Searching for jobs can involve reviewing job postings, crafting cover letters, and attending interviews. When you need to find a job, you can use strategies to be more successful. In this article, we look at the steps to finding a job quickly, suggestions to stand out in an interview, and answers to frequently asked questions about finding a job.
How to get a job quickly
Once you start your job search, use the tips below as a guide to help increase your chances of finding a job.
1. Find jobs that fit your qualifications
Start your job search by making a list of all your qualifications. This includes your work or volunteer experience, education, and skills. Don't be disheartened if you don't have any formal work experience—you can still find a job that fits the qualifications you do have. Once you have a list of your qualifications, stick to applying for positions you're qualified for. Most job postings have a list of qualifications the employer requires, so you can easily check to see if you meet their needs.
It's important to set aside time frequently to apply as new jobs are constantly coming out. Similarly, even if you already have an interview with a company, continue to apply to other jobs just in case you don't get the position. Don't limit yourself to applying for a certain position or industry either. Your qualifications likely fit a variety of positions as many skills are easily transferable. Having different types of jobs to apply for that fit your qualifications will give you a better chance of getting an interview and eventually being hired.
2. Optimize your cover letter and resume
As many employers use online tools to complete the hiring processes, your cover letter and resume are the first things the hiring manager sees. If they're lacklustre, you won't receive a call for an interview. Aim to capture the hiring manager's attention within a few seconds as they likely receive hundreds of applications at a time and only quickly scan each one.
Related: How to Write a Resume
Provide succinct information
To capture their attention, your resume and cover should be brief (usually only one page), easy to read, and memorable. Only include relevant information. For example, if you have a university degree, you don't need to include your high school information on your resume. If you have a lot of work experience, include only the most recent three jobs to really highlight them. For those who don't have work experience, include volunteer work or other relevant projects to exemplify your skills.
Tailor your resume with keywords
You should also tailor your cover letter and resume to each position you apply for. Having a resume or cover letter that fits the job exactly will help you stand out more. Many businesses also scan resumes using applicant tracking systems to search for specific keywords. If your resume doesn't include the keywords they're looking for, they won't consider you. Look through job descriptions and pick out words and phrases you see a lot through the posting, such as the ability to multitask or strong communication skills, and include them in your resume.
Show employers your value
In your cover letter, summarize your skills and qualifications and talk about how you can help the business thrive over other applicants. Have a friend or family member read over your resume and cover letter before you submit them to ensure you have no mistakes. Hiring managers that notice errors in a resume are likely to toss them out.
Networking can be an effective way to get a job. You don't even need to network with new people. Talk to friends, family, or old colleagues to see if they know of any opportunities that fit your needs. Even if they don't know of any current opportunities, putting the word out that you're looking for work will help them keep you in mind if they do hear anything.
If you know someone who works for a company that interests you, ask them about their experience with the hiring process, or if you're close enough, you may even be able to get a referral or recommendation. Recent graduates can use their school's job boards or alumni associations to network and find jobs. Social media and professional networking sites are another great place to network or find a job. Create a professional online presence and employers may just reach out to you.
4. Look for seasonal or temporary work
Although you may prefer a long-term job or career, taking a seasonal or temporary job is a good way to get your foot in the door. Companies looking to fill a temporary position likely want to hire quickly, so the hiring process will be fast. It's also a great way to get work experience, and many companies hire people from temporary teams for permanent positions if an employee is a good fit. While you're working your seasonal or temporary job, you can continue to apply and interview for other jobs that interest you.
How to stand out in an interview
If your resume and cover letter work, you'll likely receive a call or email asking you to come in for an interview to discuss the position. Here are some tips for standing out in your interview:
1. Interview preparation
Once you schedule your interview, start researching the company. Learn more about the position, the company's culture, and their history to show your interest during the interview. This will also help you prepare tailored questions to ask. You should also research common interview questions for the position and think of potential answers. This will help you be less nervous in the interview as the questions won't be new to you.
Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview
A first impression is important, so make sure to arrive at your interview ready to express your interest and professionalism. Ask beforehand if there's anything you should bring, such as a portfolio, to prepare yourself. Always arrive at the interview early as it shows employers that you're punctual.
Nonverbal communication, such as body language, expresses a lot about how we feel. Ensure you are sitting up straight, nodding occasionally, and maintaining eye contact throughout your interview to show that you're engaged.
4. Follow-up actions
Follow up with the interviewer after a few days by phone or email. Thank them for their time and include a reminder about why you want to work for their company. This will show the hiring manager you're excited about the potential opportunity and eager to start.
Frequently asked questions about finding a job
It's normal to have lots of questions about the job search. Check out some answers to the most frequently asked questions below.
How do I get a job with no experience?
If you don't have work experience, you can use other life experiences to support your applications. Create a resume or cover letter that focuses on what you do have. Are you the captain of your school's football team? That demonstrates strong leadership and communication skills. Did you babysit when you were younger? That shows that you are trustworthy and independent. You can include any type of experience on your resume, then begin preparing for an interview.
How can I get a job immediately?
You may find yourself in a situation where you need work as soon as possible, but applying for jobs and going through the hiring process is time-consuming. Going to an employment agency is a great way to find a job quickly. They work to place you in a position that matches your experience and qualifications.
What is a good first job?
There are many industries and positions that do not require candidates with previous work experience. Here are some entry-level jobs to consider:
- Host or hostess
- Grocery clerk
- Delivery driver
- Dog walker
- Customer service representative
Why can't I get a job?
If you've been applying for jobs for a while and not hearing back, you may be wondering why. There could be several reasons, but here are the most common ones:
- Your resume is not tailored to the position
- You're putting all your effort toward one job
- Your qualifications don't match the job requirements
- You have unexplained gaps in your resume
- You should be asking more questions in the interview
- You need to spend more time preparing for the interview
Don't be discouraged if you aren't getting a job right away. Learning what works and what doesn't is all part of the process. If an interview doesn't go well, think about what you could have done differently, and apply that to your next interview. If you're not receiving any interview invitations, start by reviewing and making changes to your resume or cover letter.