Job Searching Tips: 2017 Edition

After two layoffs in a span of 6 months, I’m currently sitting in my bed at home performing a myriad of Internet searches. Some searches are regarding relocating and moving, others are for the best cities for millennial workers, some are for job tips, and the final — of course — are looking for actual jobs.

My situation isn’t unique in any way. As of April 2017, reports, 1.6 million Americans have been out of jobs for over 6 months, with one million having been out for over a year. While my situation isn’t that dire — I’ve only been out of work for about one week now — it goes to show that the workplace is shifting, and many workers are being left out of it.

Both Forbes and The Washington Post also state that job-searching is getting more difficult, particularly for millennials. Many people in the workforce, as it stands, do not have the skills that employers are looking for and aren’t sure how to gain those skills. In the Forbes article, contributor Larry Alton attributes some of the difficulty in the job search to the level of selfishness in millennials. He argues that many millennials, in their job search, focus solely on themselves in cover letters rather than talking about what they can bring to the table. But isn’t that what we were taught in school?

Whatever the case may be, people tend to think that it is now harder for the younger generation to get started in the workforce than ever before. So from this millennial job seeker to you, here are some tips and tricks on how to conduct your job search and (hopefully) find your perfect fit:

  1. Make sure that your resume/CV is up to par. Basically, make sure that your resume is structured, clear, and doesn’t have any blatant spelling or grammar mistakes on it. While I’m a bit embarrassed about this, I’ll give you an example of where I made a mistake in the past. After listing on one of my old resumes that I was “detail-oriented,” I accidentally listed the job descriptions for my old job under my current job. No surprise there that companies weren’t calling me back! Since then, I have cleaned up my resume, used design to showcase my skills in that department, and gone over it multiple times to make sure that all of the information is correct. When you are creating your resume, make your most important results the bullet points under your description. If you are in a creative industry, get creative with your CV design!
  2. Pay attention to the job description when applying. Don’t just assume that you know what the application requires. Each job description and application is different. Some people want a super creative cover letter while others would prefer no cover letter so that your resume speaks for itself. Some positions might require you to submit salary requirements, references, or writing samples right off the bat. Don’t claim to be detail-oriented and then miss something so simple!
  3. Do your research. When applying for a job, do some research about the company. Glassdoor is a great resource for hearing from employees who work at or used to work at the company. But also check out their website, any news articles, social media, and more to get a better understanding of how they operate, their company culture, and what they do. I am a firm believer that you not only have to be a fit for the open role but also for the company culture.
  4. Plan questions for interviews. An interview is a good chance for you to showcase yourself — but also to show what you can provide to the company and why you are qualified, while learning more about the company itself. These interviews, particularly the questions that you ask, can tell you a lot. For example, I once asked what the company culture was like at a certain company. The interviewer looked baffled, then stuttered out, “Company culture…I mean…it differs everywhere.”
  5. Be positive. This one sounds simple, right? Nobody knows everything about the job that they’re applying for or the industry that they work in; it’s just impossible to be able to know and do everything. But if someone asks about something that you aren’t as comfortable with, don’t just say, “No, I can’t do that.” Be positive. Say, “You know, I do not have a lot of experience with that but I am open to learning!”

I hope that these 5 job tips help you along on your path while job searching. What are your best tips for job searching? Tweet me and let me know.

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