advanced job search tips

4 Ways to Give Yourself A Huge Edge In Your Job Search

Linda Le Phan

Did you know that there are more unemployed people than there are job openings? And let’s not forget about all of those people who are already employed but are gunning for those same jobs too. The key takeaway from that essentially is, based on odds alone, landing a job these days can be a huge challenge.

Part of that challenge, aside from other people applying to the jobs you want, is that there are a number of additional variables that often pop up within a job search that can further complicate things; things like industry-specific competition for hiring, demanding hiring managers, inconsistent expectations (from both you as a job seeker and from hiring companies), and downright confusing job application processes.

Take control of your job search

While many of the variables throughout the job search process are out of your control (like the ones I mentioned above), that doesn’t mean you’re totally at the mercy of the hiring gods. In fact, today more than ever, creativity, preparation and a proactive attitude matter nearly as much as your skill-set and background during a job search. It’s in those areas that you have the best chance to edge out your job seeking competition. 

If you’re looking for new opportunities (or might be soon) and want to give yourself all the advantages you can get, here are 4 unique job search tips that’ll give you a huge edge while you’re searching for the next great gig:

1. Do something different

An effective way to really stand out among the huge job search crowd is to think about doing something different beyond the basics that everyone else is doing. Because you can pretty much guarantee that the vast majority of job seekers are doing the exact same basic things in their job search like browsing through major job boards, researching companies they like, tweaking their resume and / or cover letter, submitting their application when it seems reasonable, and hoping for the best.

To give yourself a real edge, try things like:

  • Re-uploading your CV to job websites once every three weeks or so. By doing this, it will push your name and CV to the top of the pile for the recruitment companies and businesses who are personally hunting for people with your skills to find you, easily. Have you noticed that the recruiters call a lot more often when you’ve recently posted your CV?  – Steve Pritchard – HR Consultant for Ben Sherman
  • Writing a Facebook post about yourself and include a short Facebook Live video of you talking about your skills and your desired job. You will be surprised how many times that post gets shared and who it might end up in front of. – Danielle Kunkle, Partner at Boomer Benefits
  • Finding a cause you are passionate about and volunteering your time. Not only will you feel good about yourself, which will give you added confidence, you will also make business connections with other volunteers who may be able to hire you or refer you for a job. And also, volunteering gives you another story to tell about yourself on your resume and in an interview! – Lucas Renfroe, Partner at Phoenix Consulting and Management

 

2. Dress, act, and BE the part

Another effective way to give yourself an edge during your job search is to master the first impression. Besides, at the heart of every hiring situation is people. To do this, focus on “looking professional, dressing professional, playing professional, and showing up early”, shares CJ Comu, Chairman & CEO of EarthWater Limited. He rightly adds that it’s equally important to “stand up and speak clearly and be courteous to ALL staff, including receptionist, etc.”

Another related (and really smart) tip that most people don’t tell you is that “every person you meet is your headhunter/recruiter,” says Krishna Powell, Principal of HR 4 Your Small Biz LLC.

She goes on to explain that anytime you make it known you are looking for a job, the person you are speaking to becomes your recruiter. I don’t care if you are in the grocery store talking to the cashier or in the yard speaking to your gardener. The cashier knows the wife of the CEO of the Fortune 100 company you would like to work for and depending upon your attitude towards him or her determines if they will share such info with you. So the best tip I have is you should treat everyone like they are the recruiter at the company you would love to work for.”

 

3. Cast a wider net than you think you need

When job hunting, it’s not just about what you do but also where you do it. So another quick way to give yourself an edge is to cast a wide net. Or in other words, stretch your job search as far and wide as you possibly can.

For instance, “don’t forget to include craigslist in your search,” says Eric Anthony, Founder of Streaming Observer. And to make it easier on yourself, “set up an email alert that notifies you whenever a job’s been posted with the buzzwords you’re looking for. People often count craigslist out when looking for a new job, but from time to time there are some good options in there and if you set up email notifications you won’t have to sift through all the extra stuff you don’t need.”

Also, “seek unlisted jobs,” advises Airto Zamorano, Managing Director of Becker Ear, Nose and Throat Center, as the reality is that “not all jobs are listed.” The best way to include this job source in your search is to make “yourself known to decision makers and set yourself apart. Research and find a company that represents your values. Find out who the decision makers are for the job you want” and reach out to them.

 

4. Humanize the process

As I mentioned earlier, at the heart of every hiring situation is people, so as a job seeker, using this fact to your advantage gives you a huge edge over others who are pretty much just doing the same routine over and over again.

Humanizing your job search process is as easy as “[not being] afraid to strike up a conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media outlets,” Airto Zamorano clarifies. The job market can be brutal, but individual people are typically pretty nice – “find someone who works at company that interests you, and offer to take them to lunch. People are generally happy to help one another, and free lunch is always nice, too!”

Rebecca Zucker, Partner of Next Step Partners makes a great point about the fact that, as humans, we’re all motivated by different things and so that’s an important idea to hang onto as you navigate your job search. She shares that “your core values – things like autonomy, collaboration, recognition, security – will be different for each person and are the key to fulfillment” and therefore keeping this in mind help you find more than just a job, but the right job.

 


Do you have another job search tip that we missed? Or want to stay up to date on more job search tips and worklife topics? Connect with us @kununu_US!

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Linda Le Phan is the Content Marketing Manager at kununu US, a place where job seekers can get an authentic view of life at a company and where employers have a trusted platform to better engage talent. When she’s not writing about the modern workplace, company culture, and life & work hacks, she is probably going out to get an iced coffee (even in Boston winter), raiding the snack drawer, or jamming to kununu’s Spotify playlist.