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How to Jumpstart Your Job Search

How to Jumpstart Your Job Search

Woman sitting at a desk filling out a job application

Are you a recent grad searching for your first “big girl” job, or a seasoned professional seeking new opportunities in your field? Whether it’s your first or thousandth time sending out applications, the job search can be overwhelming, especially in today’s tumultuous job market. If you’re struggling to get started, don’t worry; we’ve rounded up our favorite tips and tricks to help you jumpstart your job search and take your career to the next level. 

Create a Base Resume

When you’re first starting your job search, it’s a good idea to sit down and create an updated version of your resume. Start by listing out any experience you can think of – volunteer experiences and internships included. Though you may eventually cut some of these experiences from the final version of your resume, this practice will allow you to visualize all the work you have accomplished and the range of skills you have developed that you can highlight to future employers. From here, you can edit down your resume to the most relevant experiences on the list – typical advice is to keep it to one page if you have less than 10 years of experience. There are several websites online, like Resume Now and Resume.io, that offer free templates to help you easily format a professional, visually appealing resume. As you apply for different jobs, you’ll want to tailor your resume to the requirements and skills specified in each job description – but having the base resume as a reference point means you can do so easily, modifying it slightly for each application as needed. 

Photo of a printed resume being assessed for a job search

Tap into Your Network

Have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” While it may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s true that networking can play a big role in landing your next professional opportunity. As you begin your job search,  it can be a good idea to put some feelers out with individuals in your community who may have intel on available job opportunities in your area of interest. That could look like catching up with a coworker from a previous job or asking to grab coffee with a professor in your field so you can pick their brain. 

Group of three coworkers walking and networking

If you don’t feel like you have a pre-existing network to tap into, that’s okay – it’s time to build one! Websites like Eventbrite offer localized recommendations of networking events in your area so that you can connect with other professionals in person. If you prefer to do so online, you can always find an individual who holds your desired job title on LinkedIn and send a friendly message to see if they’d be willing to chat about their career path. 

Update Your LinkedIn

Speaking of LinkedIn, it might be time to update your profile to ensure it’s reflective of everything you’ve accomplished in your career so far. If you’re just coming out of undergrad, be sure to list the extracurricular activities you were involved in throughout your academic career – again, this provides a chance to highlight all of your transferable skills. Upload a professional headshot as your profile photo so other users know that your account is active and up-to-date. See if your former employers or professors are willing to provide you with a recommendation to appear on your LinkedIn profile to further bolster your credibility. And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to connect with people! Your connections on LinkedIn might end up posting about job opportunities that you don’t see elsewhere or send you job openings that seem perfect for you.

Job searching on LinkedIn on a phone screen

Know Where to Look

Obviously LinkedIn is one of the most popular places employers list job openings, but it’s not the only one. In order to diversify the job listings you see, you may want to create profiles on other job sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. You can even find specific job boards for the field that you’re interested in through a simple Google search and sign up for those as well.

See Also

Photo of a woman searching for jobs on a laptop

If you have a particular company or organization you’re interested in applying to, you can also check their career site for current job listings. Typically, you can find a company’s job board at the bottom of their corporate website under a headline titled “Careers,”  “Join Us,” or something similar. The benefit of checking these sites directly is that they are usually the most up-to-date, so you might see a new listing on the company’s website before it appears on LinkedIn. This gives you an advantage to apply well ahead of others who come across the listing later on.

Don’t Shy Away From Bridge Jobs

In a job market that’s ever-changing, it might take some time to land the exact position you’ve been dreaming of. If you’re in between jobs but find yourself wanting work immediately, you can always take on a “bridge” job. A bridge job is a temporary position that allows you to continue working and developing skills while in between two jobs. Whether related to your field or not, bridge jobs can provide several benefits. Aside from a stream of income, a bridge job can provide a new set of skills to add to your resume and advertise to prospective employers. Additionally, taking on a bridge job can help widen your network; you never know who you might meet that can help you land that dream role. 

Remember: finding the right job takes time. Give yourself grace as you navigate the application process and be sure to use all of the resources at your disposal. Whether you’ve just started applying or are on the final round of interviews, we wish you the best of luck on your professional journey!

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