by Guest Author, Sandra Dawes-Chatha
You’ll find a lot of job advice online, but thinking outside the box can help you land your next big opportunity.
Finding a job can be a stressful endeavor, and it can be heartbreaking when you apply for numerous positions and don’t get any response. You may find it challenging not to take it personally, as a rejection of you, your skills, and your expertise.
The good news is that you can do things to place yourself in a better position, so recruiters and hiring managers notice you and identify you as an ideal candidate for the job opening they’re looking to fill. In this article, you will find steps you can take to help you land your next job.
1. Do More Than Submit Online Applications
The process of applying online is so easy that it can attract a large number of candidates. Due to the competition you may face, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Instead of waiting for the hiring manager or recruiter to call you with an invitation to do an interview, you can take the initiative of scheduling your own information meeting. You should indicate your interest in the company during your informational interview and inquire about the job opening.
The goal is to put yourself out there and have recruiters and hiring managers recognize you. First impressions matter, and a company may recognize and appreciate your initiative.
2. Make a List of Dream Companies You’d Like to Work For
It doesn’t hurt to dream, and creating a list of the dream companies you’d like to work for can help you get a clearer picture of the type of business culture you want to be a part of. Your list can help determine the job environment you want to work in, which can help you decide the types of companies you want to submit applications to.
Treat your job search like dating, and don’t settle for a job you know you won’t be happy with. Apply for jobs in environments you can see yourself being happy in and can help you realize your personal and professional goals. If, once you’ve completed your list, you feel like your resume needs a makeover, you might be interested in learning how to write a winning resume.
3. Embrace Your Creativity
Using creativity in your cover letters, you can show your personality to recruiters and hiring managers before you get to the interview stage. You can use your cover letter to stand out from other applicants.
Consider treating your cover letter as a pre-interview. Provide potential employers with an idea of who you are before meeting you and potentially answer some questions they might have already listed. As part of your letter, you may want to include the reasons why you’re an ideal candidate for the role.
4. Send a Thank You Note, Even if You Didn’t Get the Job
To be successful in your job search, you mustn’t overlook the small things. Remember that hiring managers and recruiters are people, too, taking time out of their day to search and locate the perfect candidates for their job openings. Sending them a thank you note, whether by letter or email, can help you stand out.
You can turn your thank you note into an opportunity, even if you didn’t get the job. While it’s okay to acknowledge your disappointment in not being selected, stay upbeat in your response. Be specific about what you’re thanking them for, which can be their time, and information about the company, mentioning the elements that excited you.
Don’t be shy to ask for consideration in future opportunities. You can also use your note to ask for feedback on the interview and if there were specific qualifications you were missing.
5. Apply for Offline Positions Too
Some career experts say that searching for a job offline is a more effective way to get the job you want. You will need to attend networking events in person to find offline positions. You’ll also need to pay attention to local television and radio news to learn about business relocations, mass hirings, and grand openings.
You may consider joining groups beyond your industry peers to find job opportunities. You never know who might be able to offer you a potential lead. You can also attend conferences and seminars connected to your profession. This is an opportunity to meet people who can connect you with their colleagues, who might be able to help you find a job.
If any of your dream companies a local to you, you can go to the office and ask to see the hiring manager so you can submit your application in person. Another excellent way to find a job offline is to attend job fairs. Volunteering is another opportunity to make connections.
6. Reach Out to People in the Role You’re Looking for and Learn From Them
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for connecting with people who work in your industry. When seeking people to reach out to on the platform, try to keep it to your connections or people you share contacts with so it’s more of a warm message than a cold one to a stranger.
When creating your message, be clear about why you’re reaching out. Don’t overwhelm the recipient with a lot of questions in the first message, and stick to one question. You can ask more questions after you receive the first response and establish a rapport.
Keep your message concise and brief. You want to show the contacts you’re reaching out to that you value their time. When developing your messages, customize each one. You don’t want recipients to feel like they’re receiving a canned, generic message. If you struggle with figuring out whether you should accept connection requests, you might be interested in learning which LinkedIn connections to accept (and which to reject).
7. Create Your Career Story
To understand how to navigate your job search, you can look at it like a market, and you’re the product. You aim to sell yourself in the market and hope the right employer buys. The best way to sell your abilities and expertise is with branding.
Creating a branded career story can help you stand out from other candidates. You can showcase your personality in your resume and cover letter by detailing your previous accomplishments and experiences, including the impact they created, and specifics when possible.
If you want to highlight what sets you apart from other candidates, you should showcase your personality in your cover letter and resume. By doing this, you can create a personal brand that has an impact.
It Is Possible to Find a Job You Love
While it can be depressing to think that we’ll spend the majority of our lives at work, it is possible to find a job that you feel good about, proud of the work you do, and have the opportunity to grow and evolve. The key to finding a job like that is to focus on what you want and take decisive action to make it a reality.
Some things that can help you find your dream job may require stepping outside your comfort zone. If you’re looking for work with purpose, some sites can point you in the right direction.
Need more job search advice?
For more insights and a community of like-minded professionals join our LinkedIn group Resume Help and Advice for Professionals and Executives
About the author: Sandra Dawes-Chatha is a self-published author and former loyal Blackberry user. In addition to freelance writing since 2020, Sandra is a Master Certified Life Coach and has her MBA specializing in Entrepreneurship and business sustainability.