So you’re getting back out there, looking for a permanent job after a layoff, full-time freelance or another life-change (like a big move). Job hunting might feel like a distant memory, but now you’re getting back into it. If this is your current situation, have no fear! We’re here to guide you with some tips and tricks to help you stay the course while job hunting.
1. Outline exactly what you want
It’s easy to get distracted by a shiny new start-up or classic behemoth retailer and end your job search with them. But are you really hunting for what’s best for you? This is the big reason you want to first outline your own needs and then find companies that will suit you best. Do you need to work remotely or is full-time in-house something that is negotiable? What types of benefits do you need? What is your desired salary? What types of responsibilities do you crave? Create an outline of a job that satisfies your needs and then you’ll discover more about what type of job will make you happy in the long run.
2. Study the competition
Research your heroes. Not as a point of comparison, but rather as a supportive, educational boost you can give your own career. When looking at other people who are (in your mind) top of their game in your field, what are their common traits? What skills do you want to master to jump into that competitive game? Then make it a point to hone those new skills, whether through online learning, hands-on training, or through a personal project. You’ll find that this will clear away any of those defeatist attitudes you might have had in the past—you can learn new things and you can be your own version of greatness in your field.
3. Tailor your resume and portfolio
We’ve talked about this part often, but it bears repeating. Once you know the job you want, find job descriptions that fit and then tailor your resume and portfolio to suit those job descriptions. Do this for every serious application you send. Sure, it’s tedious, but it will also prevent you from doing anything hasty like rage applying when you’re annoyed with the job hunt. Paying attention to the details of how you’re marketing yourself, from your skills to how you present yourself, will help you get closer to the right job for you. Oh, and don't forget to include those keywords.
4. Strengthen your network
No one gets anywhere alone—we need communities in order to help ourselves to move forward. So do your research and get in touch with any former colleagues who might be able to help you, whether you need a second pair of eyes on your resume or you’re looking for an intro to meet the hiring manager. Remember that networking is a two-way street and be prepared to help your peers in exchange for their kindness.
5. Be perseverant
This final tip is the toughest, but, in some ways, is the most important. Know that the job hunt will be a long road, but perseverance and staying positive through the tough times is key to not losing your sanity. Here are a few things to remember and be prepared for:
- If they don’t write back, follow up. There are many reasons why they didn’t respond in a timely manner. Whatever the reason, it’s 100% not about you. Put yourself back at the top of their inbox with a kind, understanding follow-up email.
- Ghosting will probably happen. You email over and over again, but the company is not responding. Some might even experience ghosting after interviews! You’re right to feel slighted and angry. Decompress in your own way, but know that anyone who ghosts you is not worth your time. It also says a lot about the company and how little they value people. And you’ve got better companies to work for! To that point, it's also important not to bring that frustration to the next company you interview with. Frustration with the process is understandable but might also be a red flag to future organizations. So make sure you process it appropriately.
- If months go by with no interviews, reassess. It’s always best to get a second opinion or even hire a professional to help you in your job hunt, whether you need website design, a resume professional, or recruiter. Remember you’re not alone in your job hunt—so many people in your orbit have been here and they can help you through it.
We hope that these tips help you on your next job-hunting journey! If you’re struggling to find work that fits your creative drives, we might be able to help. Check out our open jobs with clients across the country.