How To Build A Strong Foundation For A Successful Job Search

The job search process can be a daunting one, especially if you haven't had to do it in a long time or you are new to the workforce. To improve and have more consistency in your results, as well as spare yourself some stress, gain confidence by having a strong foundation. Check out the tips below to ace these job search basics:

Understand Yourself as a Candidate

A successful job search starts with understanding what you have to offer as a candidate, and knowing how to best leverage that information to attract potential employers. Conducting an inventory of your skills and experience will help to give you an idea of types of jobs you are qualified for, but your work doesn't end there. 

You'll also want to do some research on your local job market to evaluate the types of jobs available and what pay ranges in your area typically look like. Taking this extra step will help you see if there are any big discrepancies between your career desires/expectations and the opportunities available to you, thereby allowing you to be more proactive about making any changes needed to help you thrive in your job market.

For instance: if you have a very specialized skillset that best prepares your for a job within a particular industry, but there aren't any jobs like that within a commutable distance from you, you'll probably want to approach your job search a little differently - perhaps by tailoring your resume in a way that highlights your transferable skills, or by expanding your search to include relocation opportunities. 

Tailor Your Resume Appropriately

We review a lot of resumes every day, and we simply cannot stress enough the importance of tailoring your resume to the jobs for which you are applying. Your resume is a way of marketing yourself to a future employer: you want to represent yourself accurately, but highlight the skills and experience you possess that are most relevant to the requirements of the job. It's a classic sales method. 

If you're running a concession stand and you need to make sales, are you going to try to push snacks on the thirsty people, or are you going to tell them about your beverage selection? The latter option is the easiest path to the sale! It doesn't mean you can't also offer them some popcorn or candy, but first, offer them what you already know they are looking for. 

The same can be said of applying for a job. If you're trying to transition out of a retail environment and into a call center job, definitely spend more time in your resume talking about your transferable customer service skills than your cash handling skills. This will make it easier for the hiring manager reviewing your resume to quickly identify you as an applicant that meets at least some of the most vital job requirements.

Know Where To Look

There are SO many job search resources out there that it can feel overwhelming - but if you're one of the many people that check the same site over and over again, you could be missing out on some great opportunities. Not all employers advertise their jobs vacancies in the same places, so no single resource is an accurate representation of all the jobs that your area has to offer. To yield the best results, it's important that you're utilizing multiple resources in your search. Online job boards such as CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, and Indeed.com probably come to mind first for most candidates, but there also many niche job boards gaining popularity - take to Google to find out if there is one for your desired industry!

While we live in an increasingly digital age, don't overlook the power of face-to-face connections. Hiring fairs, networking events, professional associations, and alumni groups are still great ways to find new opportunities and connect with others in your field. Even if you don't leave the event with with a promising immediate lead, it's great practice for your next interview, and you never know what doors those professional contacts could open for you somewhere down the line!

Find A Partner You Can Trust

If you're not quite sure where to go with your job search, or you're feeling overwhelmed and would like some assistance with the process, consider partnering with a staffing firm such as Manpower. Staffing firms are excellent resources to have in your toolbox, because they are experts on the local market and have access to a vast network of companies that are actively hiring. They'll help explore your strengths, weaknesses, and goals to help make the best fit for you.

If that partnership sounds like something you can benefit from, click the link below to contact your local Manpower team!