Where to start your job search

Finding your perfect job at this point in your career can be challenging. You want one that will help you maintain a healthy trajectory as you advance toward your professional goals. Because you are now focused on honing specific skills and becoming more specialized in your field, you need to find good matches that benefit both you and prospective employers. Fortunately, today’s search technologies are continuously improving and can help you effectively and efficiently find the roles right for you.

More importantly, employers are using better technologies to ensure you are the right fit for them as well. That means it’s more important than ever for you to promote the experience and skills they are looking for because recruiters are becoming more exacting in their selection also. Empowered with sophisticated tools that quickly screen out those who don’t fit hiring managers’ specification, recruiters will not even look at your resume if it’s passed over by the technology. So how can you ensure your search is a fruitful one?

According to Jennifer Seith, Senior Vice President of Recruiting Strategy & Innovation with Randstad U.S., understanding how employers search for you will help you to be found more easily. At the same time, you’ll have valuable insights into what kinds of information you should include on your resume, the keywords that will help you get found and the skills and experience that matter most to companies.

“To get great results, you should get educated about the technology behind search, understand the search terms used by an employer you would like to work for and build your profile and resume around this information,” Seith says. “The trick is to ensure that your skills match up as well as that you are neither over- or under-qualified for the position you desire.”

According to Monster, employers posting openings look for candidates with specific experience and skills based on a set of key terms that may include not only skill-specific ones but also location, industry, alternative job titles and abbreviations. For instance, you might be a certified project management professional, but companies may look for the term PMO (project management office). As you consider what to include in your profile, make sure you include all relevant terms that will help you be found. The same applies when searching on job boards and corporate career site, as Fast Company explains.

In the future, recruitment marketing technology will help job seekers and employers find each other more easily through automation, but today you will still need to expend some energy to find the roles you hope to land.

networking still key

Although we tend to seek out opportunities through online job first, the majority of hires are still made through networking. That’s why your search for the ideal position should also include a good bit of legwork and in-person meetings. Whether you do so at industry events, connect with acquaintances at alumni gatherings or just attend local job fairs, nurturing relationships with humans may yield better results for you.

Seith recommends that you start your search by leveraging your network. Narrow your search to the kinds of companies you would like to join, and check your contacts to see if any of them are employed there and can help make an introduction. If not, visit the career portals of these companies and search for openings that are a good fit with your skills and experience.

“Applying for a job online is not going to get you noticed by the employer. However, if you have access to an inside advocate, even if they are a remote acquaintance, you have a much better chance of landing the job you want with that employer,” she adds.

So as you look to intensify your search for the right career opportunities, remember that you need a comprehensive strategy focused on being found, finding and networking. Only by undertaking such an exhaustive approach will you be able to find the best job for you.

three tips for finding the right jobs.

  • know the market
    What are the skills you possess that employers want? Knowing what’s in demand will help you narrow your search by focusing on the roles most in demand. Not only will you have a better chance at securing that job but you’ll likely also be better rewarded. Here’s a list of this year’s most in-demand skills compiled by LinkedIn.
  • learn to network
    Networking can be difficult, but when you get the hang of it, your efforts will pay off. Look for opportunities where you can get to know others in your organization, in the industry and even in competing companies. Because networking is still the most effective way to land a job, you never know who you are talking to, they might be your next manager or advocate. Inc magazine provides these 7 tips for good networking practices.
  • aspire to join the right company
    Searching for jobs that you are qualified for may bring a lot of leads, so you may want to narrow your efforts to organizations you admire and want to work for. By establishing a relationship with recruiters and hiring managers before you start to look for a job, opportunities may periodically arise and come your way through these relationships.