3 Ways to Supercharge Your Job Search to Get Over Your Slump
No one ever said that looking for a job was the most fun thing in the world. In today’s ever competitive job market, room for error is very low and bringing anything but your “A-game” will most likely result in a ding.
Time and time again, I talk to frustrated students who express confusion and even bewilderment at their unsuccessful attempts at landing an internship or their first job out of college. They put in the hours of preparation reading about the company, studying for the interviews, and reaching out to fellow alums to get an in-depth perspective on company culture. It sounds like they’re doing all the right things, but something is off. This disconnect can be demoralizing – trust me, I’ve been there. Though understanding how to get over that hump will be different for each person, there are a variety of strategies that anyone can use to help you get there.
Here are 3 effective ways to supercharge your job search and jump over your slump:
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Page:
Just having a LinkedIn page doesn’t do you any good. In fact, having a bad LinkedIn page can even do you harm. With over 90% of recruiters using LinkedIn to source candidates, understanding how to leverage your page as an effective digital representation of who you are is absolutely critical. Be sure to use rich keywords to highlight your skillsets and experiences, making it easier for recruiters who search for those terms to find your page. It’s also important to make your Summary and Job Descriptions catchy and concise-this is not supposed to be a rehash of your resume! Finally, make sure you have a high-resolution photo that presents you in a good light. In today’s world, your LinkedIn page could be the first point of contact a company has with you. First impressions are everything! Check out our friends over at The Muse who have some great tips on how to improve your LinkedIn page.
Cover Letter Makeover:
Outside the resume and LinkedIn page, the cover letter remains the only other way an employer can make an opinion of you before actually meeting you in person. Your cover letter should be skill-focused, very specific on why you want to work at “Company X” and “Role Y”, and reflect your personality. Sounds difficult? It is! Writing powerful cover letters is not something you learn in class, but over time you will get the hang of it. Check out some great tips and tricks for taking your cover letter to another level and making a strong first impression with a prospective employer.
Diversifying Your Job Search:
More often than not, students are either applying for jobs through on-campus recruiting or LinkedIn. While both channels are great ways of connecting with companies, it can be limiting with the number of companies and jobs available (on-campus recruiting) or it can feel like you’re submitting your resume into a black hole never to be seen or heard from again. If you’re not seeing a lot of luck with traditional methods, it’s time to think outside the box and look at other avenues! Angelist is a great platform to find jobs at tech companies both in Early Stage and Growth Stage, while Indeed has a plethora of jobs for every industry imaginable. If you want to take it one step further and get matched with companies that align with your skillsets and interests, check out Vocate. It’s fun to use, and best of all, it’s free!
None of the strategies I’ve laid out are a quick fix for your job search doldrums, but they aren’t supposed to be. They take time, a little bit of soul-searching, and tons of effort. However, developing a strong and comprehensive approach to finding an internship or your first job out of college will set the tone for your future job searches to come. The earlier you adopt these best practices, the less future job search slumps you will have!