How to Search for a New Job

Nancy Anderson
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Although the labor market is strong, with Department of Labor data showing a low 3.9 percent unemployment rate as of September 2018, many job seekers still struggle in their job searches, and conversely, companies complain of difficulties filling available positions. Improve your chances of finding a great match by learning more about the modern job search process and following these five suggestions to find the right openings and land interviews.

1. Research the Job Market

Start your job search by getting a broad overview of the available jobs for which you are qualified. Try searching job boards using your top skills as search terms. Make a list of job titles that interest you and companies that sound promising. Further research companies online. Try following your favorites on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

2. Get Your Documents in Order

Update your resume to target the specific jobs you found during your research. Use keywords from the job postings to help your resume make it through any automated applicant tracking that might be in place. Carefully follow any specific instructions in the application information. Pay attention to less common skills that are requested and focus on those in your cover letter. This helps you stand out from other similarly qualified applicants.

3. Increase Your Visibility

Companies increasingly rely on social media accounts to find potential employees and learn more about job applicants. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is current and visually appealing. Increase your visibility by interacting more with others in your industry. Re-post articles that are informative or interesting. Write your own content sharing words of wisdom or commenting on industry developments. Embedding a video is another way to make your page stand out, and remember to include relevant key words throughout your page's content.

4. Network

The best way to get an interview at one of your preferred companies is through a referral, and quality networking grows the kind of connections that lead to referrals. Focus on improving your job search by extending both your online and real-world networks. Join professional or industry organizations and school alumni groups. Participate regularly in those groups' activities. See if any of your top-choice companies have virtual career communities where you can get to know current employees who might put in a good word for you.

5. Improve Yourself

While you're unemployed, it's important to use your time wisely. Improve your career skills by taking a course or attending a workshop. Consider accepting a volunteer position that uses your unique skills to improve the lives of others. Read up on new developments in your field, and new types of hiring procedures, such as video interviews, automated chatbox follow-ups and job auditions. Practice up on your interview skills. Your goal is to be prepared for anything to always show your full potential during interactions with potential employers.

A successful job search requires dedication. Develop daily and weekly schedules to help you stick to your plan for networking and self-development. Include a weekly review session to assess your progress and create specific goals for the following week. Remember that the labor market is in your favor. Stay optimistic, keep your visibility high, and network with an eye toward your favorite companies for a speedy job search that ends with a great position.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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