During your job search, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the working world. As you’re searching for the next great company where you can contribute your skills, you’ll begin to understand why the job search functions the way it does. You’ll also understand how important it is to focus on the things that you can control.
Job seeking can be a long and difficult process, but if you do it the right way, you’ll find a great job and develop the skills you need to make any future career change a breeze.
Here are some things you’ll learn as you apply.
1. How to market yourself
As you write your resume, edit your cover letter, prep for interviews, and send out thank you notes, you’ll learn how to sell your skills and potential. The job search is like any marketing gig. You have a product (your skills and experience) and you’re trying to convince another person to buy it (hire you). Treating the job search like a marketing campaign is the best mindset you can have.
Marketing yourself in the job search has three crucial parts: a description of your skills as the product, a focus on your audience, and a unique value proposition that sets you apart from other candidates.
Your past experience and promises of future greatness are your top asset when marketing yourself to an employer. In describing your skills, it’s important to be relevant and mindful of your consumer -- the hiring manager. Catering your pitch to their desires and needs is crucial to standing out from the crowd. And to truly be seen as the right candidate, you need to provide a unique reason for why the combination of your skills, education, personal traits, and motivation will be the best fit for the company.
Whether you realize it or not, you will learn how to market yourself in your job search. After all, a job seeker is rarely successful if they can’t entice an employer into thinking that they are the best candidate.
2. Companies don’t know what they want
As you apply and talk to employers, you’ll quickly learn that they actually have no idea what they want. That is why it’s important for you to learn about what they need. Because if you can make yourself out to look like what they what they need and tell them a story based on your skills and understanding of their problems, you will quickly stand out as a top candidate.
So take the time to do your research and find out as much as you can about the company and the team. Learn about how your skills fit into the framework of their product. Read about what successes they’ve had in the past and what problems they’ve faced recently. And learn about the members of the team you’re looking to join.
Once you’ve gathered that information, it will be a breeze to properly adjust your application or change up your interview prep routine so that you can be relevant to the company’s needs.
3. You don't need to go it alone
Job seeking is hard. It requires a whole ton of effort and mixes in a whole ton of rejection. And rejection is not a feeling that humans respond very well to. It can become emotionally draining, to the point of burnout. That’s why, in your job search, you will learn exactly how important it is to surround yourself with people who will support you.
You can’t go at the job search alone. Without emotional support and guidance from friends and family, you won’t have the energy or motivation needed to get across the finish line. And it’s not taboo or embarrassing to ask for help. Finding a job search buddy will help you stay accountable to your job search goals and will help remind you of your final objective: finding a good job at a company you love.
4. Best practices are hard
Career coaches and writers put together a lot of great content with insider information and very valid tips and advice on a daily basis. But taking in the information of a career advice article and applying it to your job search can be very difficult. All best practices might not apply to you, and of the ones that do, some are extremely difficult to pull off.
But all these pieces of advice exist because they are truly helpful in standing out from the crowd of a hundred other resumes. Regardless of how hard they may be to implement, they are called “best practices” for a reason. Networking is difficult, but it pays off like no other investment. Custom cover letters do take time, but you’ll almost certainly get more interviews. Interview preparation can be tedious, but there’s no alternative to getting past that stage in the process.
To help you use these best practices with more ease, we built JobHero. With it, you can set reminders and due dates for crucial events (following up, sending thank you notes, applying daily), save notes and upload documents (to make company research easier) and track your applications through the hiring process. Use JobHero for a bird’s eye view of your job search. It’ll make using those job search best practices you read about a whole lot easier and faster.