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4 Tips for Getting Your Job Search on Track

Searching for a job takes patience and perseverance

At the Branford Hall Career Institute, our Career Services Department is proud to work with the many students who are getting career training at our school. We want to be there for students as they begin their job search for their first job in their new career field.

One thing we have learned is that searching for a job is a process that often requires patience and perseverance. Many people have to apply for dozens of positions before they are offered the job they want. But don’t give up hope! Try these tips to help make your job search more efficient and more successful. And remember, we are rooting for you!

1. Go to your Career Development Department

If you are in college, graduate school, career training school, or other post-secondary institution, there is a probably a Career Development department. Make sure you visit this department early and often. The professionals who work in this department can help you improve your resume, practice interview skills, review your cover letters, and serve as a reference for you. They may also know of job openings through their connections with the employers in your region. Take advantage of this useful resource right on your school’s campus!

2. Networking: Think of who you know

You have probably heard of career networking, but figuring out how to do it is another matter. In short, networking means getting to know other people in your career field. The more people you know, the more you can learn about what is going on in your industry. You may even hear of a job opening. Here are some suggestions on networking with others:

  • Create an “all-star” LinkedIn account, and slowly grow your connections over time. Be sure to post articles and endorse others.
  • Join LinkedIn groups related to your career field.
  • If you have had an internship in your job field, keep in touch with those contacts. Connect with them on LinkedIn and message them privately to see if they know of any job openings.
  • Talk to your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances about your job search. Ask them if they know of anyone in your field that you could meet.
  • Attend networking events and job fairs in your community.
  • Volunteer at an organization related to your job field. Make sure you treat the volunteer position like a real job. Act professional and get to know the people on the job.
  • Join a job search support group in your community. Or try CareerOneStop center in your community.

3. Be more efficient in your online searches

When you start applying for jobs on CareerBuilder or Indeed, you will quickly find that it can drain a lot of your time. It can take an hour or two for every application you submit, and before you know it, your whole day is gone. To make your searching more efficient, avoid these mistakes:

  • Don’t apply for a job that is over your experience level. There will be many applicants who have the necessary qualifications, and your resume probably will not get noticed. Stick with jobs posting that fit your qualifications.
  • Don’t close your mind to possibilities. For example, if you are dead set on finding a medical assistant job in a pediatrics office located within 5 miles of your home, you might be narrowing your choices too much. Open yourself to other possibilities. For your first job, you may need to commute farther than you had hoped or work different hours than you had hoped. This may be worth it to get yourself into a position in your field.
  • Don’t waste your time scrolling! Instead of scrolling through hundreds of job postings, make the search sites do the work for you. Be sure to set up customized email alerts for each job site you use. This way, the job site will send you emails when new jobs appear that fit your parameters.
  • Don’t only rely on big job sites. Job aggregator sites like CareerBuilder, Indeed, and LinkedIn are helpful, because it feels like one-stop shopping. But you also may want to explore the websites of a few key companies where you wish to work. Most employers have a “Careers” page that shows the available jobs. Sometimes going straight to the websites of a few key targeted employers can be more efficient.

4. Make your resume scanner-friendly

Back in the day of paper resumes, it was important to have a nicely designed resume. This is not always true anymore. If you are submitting a resume electronically, there is a good chance that a computer will read it before any human eyes see it. Make sure you don’t trip up the computer with any unreadable formatting. Follow these rules:

  • Use a simple font like Arial or Calibri.
  • Avoid formatting, bullets, boldface, borders, logos, and images. To divide up your sections, you can use simple symbols like hyphens (-), underscores (__), equal signs(===), and tildes (~~~).
  • Use standards headings like Skills/Education/Experience so that a scanner will recognize them.
  • Avoid PDF files unless the employer requests them. Submit your resume as a text file or a Word file to ensure that the scanner can read it.
  • Use industry keywords that appear in the job ad. In some cases, the resume scanning system may be scanning for resumes with those words.

With these tips, we hope your job search will go more smoothly. Remember, keep your head up and keep on trying! It may be a difficult journey, but it will be worth it in the end.

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The Branford Hall Career Institute serves students in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Contact us for more information about our career training programs.