10 Tips to Help You Find a Job (Step By Step)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 31, 2022

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Successful job hunting requires a strategy that defines where to look, who to ask, and how to show your qualifications. There are many tips to help you find a job in your desired field. Whether you're looking to start or change your career, understanding the best ways to find a job can help save time and increase your opportunities. In this article, we cover tips on where to look for open positions, who to reach out to, and what activities can increase your opportunities when looking for a job.

Related: 16 Job Hunting Tips to Get Your Desired Job

10 tips if you need help finding a job

While there are different approaches to job searching, here are some useful tips to consider for help finding a job:

1. Decide what job you want and plan your job search

Before you start your job search, take time to understand what roles interest you. Reflecting on your desired job, experience, skills, and accomplishments directs you on the opportunities to focus on when job hunting. For example, suppose you're entering the job market with a computer science background. There are many career paths you can follow, such as computer scientist, information systems manager, data manager, and researcher. Getting clarity on the roles that interest you can help you focus on a career path.

Create an action plan that includes how many hours you intend to dedicate to searching for a job, and track the strategies you use.

2. Ask your network

Inform your contacts that you're looking for open positions and politely request referrals or recommendations. Networking is a good way to find a job, and some employers may even prefer to receive referrals. Make a list of contacts that you have a mutually beneficial relationship with, such as your mentor, friends, career coach, former colleagues, or family members. Reach out to them in person, through email, or over the phone and discuss your availability and career goals.

Try to build closer relationships with your network, so they remember you whenever they learn about a job opening. Since employers may fill some positions quickly, aim to connect with influential people who can help you find the job you want. For example, you may reach out to your former professor if you're looking for a research role or a position at a university.

Read more: Guidelines on How To Network

3. Research companies, job titles, and job descriptions

Check for job titles and descriptions on search engines. For example, you may use "accounting assistant" or "accounting technician" when searching for a support role in accounting. You may also search for positions that relate to your future plans. Review the job description you find to ensure you qualify. Finding out more about the company helps you determine whether the culture, employment benefits, and work environment are what you want.

Related: 14 Questions To Ask a Recruiter When Considering a Job

4. Optimize your cover letter and resume

Schedule time to update your resume and create a cover letter for each position. Hiring managers may only scan through resumes, so look for ways to catch their attention and make them more curious about your application. While you're encouraged to explain your qualifications, keep your cover letter and resume brief, direct, and easy to read.

In your cover letter, highlight why you're a suitable candidate and what makes you unique. Consider discussing why you want to work in the company and how you can bring value to the organization. While some employers may not ask for a cover letter, sending one can improve your likelihood of getting a job. On your resume, outline your skills, experience, educational qualifications, and strengths related to the position. Include information about volunteer work, continuing education, and completed projects. If you have many years of experience, consider limiting your work history to the last five to seven years.

5. Use job search platforms and advanced search tools

Expand your job search by using various resources and platforms. These enable you to apply for multiple jobs. Typically, you'd upload a resume and cover letter you can adapt to each application. Job search platforms also enable you to filter results that apply to you and customize alerts for when you meet a position's requirements. Filters can reduce the number of job postings you see and only show those that fit your needs using factors such as salary, company, location, and posting date.

Aside from job search platforms, you can also review governmental websites for open positions. For example, the Ontario Government's website connects high school students who want to work summer jobs with opportunities.

Related: Guide: How To Get a Job Quickly

6. Watch for notifications from employers

Many companies post open positions on their websites. If you need a job quickly, consider applying directly through an official website. Alternatively, consider reaching out to employers to find out whether they are looking to hire someone with your experience, skills, and qualifications.

First, make a list of companies where you want to work. Next, prepare what you want to say to the recruiter and consider writing a cover letter to explain your reason for reaching out. Then watch for a reply by visiting the website regularly and checking for a response to your direct application. Recruiting an ideal candidate typically takes time and money, so employers may prefer to hire promising candidates who contact them before they post a job opening.

Related: Why Quality Over Quantity Matters in Your Job Applications

7. Attend job fairs

Job fairs are events where you can network with potential employers and find more information about available positions. Companies attend job fairs to find promising candidates for employment or training programs. Research job fairs online and try to find out which companies would be attending. Doing this can help you prepare ways to make a lasting impression. Make sure you take business cards and copies of your resume to share with employers.

Depending on the job you're applying for, you may need to bring samples of your work or a portfolio. For example, you may wear an outfit that shows you stay current with the latest fashion styles when going to a fashion-design job fair. Also, prepare questions for the recruiter. In the week after the event, follow up with the people you connected with by sending an email.

8. Expand your network

Networking events enable you to meet with people in diverse industries. They include conferences, expositions, workshops, and continuing education forums. Widen your search for a job by attending these events. You can find multiple networking events by researching on search engines. During networking events, seek to first connect with contacts before informing them you're looking for a job. Doing this shows you genuinely want to build a healthy relationship with them.

For example, instead of sharing your business cards with everyone immediately when you arrive, aim to discuss the networking event and offer your business card at the end of the conversation. If you attended university or college, reach out to the alumni network to see what events they have for graduates. Also, consider joining professional networking platforms.

9. Use social media

Social media is a good way to connect with people around the world and increase your online visibility. Many platforms enable you to interact with company representatives or discuss with your contacts about open positions. Start by preparing your social media profile in a way that shows you're a good candidate.

For example, consider using your full name and including an appropriate picture if you're using social media for professional purposes. Next, search for company pages on popular social media and follow them. By staying current with a company's posts, you can gain valuable insights into the organization's culture. You can also leave comments on posts to build a relationship with representatives.

10. Inquire at staffing agencies

A staffing agency, or an employment agency, is an organization that connects hiring managers to job candidates. These organizations help companies fill entry-level roles and positions that require experience. Consider expanding your search for a temporary or permanent job by working with an employment agency.

First, you need to find a staffing agency that can help you find jobs in your industry. Next, you typically provide the agency with your resume, contact information, and other qualifications for a hiring manager to review. Some employment agencies may require you to write tests that assess your qualifications or industry knowledge. After signing up with a staffing agency, ensure you research your potential employers before accepting their offer. Be resourceful by continuing other approaches to find a job when working with a staffing agency.

Related: Can a Recruiting Agency Help Me Find a Job? 10 Ways They Can

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