As you head into 2016 ready to tackle a brand new job search, check out these tips to get started on the right foot and avoid some common mistakes.
1. Get yourself a job search buddy
Every job seeker should strive to have a friend on their side throughout their search. They keep you accountable, they help you avoid mistakes, they’re great practice partners, they provide emotional support, and they’re someone you can share your success with.
2. Break a few job search rules
Some job search rules are unbreakable. Others can be bent, circumvented, or even completely ignored. If you’re certain, after careful consideration, that you can break a job search rule to your benefit, go for it. Check out these rules that you should break under the right circumstances.
3. Stop sweating the small stuff
Too many articles tell you to focus on things that don’t really matter in the long run. When you interview, what you wear, how firm your handshake is. All these things distract you from what truly matters: having a strong, valuable conversation with a recruiter or hiring manager.
4. Financially invest in your job hunt
If you have the means, you should absolutely put a bit of financial power into your job search. Whether it’s paying for certification courses, buying a new suit, investing in a premium LinkedIn account, or even getting a gym subscription for your health, an investment now will help you reach your job search target faster.
5. Understand hiring managers
Hiring managers have a tough job. They have to manage their regular daily responsibilities while finding the perfect person to join their team. The longer it takes, the more productivity they lose. That’s why they’re so picky, and that’s why you need to understand how they think and how they evaluate candidates.
6. Recover from job search burnout
The job search can be a long, tedious process. Sometimes, even the best of candidates are frustrated by the search and face endless rejection. But you can’t let that burnout stop your job search in its tracks. Take a vacation, reinvent your process, or go a different route by working freelance. Do what you need to do to get right back to the hunt.
7. A/B test your cover letters
Different outreach tactics are effective for different types of companies, roles, industries, and even hiring managers. That’s why you need to test different cover letter formats, tones of voice, and writing styles to see what works best for your job hunt. A/B testing tweaks to your cover letter will let you adjust based on your most successful outreach.
8. Stop applying for the job you have
A common mistake in the job search is constantly applying for the job you already have, rather than for the next logical step in your career. To avoid this mistake, you need to understand what you want out of your own career. Ask for input from your peers and mentors, read job descriptions to find out where your skills fit, and figure out a smart upward mobility curve. Once you've nailed that down, real career progress can begin.
9. Shorter is better
Ideally, your resume should contain a page for every ten years of experience. That rule isn’t set in stone, but shorter resumes are typically better. Hiring managers don’t have the time to read your lengthy resume, so get to the meat of your experience and cut out the fluff. Check out these steps on how to shorten your resume the smart way.
10. Learn from rejection
Rejection in the job hunt is an uncomfortable feeling. It can cripple your progress, make you feel like you’re getting nowhere, and cause you to question your value and qualifications. But it also plays a crucial role in your development as a professional and as a job seeker. Every time you hear “no” from a company, strive to learn something new from it, such as how to adjust your resume or how to better prepare for an interview.
Happy New Year from Team JobHero! Best of luck in your next career move, and have a fun, productive 2016.