When you’re looking for work, you can be facing a daunting process: assuming that you want a full-time job, you can be trying to sort through leads, reach out to your network to find jobs that aren’t advertised and present yourself as an ideal candidate. If you’re looking for freelance work or combinations of opportunities, the process gets just that much more complicated.
There are organizations that do focus on helping job hunters find good gigs, but lots of them want payment for their help. Some are absolutely worth the money, but it’s necessary to sort out the best options from the bunch, especially if when money is tight and every dollar seems that much more important. Here are 7 ways that’s proven to help you find a job.
- Your wardrobe and appearance: As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, the picture we present when we go into an interview really is a crucial factor in whether we land the gig. While you don’t need to go overboard, making sure you look good is worth investing in during a job hunt.
- Help with your resume: A resume can be a crucial component to help you win interest for an application you’re submitting. That means that your resume needs to be thoroughly edited, at the very least. Depending on your situation, other help may be worth considering, like guidance on how to tailor your resume to an industry you might not be familiar with. The same goes for cover letters and letters of reference.
- Networking events: Landing a job is often a question of who you know, especially if you’re looking for something beyond what companies list in the classifieds. There are job placement agencies that claim to help connect you with such employers, but the reality is that you’ll be able to cast a wider net if you’re networking for yourself, even if you can find a placement agency that isn’t getting their listings directly from the classifieds themselves.
- Access to specialized job listings: While it doesn’t make sense to subscribe to broad listings of jobs that can include everything under the sun, getting access to very specific listings — such as the listings that a professional association might offer can help you find jobs that really match your abilities.
- Professional credentials: Especially if you’re relatively new to a field, it’s worth looking at the credentials that a more experienced applicant might have — you may be able to match them in certain areas with the right certifications and professional memberships. It’s tough to come up with extra experience on demand, but the right credentials can make you more competitive in many fields.
- Very specific coaching: Some job applicants find that a coach for the whole process of finding a job can be helpful, but the real value lies in getting help with particular difficulties you might encounter. If, for instance, you’re shy during interviews, being coached on how to handle interview scenarios may make a big difference in your ability to land a new gig.
- Personal branding: Provided you’re not looking for an entry-level opportunity (and perhaps even if you are), you need to be able to set yourself apart. What that entails can differ, but spend some time thinking about how you can present yourself to a hiring manager in a different way — there’s a reason that many job applicants now have websites about their accomplishments. Budget some of your job search funds for establishing yourself as an individual and documenting your personal brand in a way you can share it with hiring managers.
There are, unfortunately, many scams that target people looking for new jobs — as well as products and services that aren’t fraudulent but also aren’t particularly helpful. Take the time to analyze any opportunity that you’re presented with to make sure that it’s a good fit for your job hunt and it will actually help you. You have to do your own due diligence on this one: there aren’t universally applicable methods to land any job you want, but there are opportunities out there.
Furthermore, when you’re looking for work, you can find a lot of opportunities by investing your time, rather than your money — just like in most other facets of life. But by spending money in the right places, you can often speed things up. It’s up to you to decide whether spending money to make money is the right choice for you.