Whether you’ve never searched for a job before—perhaps you’re a new college graduate—or it’s been so long since you’ve applied to a position that you don’t know where to begin, have no fear, dear job seeker: this guide will take you through every step you need to take to snag your dream job, from how to prepare to the best days to search. Read on for more.
How to Prepare
As they say, sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to simply start. When you’re looking for a new job, this statement is so true: with thousands of job listings to consider, and what seems like a million items on your job-search to-do list, it can be tough to force yourself to sit down at your computer and get to work. But the good news is, with preparation, you can make your job search so much easier. How can you prepare? Here are a few simple steps.
Ramp up your resume: you’ll want to tweak your resume for each job you apply to, but it is still a good idea to make sure it’s up-to-date and in tip-top shape. Reconnect with your references to make sure they’re still willing to vouch for you, and check the document for errors. Review your resume and ensure all dates, positions, and descriptions are accurate.
Practice for an interview: while you can’t prepare for every single interview question you will be asked, you can still brush up on your interviewing skills by practicing your answers to these common questions asked by recruiters and managers alike. Knowing how you will response in advance will keep you cool, calm, and collected during any future interviews.
Network: Mark industry events on your calendar that you can attend, where you can meet recruiters or industry insiders who can give you the scoop on open positions. Alternatively, join a club or organization you’re passionate about. You never know who you could meet there—or the ways you could help your resume pop—by giving your time to a good cause.
What Days You Should Search
You may think that any day is a good day to search for a job. And while that’s mostly true, data shows that there are better days to apply than others. In fact, Tuesday seems to be the best day of the week to send in your resume. (And the same research shows that you could find more success in your job search in the months of February, March, May, and June.)
Another important element when it comes to the timing of your job search is to make sure it doesn’t consume all your time. (If it does, you’ll go crazy—trust us.) So stick to a 72-hour schedule, if possible: prepare on Monday, apply on Tuesday, and follow-up on Wednesday.
What Sites You Should Use
Of course, we think Glassdoor is the best place to search for a new job. (The stats don’t lie: Glassdoor helps 45 million people every month find a job across all industries and at every level.) But that doesn’t mean Glassdoor is the only site you should use in your job search.
If you’re looking for a flexible work schedule—or even the chance to work from the comfort of your couch five days a week—consider signing up on FlexJobs, a site that only posts job listings for positions that offer flexible or remote work options. (FYI: it’s a paid service.)
Another website you should use in your job search is LinkedIn. After all, it’s not just a place to post your resume; LinkedIn also posts job listings tailored to your field and interests. So, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and robust, with projects, videos, or blogs.
Other sites that post job listings include: Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, and US Jobs.
How You Can Use Apps in Your Job Search
Your phone could be your new best job-search friend: with apps, you can ramp-up your job search, get prepared for an interview, get reminders for follow-ups, and so much more.
When you want to search for a job, consider using Accompany, an app that’ll help you find new prospects, then deliver to you research about the company to which you’ll apply. As the app says in its iTunes store description, “Accompany delivers all your people and company research right to you so you can be ready for anything.” Now that’s pretty handy.
You’ve got dozens of jobs to apply to, and that’s a lot to organize. We’ll get to the nitty gritty of organizing your job search soon, but in the meantime, download Workflow, an app that will help you organize your job content and create shortcuts that will save you major time.
Once you’ve scheduled an interview, it’s time to practice your interview skills. If you’re the kind of person who clams up, consider using Orai as a speaking coach. The app will “coach you to add fewer filler words, speak clearly, and at a good pace,” according to its website.
Did you know Glassdoor has an app? It does! And it’s a great one to use before you engage in a salary negotiation. The app will give you a custom salary estimate based on your title, company, location and experience, so you can snag the salary you are really worth.
Lastly, don’t forget the value of social media apps in your job search. You should use social media to build a personal brand, which will make you more attractive to a hiring manager. (For example, you can post pictures or summaries of projects you’ve worked on, include a short bio about your skills, or share articles that show you know a lot about the industry.)
How to Organize Your Job Listings
You’re applying to more than one job, and that’s a lot of information to keep organized.
But getting job listings organized is easy-peasy if you follow the advice in these simple tips.
Create a spreadsheet: with a few minutes spent in Excel, you’ll have a way to track all the jobs to which you’re interested in applying. Open a new document, then add cells for:
- Company Name
- Contact Details: include the name, email, and phone number of your contact at the company. In most cases, this will be a hiring manager.
- Date Applied
- Deadlines and Interviews: deadlines for upcoming information the company asks for and scheduled interviews.
- Date Followed Up: date you followed up after an application submission or interview.
- Status of Application: whether you’ve been rejected, are waiting to hear back, or have an interview scheduled.
Tip: Upload your spreadsheet to Google sheets, and download the coordinating Google app to your phone. This way, you can update your listings on the go, not just when you’re home.