Hiring is at a frenzied pace across the United States, with job openings in nearly every industry. Unfortunately for many job seekers, however, it can still be a challenge to land a good job. That’s because too many candidates approach their job search without an effective job search strategy.
In today’s competitive job search market, it’s not enough to just apply. You need to know the best job hunting strategies and implement them in your search. To help with that effort, we’ve compiled the top job search tips for 2020. Implement them properly, and you can soon double your interviews!
1. Make sure your resume is polished and ATS-friendly
When it comes to job seeking tips and techniques, few are more important than focusing on your resume. You need to ensure that your resume is as polished as can be. Focus on the right areas of importance, make it as clean and concise as possible, and use the right keywords on your resume to make it ATS compliant. Those automated screeners need to see those keywords to avoid rejecting your resume out-of-hand.
The good news is that you can typically identify the keywords by examining the job posting. Relevant keywords usually include terms related to the position and necessary qualifications.
If you're not sure what this means, read our article dedicated to ATS scans and resume formatting tricks.
2. Use online resources, networking, and social media
Use every available resource to identify the right jobs, develop contacts, and promote yourself as a candidate. The internet provides a wealth of information that will help in your job search efforts. That’s why one of the top job search tips in 2020 emphasizes the use of this powerful tool to aid your quest. You can locate job openings, research companies, and even submit applications and resumes.
You should also increase your networking efforts and focus attention on social media as well, such as LinkedIn to find a job. Referrals are one of the most effective ways to land an interview and job, so seek them out. According to LinkedIn, 85% of jobs are filled through networking.
Develop a network of like-minded professionals who can alert you to new job openings and provide recommendations. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect to decision-makers and others in your industry.
3. Customize your resume
Instead, create a template resume and modify it for each new job application. That ensures that your resume submission will be unique and targeted to each individual company.
professional resume writers know how to organize your resume to appeal to hiring managers. Check out our guide to the best resume writing services to find your perfect fit!
When reviewing the top job search tips in 2020, don’t forget this gem: customize your resume. Do not make the mistake of using a generic resume for all your job applications. Trust us: hiring managers will recognize that lack of specificity and are likely to dismiss your candidacy.
4. Identify your skills
Your skills should be your primary focus. Instead of looking for jobs based on titles, you should first identify your own skill set.
That will help you to focus on jobs that require those skills. Even better, that emphasis on your skills may open new job opportunities. While you’re searching for jobs that require your skill set, you may discover that your skills are applicable to more jobs than you realized.
Need help identifying your key strengths? Check out our post for free career assessments.
5. Focus on value
One of the top job search tips that too many candidates neglect involves value. At every stage of the process, you should emphasize your value as an employee. In your resume, highlight instances where you provided real, tangible, quantifiable value for prior employers.
Use real numbers that define that value. Employers are not just hiring you to fill a seat; they expect you to add value to their organization right away. If you understand this and emphasize those potential contributions, you’ll increase your odds of landing an interview and a job.
Hiring managers love numbers.
Increased sales 16% by implementing a Facebook marketing campaign...
6. Make your cover letter work for you
Many people misuse their cover letter, basically using it as a rehash of their resume. They don’t know that one of the top job search tips out there involves using the cover letter the right way. Much has been said and written on this topic, so we'll stick to the most important information here.
First, your cover letter is not your resume. It should be treated as a separate introduction designed to briefly tell the hiring manager about you as a person and why you’re the right candidate for the job. It’s also a marketing piece that should include some type of call to action.
For example, you can close with something like:
“I am looking forward to meeting with you soon to discuss the position in greater detail.”
"I will follow up with you by email next week to continue this conversation."
"Please reach out to me by phone or email to schedule a time to further discuss my job fit!"
7. Prepare for your interview
The last of our top job search tips for 2020 deals with the interview process. Think of it as your closing argument: you’ve done the hard job search work and now need to close the deal to land the job.
So, how do you seal that deal and avoid rejection? Prepare properly! No matter how many interviews you’ve done in the past, you should still do your homework every single time.
Begin by researching the firm. Make sure that you understand what they do, and how their corporate culture operates. If you can, learn something about the interviewer as well. Research the company’s products, services, and position in the marketplace. Most of all, make sure that you understand the open position and what the employers expect from you. That will help you to feel more comfortable in the interview and focus on the right areas of concern.
Tip: have a couple interview questions ready to ask the employer as well. Good hiring managers want to hear your questions!
In fact, when candidates fail to ask any questions, some hiring managers interpret that as a sign of disengagement. They’ll assume that you’re not really interested--or worse, think that you already know everything there is to know.
Naturally, there are whole host of other things that you can do to increase your job search success. However, if you start with these seven core strategies, you will be well on your way to that dream job.
Add in a dose of hard work and the right amount of follow through, and you’ll be unstoppable! So, incorporate these top job search tips into your job seeking efforts and watch your results dramatically improve.
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.