By Hannah Morgan
U.S. News, May2, 2018 —
Learn the best ways to invest your time searching for a new job.
There are some tried and true strategies job seekers use to discover and land a new job. This year’s Job Seeker Nation Study by Jobvite, a recruiting platform, highlights the methods successful job hunters used to secure a new career.
While most workers (61 percent) are satisfied with their current jobs, over 80 percent are open to new job opportunities, according to the survey. This highlights one of the most important career management principles: Always be searching for your next great job. When you become complacent or rely on your current employer to look out for your best interests, you are likely to miss out on opportunities.
Yes, being on the lookout for a new job takes time and effort, but you can work smarter by following the strategies used by successful job seekers.
Use human search agents. Wouldn’t you love to have hundreds of people helping you source your new job? It’s called networking. Jobvite reports that 49 percent of job seekers turn to friends for help identifying jobs and 35 percent tap professional connections. If you tap your network and do it well, you’ll stand out from the vast majority of job seekers who aren’t networking.
Quick networking tips. Make a list of everyone you know so you can systematically reach out and keep track of when you contacted each person. Your list should include personal as well as professional contacts. Also be sure your message is very clear. Tell your contacts the type of job you are interested in and list some of the companies you are interested in working for. This helps your contacts focus on the right types of opportunities. Most importantly, keep in touch with your network. You must stay top of mind.
Referrals result in new jobs. In order to jump to the top of the pile of applicants, you want someone you know to refer you for the job. That isn’t as hard as it may sound. Sixty percent of workers have referred a contact or connection for a job, according to Jobvite. The survey reports that 35 percent of job seekers ultimately landed a new job through a referral.
Quick tips about being referred. Before you apply to a job, search for people you know inside the company. Use LinkedIn and ask your network whom they may know inside the company. Often, the online application will ask if you know anyone at the company and you’ll want to provide your contact’s name. Always let your inside contacts know you are interested in the job and ask if they can pass your resume along to the person responsible for hiring.
Online applications with a twist. There are many job boards out there, but two of the online application methods used by successful job seekers aren’t really job boards at all. Almost 25 percent of job seekers applied to their current or most recent job via LinkedIn and 32 percent applied directly through a company’s career site.
Quick tips for applying online. Build a target list of companies you want to work for so you can monitor their online job portal. Almost every company lists jobs on their own website and these systems will allow you to set alerts for new jobs. You can set similar alerts on LinkedIn as well. Setting alerts saves you from having to scroll through hundreds of unrelated jobs and will allow you apply quickly after a job is posted.
Make an informed decision. Once you’ve secured a new job, you want to keep it. Make sure you’ve thoroughly vetted the company, your new manager and the role before accepting the offer. Jobvite found that within the first 90 days, almost a third of new employees leave a job because of these top four reasons: The role wasn’t what they expected, there was an incident or bad experience, they didn’t like the company culture or they simply changed their minds. Both the employer and the new employee can take the blame for this, but what can you do to reduce the risk when taking a new job?
One job isn’t enough. There’s one more important trend highlighted by Jobvite’s study: the growing number of workers holding more than one job. Thirty-one percent of workers have a second job or side gig. Most people surveyed say they need the extra money but 22 percent say it allows them to pursue a passion project. Today, there are more options for people to freelance or take part in the sharing economy. Setting up a secondary income stream is another smart career strategy and ensures you’ll always have some source of income.