Everyone wants one. The job that pays well, supports your professional growth, and feels exactly where you belong. But do these types of jobs really exist? And if they do, why is it so hard to find a job?
Yes, the type of job I just described does exist! It’s just that finding it can be tricky. Why? Because most of us only know one or two ways to look for jobs. And the advice you’ve been given on how to search and apply for jobs might be outdated.
But, it’s time for a change! In this post, I’m going to show you how to supercharge your search for a job. By the end, you’ll be more prepared than most job seekers to find a job you love!
Let’s dive in!
How To Find A Job Online
If you’re like the majority of job seekers, you turn to the internet whenever you need to find a new job. But do you use all of the resources available to you? Let’s find out.
Job boards are perhaps the most popular way to search for jobs. But if you’re only looking at one job board, you may be missing out. So, here’s a list of the most popular job boards along with a few niche job boards:
- Career Builder
- FlexJobs (remote jobs)
- Remote.co (remote jobs)
- Hired (tech jobs)
- Dice (tech jobs)
- The Hustle Job Board (mostly tech jobs)
- Idealist (non-profit jobs)
- USA jobs (US federal government jobs)
- AngelList (startup jobs)
- Behance (design jobs)
- CollegeRecruiter (internships and entry-level jobs)
- Ladders (senior-level/high-paying jobs)
As you probably know, LinkedIn also has its own job board. But apart from that, there are also quite a few other ways you might find a job on LinkedIn. One way is through connecting with recruiters in your industry. With 87% of recruiters using LinkedIn to find qualified candidates, connecting with recruiters is a good way to proactively get on their radar.
Recruiters often post about positions they’re currently looking to fill. Sometimes, company accounts and employees will also post in their feed about new job openings we well. So, if you make the right connections on LinkedIn, you could potentially find the perfect opportunity right in your feed!
Most companies have a Careers or Jobs section on their website. So, if you already know which companies you’d like to work for, you can check there regularly to see what positions are currently available. Sometimes, these are the same jobs they will have posted to job boards. But other times, you’ll find that a company’s website is the only place you can learn about a job opening online.
Most jobs that you might consider a dream job never even make it to an online job board. Instead, people find these jobs through networking.
In fact, according to a study from Jobvite, 40% of hires come from referrals! And those referrals are given to people who have networked with people already working at those dream companies.
How To Prepare For The Job Search
Be honest. Have you ever found an interesting job online and then quickly fired off a generic resume and cover letter? Don’t worry if you’re shaking your head yes right now.
Here’s the thing, though. If you want to find a job you love, you have to prepare to do the job search right. And generic resumes and cover letters aren't going to cut it. Here are some better ways to prepare for your job search:
Get Clear On Your Values And Priorities
Everyone wants to find their dream job. But what that means is not the same for everyone. So, before you even start searching for jobs it’s important to know what the “dream” is for you.
In other words, when it comes to your career, what are your top priorities, career goals, and values? Is money more important to you than flexibility? Is it important that you feel aligned with the company’s mission? Do you prefer to be given more autonomy or work primarily on teams?
Those are just a few questions to get you headed in the right direction of finding a career that fits the lifestyle you want. But even just answering those will begin to narrow down your list of potential jobs quite a bit.
Make Connections With The Right People
As I mentioned before, networking is perhaps the best way to find a job that’s a good fit for you. What I’m referring to may be different from how you traditionally think about networking. I mean connecting with the people who have the type of career you want at the type of companies you want to work for.
The goal is to spark a genuine connection, set up a meeting in person or over the phone, and then learn as much as possible from them about their experience getting to where they are now. If both sides feel there is value to the relationship, you won’t need to ask for a referral once you’re ready to apply. It will come naturally.
To make this kind of connection, your best bet is to start with LinkedIn. But that’s not your only option. In my experience, email is a great tool to use to continue building meaningful connections with people over time. Don’t know their email address? Use Mailscoop.io – a free tool that helps you find anyone’s email address!
Find Ways To Demonstrate Value Before Applying
Hiring managers sometimes get hundreds of applications to fill positions that, in the end, can only go to one person. So, you’ve got to find a way to stand out.
And one of the best ways you can do that is by creating what I call a Value Validation Project. You can learn more about that and see some examples by clicking the link. But the main concept is to create a project that identifies a potential solution for one of the company’s pain points. How do you find their pain points? By asking your new connections at that company questions like, “What is the biggest challenge your team is facing right now?”
Once you have the project, you’ll want to make sure the hiring manager sees it along with your resume. And if it’s been executed well, you are guaranteed to make a good first impression and be more likely to get called in for an interview!
Update Your Resume Writing Approach
Want to know the real problem with a generic resume? Most hiring managers won’t even see it! The reason? Applicant Tracking Systems (Otherwise known as an ATS).
An ATS is a piece of software that scans your application and resume looking for specific keywords, experience, education, and skills. If your resume doesn’t have what the ATS is looking for, your application is as good as dead!
Luckily, there’s a way to optimize your resume so that it makes it past the ATS. How? By using ResyMatch.io, a free tool that scans your resume and compares it to the job description of the job you’re applying for. From there, it will give you tips on how to improve your resume to have a better chance of being seen by an actual human.
But don’t stop with just building a resume that gets past the software. You also need to optimize how you talk about your experience with bullet points that demonstrate measurable, quantitative results you’ve achieved for your past employers. Why?
Because this is what hiring managers are looking for to evaluate whether you’re capable of adding value to their company. If you need help writing your bullet points, check out ResyBullet.io – another free tool that analyzes your bullet points and provides tips on how to make them more effective.
Optimize How You Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn isn’t just for networking and searching for jobs. It’s also a way for potential new employers to find you. That’s why you have to make sure you use LinkedIn like a career expert. That means that your profile isn’t just a copy of your resume. It should be selling what you have to offer as a professional!
You achieve that by doing things like optimizing your LinkedIn headline with keywords related to your desired role, highlighting what achievements and skills you have to offer in your profile summary, including links to your important projects and presentation, getting recommendations from past colleagues, and much more.
Why do all this? Because over 722+ million professionals are on LinkedIn. That includes hiring managers, recruiters, and the person that might come across your profile, send you a connection request, and end up referring you to a job at your dream company!
The perfect job for you does exist. But it may take some time and persistent effort to find it. Hopefully, what I’ve shared here will help make finding the right opportunities much quicker and easier.
And if you’re looking for more advice on the best way to find a job you love, be sure to check out my step-by-step guide on How to Get a Job Without Applying Online!