Over the past year, it’d be an understatement to say the job market has been fierce. Many businesses have had to close their doors permanently, and some jobs will not come back.
It’s never been easy beginning a new job search, and now more than ever, it’s a significant challenge. However, it’s not impossible. Despite the competitive job market, there are still places hiring and industries that are thriving, such as cleaning services and grocery stores.
Whether you’re looking for a new job due to unemployment or ready to make a career change, there are strategies you can use to find a new job.
Here are six tips for starting a new job search.
Build out your resume
One of the first places anyone can start on their new job search is building out their resume. The approach you’ll want to take will vary depending on the type of job you will be applying for, but there are general guidelines you’ll want to follow.
Including a skill section, detailing your previous jobs, and listing your past education are highly recommended on any resume. There are also resume templates that can help you prepare your resume for most career fields and job levels.
If you’re trying to pivot from one career field to another, see what skills you’ve acquired from past jobs or education that can translate over. Soft skills such as time management, leadership, or communication are commonly requested in any position and are a good starting point.
Look at job postings
There’s a lot of flexibility in how you can go about job searching. One of the first places you can start is job recruitment sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Even if those sites don’t have the exact jobs you’re looking for, at least you’ll be able to gain an understanding of the skills, training, and experience that field requires.
You can also check out career centers in your local area. Career centers can offer you various services relating to job searching and career development, such as career counselors, skill tests, and workshops.
You can also find job listings posted on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The latter is especially helpful since it’s designed as an employment-oriented online service.
Gather your references
Most jobs require you to list professional references when applying, so it helps to gather your references as you start your job search. You’re going to want to make sure your references are someone who will help and vouch for you. Good references tend to be people you’ve worked with well in the past or a friend you have a good relationship with.
There’s nothing worse than having a potential reference be caught off guard, so make sure to give enough detail and ample time for your references to prepare themselves.
It can be somewhat intimidating to ask people to take time out of their day to help you, but always remember there may come a day where that person may need a reference. It’s good practice to show gratitude to your references for their help and to offer to help them with any job search they might have in the future.
Invest in training
There is a common saying, “The best investment you can make is in yourself,” and it’s pretty accurate. Investing in your education or learning a new skill can go a long way in your job search. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to make a career switch.
Some people tend to be reluctant if there’s a price tag attached to any course they might be interested in, so it helps to do your research and see if you can find a cheaper or free alternative. Now, this doesn’t translate to every field. Some jobs (like being a lawyer) require you to have the proper certifications, which can cost a lot of money to acquire. At that point, it’s absolutely critical for you to do your research and see what your options are.
You’re your own boss in your job search, so you need to hold yourself accountable. It’s important in the early stages of your job search to create realistic, attainable goals, which will help you develop a routine in the long run.
You shouldn’t go overboard by telling yourself you need to have a job interview every day or applying to 100 different jobs in a week. Focus on smaller, achievable daily goals like sending out two job applications a day or conducting job prospecting for an hour or two.
Be kind to yourself
It tends to be overlooked, but it’s important to not be hard on yourself. You have to realize it’s okay to be worried or scared. Finding a new job, especially in the current job market, is difficult.
Make sure you take breaks and focus on positive thoughts. Find activities that will help you destress and avoid indulging in negative habits like heavy drinking or consuming copious amounts of junk food. You’ll want to develop positive habits early on so you won’t feel set back in the long run.
When it comes to finding a new job, the key is to stick with it and develop good habits. It’s hard to say how long any job search will last, so you must keep your spirits high.
Don’t forget you’re not alone in this process. There are resources out there and people who’ve gone through the same experience who can help you.