. Research local Chicago resume writing services

Moving takes up a lot of time and energy, so it’s perfectly fine to hire a professional to do the heavy lifting for you on your resume! Professional resume writers are trained on current best practices, industry keywords, and the effective content you need to land an interview.

Make sure you’re collaborating with your resume writer in between packing up your winter coats and gloves. Even the most experienced resume writers will need to learn more about your experience before delivering a final draft!

Here are our suggestions for the 12 Best Resume Writing Services In Chicago.


Looking for a job and moving at the same time is hard work! These tips will help you manage your job search so you can focus on getting settled into a new city.

Are you looking for a job and relocating to Illinois? Share your Chicago job search tips in the comments!

Related posts:

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An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

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