Original article here.
The job market is tough right now. Many companies and industries are still hiring – either as essential services or as businesses start to re-open – but millions of people are still out of work, and competition for roles is increasing.
Are you searching for a job for the first time? Or were you laid off or furloughed and haven’t looked for a new job in years?
Go back-to-basics with these essential job hunt tools and strategies.
Optimize key words in your resume
Your resume should map back to a job description – either to the exact one you’re applying for or to others listed in your field. As companies are flooded with resumes and relying on technology to sort and find matches, your resume will need to stand out from the rest. Focus on what makes you unique, then incorporate key words from job descriptions. These should be accurate and highlight your skills, experiences or internships. Build a resume in minutes using AI-powered keywords.
Build and expand your network through job boards
Connect with thousands of employers that are actively looking to hire by uploading your resume and applying to roles through a job board. Whether an internal recruiter at a company reaches out to learn more about you, or you nab an interview for a specific role, your presence on a job board can become your own personal network. This is a smart move for all professionals, but especially entry-level and early-career workers who might not have the same personal connections as someone who’s been working for years.
And what if a company you’re interested in doesn’t have any open roles that match your skills or experience? Still apply. Or sign up to receive alerts about jobs. That company is constantly building a pipeline of interested, qualified candidates, and you’ll be on the list when a new role opens.
Work with a recruiter
Where job boards expand your search, staffing firms and placement agencies can supplement with a targeted approach. Many firms and agencies are industry-specific, from advertising creatives to tech professionals to logistics. Plus, as businesses weather economic uncertainty, there is an increased interest in using agencies to fill contract or short-term positions. Take advantage of these opportunities to gain on-the-job experience while bringing in a paycheck.
Practice your interviewing skills
Once your resume and skills get you to the next round in the process (congrats!), prepare to make a real connection with your potential new employer. Utilize your friends, family and others in your network to get comfortable talking about your skills, prior experience and why you are a strong candidate to fill the role. Practice your virtual interviewing skills and make sure your technology works prior to the interview.
It’s easier said than done but – be patient
Even if your dream position is not available at the moment, look for any sort of opportunity to gain real-world experience and build transferable skills in industries and roles that are hiring. From temporary gigs to volunteer work or internships, keep making connections and adding skills to your resume.
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