Looking for a job is akin to cooking. It’s easy to visit the market and find the ingredients, but what happens after that is what matters. Will your first meal (or first interview) land you the best meal (or job)? Or it’s going to be a mess? Job hunting is tedious work. It isn’t about finding any job – but the right job. This means finding a job that fits you today and in the future. You want to choose a position that will act as a stepping stone for your career. Because job hunting is time-consuming, use the strategies below to set yourself up for success.

1. Plan Ahead

Plan your schedule to search for more jobs effectively. Choose a few hours every day and dedicate them to job hunting. Networking is also crucial. Ask the people you meet about career opportunities in their companies that suit you. Also, ensure your resume and cover letter are updated. Include a list of two or three references and their contact information in your resume. If you have a LinkedIn profile, ensure it’s regularly updated.

2. What Are Your Career Goals?

First, determine what career you want. This is vital if you’re joining the workforce for the first time or switching careers. Seek recommendations from professors, friends, family, or past colleagues. Ensure you have clear and realistic goals. Also, assess how you plan to reach your goals and what it takes to qualify for that career path. These steps will help you narrow your job search to positions you’re interested in.

3. Assess the Company Culture

You’ve found a job. Great! However, do you want to work for that company? What is their company culture like? Do they embrace formality or casualness? How is the company structured? Can you advance your career growth in that company? You can use a platform like Glassdoor to find out what employees are saying about the company. If you’re a recent graduate, ask your school’s career office if they have an alumni network. If they do, they can easily connect you with job opportunities.

4. Be Clear and Precise on Your Resume

No employer has time to read through your 20-page resume. Most employers spend less than ten seconds looking at a resume. As such, don’t waste anyone’s time – including yours. Make the task easy for them by showing them you have what it takes to get the job done. Ensure you edit your resume and cover letter in-line with the specific job.

5. Are You on LinkedIn?

If you’re not on LinkedIn, it’s akin to not existing in the job-hunting world. Today, 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary search tool. If you’re a professional, ensure you’re using LinkedIn to your full advantage. You also need to confirm your profile is up-to-date. It also needs to reflect your skills, work history, and accomplishments.

Job hunting is only one part of the equation. Once an employer shortlists you, you’ll need to think about preparing for the interview. Employers also gauge your skills based on how you present yourself during an interview. Keep on expanding and growing your skills. The 21st-century workplace wants an all-around individual. This means someone who can solve problems for their employers.

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