The word best in the title should be interpreted as a recommendation. Please also keep in mind that job search by someone who is employed differs significantly from job search by someone who is unemployed. The latter is, typically, more motivated, the person can devote more time to it, and the unemployed job seeker’s actions should not be done covertly. This article focuses primarily on job seekers who are not currently employed.
- Be very focused on what you are looking for.
When looking for a job, you should think like a shopper and not a victim. A smart car buyer even before walking into the car dealership knows what car he wants, including the model, the specifications, the color, and the amount he wants to spend. Similarly, a job seeker should narrow down choices not only by title but also by what the job function entails. A job seeker can look for more than one specific job at the same time but still remain specific.
- Hope for the best but do prepare for the worst.
Finding the right job in today’s job market is not only challenging but also questionable in terms of its duration. Job seekers should have a fallback position in case the search becomes unreasonably prolonged.
- Continuously build relationships.
Sixty to 80 percent of people get their jobs by networking. The practical side of networking consists of developing relationships with people for advice, information, leads, and, hopefully, referrals. The best networkers think of the other person first. They don’t keep score regarding who owes whom, and they believe that good deeds will be reciprocated. They don’t hold back when it comes to sharing.
- Maximize your use of social media.
Today’s job seekers who avoid opportunities to use social media are less than competitive. Employers use social media to find potential employees, and therefore this new job-finding medium should be embraced and utilized vigorously. LinkedIn is the search tool most widely used by recruiters; Twitter and Facebook provide additional opportunities.
- Utilize your time and energy effectively.
Many job seekers become frustrated very quickly into the process because they have no road map to follow. They keep active driven by nervous energy but almost all the time come up empty-handed because their process is inefficient. It works best to divide time and activities into three parts: One-third should be devoted to networking and building relationships; another third, to searching and applying for jobs; and another third, to learning about their target companies and the companies’ specific needs, including culture and fit.
- Develop good administrative skills and use the right job search tools.
During a prolonged job search, one needs to keep good records in order to stay on top of things. Sloppy record keeping during the transition leads to further frustrations and inefficiency. And one needs to use the right tools. For example, Indeed, LinkUp, and Simply Hired could provide targeted leads.
- Practice mock interviewing.
How good is it to be invited for an interview but not ace it? Don’t rely on your past practices for getting a job. Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and without practicing interviewing, one has virtually no chance to compete.
- Have your résumé prepared by a recommended professional résumé writer.
One of the most painful mistakes the majority of job seekers make is to write their own résumés—even if those résumés have been edited by a trusted friend. Writing résumés nowadays needs not only the technical know-how to embed the right keywords in a résumé but also the talent to make the document exceptionally good.
- Prepare your success stories.
The interviewer sees in you a salesperson and therefore is skeptical. One of the ways to be convincing is to recite success stories.
- Follow up and be persistent.
A salesperson makes seven calls before finalizing a sale. Kids go to the other parent when they hear the word no. If you’re not offered the job, try to find out what went wrong, and fix it. To paraphrase Einstein, don’t perpetuate your failures by expecting different results without making changes.