5 Tips to Help You Find the Right Job
In a recent Forbes article called, “What Does A Worker Want? What The Labor Shortage Really Tells Us,” Tom Spiggle, their senior contributor, unpacks the current dilemma that employers are facing, and why you as the job seeker really do have the upper hand:
“Until the coronavirus pandemic completely upended the economy, few workers were in a position where they could demand the benefits they wanted or choose to leave a job that was treating them so badly. Now, there are more people with not only the bargaining power to get what they want, but also the motivation to ask for it.
Perhaps states stopping the additional unemployment benefits isn’t about employers not wanting to pay their workers more; rather, it’s about employers not wanting to face the possibility that employees now have the upper hand.
This not only means workers can ask for higher wages and better benefits, but it also means employers will have a harder time getting away with mistreating workers.”
As you are on your search for what you need out of a job, here are five tips to make sure you are finding the work opportunities you actually want to be applying for:
#1 For more bargaining power, brush up on your skills and add some new ones
Maybe part of the reason you are feeling the way you’ve been feeling at your current job is because there is little opportunity for growth. If you are feeling stuck, now is an incredible time to move out of a position to another company! But while you are looking into and considering this, I don’t want you to be overlooked because of some skill or experience that you might not (YET) have on your resume.
I want you to think in terms of how you can “level up” your situation.
One way you can do this is actually gaining more skills to make you more competitive. What skill do you need to brush up on or gain that will get you noticed? One way to find out, look up individuals on LinkedIn that are currently doing the types of position you are wanting to apply for--what skills do they have that you don’t? Can you get those same skills using Udemy or Hubspot Academy or W3Schools? Or maybe a certificate from another credible institution like a community college or online university? Don’t underestimate the power of Youtube tutorials!!!
Being able to show tangible proof and examples of these new skills (skills that you can actually get in a matter of weeks!) will give you even better odds and more bargaining power--helping you take advantage of the current job market and worker shortage.
#2 Make sure you are applying to the right size of company
Are you applying for larger companies when you should be targeting smaller or local ones where you can gain some experience and then move on to a bigger pond?
The benefits of applying at smaller companies--a human probably reads your resume first--instead of a computer software program [called an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) which can and does screen out people who haven’t previously done specific job titles].
(Check out the last two blog posts I did on applying and resumes for help on how to outsmart the ATS).
Another benefit to applying at smaller companies, you can call these people to *follow-up on the job after you’ve applied--and typically get a human, instead of a phone answering system. Needless to say, this helps ensure a higher likelihood of getting an interview.
*Following-up: I recommend following-up on EVERY job you apply for!!!
Once hired on at a smaller company, you may choose to grow with them longer term (depending on what different types of opportunity for advancement there are) or you may choose to use it as a stepping stone to gain experience that will then help you be more competitive against other applicants for positions at larger companies.
What does this look like? I have a friend that started out as an admin assistant at a local company. They needed a few updated marketing materials and knew that she could do some graphic design and writing. This later led to her being offered the marketing coordinator position at that same company--an experience she used to springboard her career in becoming a marketer in the tech industry.
One thing I like about the concept of gaining experience with a smaller company is that there are often a lot of different hats to wear for those businesses--forcing you to try out new things/different kinds of work that may actually lead you down a different path from the original one you had thought or planned to embark on. You may even find something you enjoy doing much more than what your current skill set directly or specifically translates into!
Be open to creating and taking new pathways!
#3 Use job alerts
Refer.io has a place to sign-up for job alerts, which may be the reason you have ended up reading this blog post! If you’ve liked it, please pass the good karma on to a friend by sharing it with them, whether that be in a private Facebook message, text, email, etc. Let me help them too!
You can also sign up for job alerts with companies like Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, as well as specific company web pages. If you have in mind specific companies that you are interested in working for, I suggest first going to their webpage and sign up there for them to alert you about specific openings that are coming available.
After doing this, it’s smart to do the same thing through LinkedIn: search for the company you’re interested in. Once you are on their LinkedIn page, you can click “Create job alert.”
#4 Find the hidden jobs
Remember when you were a kid and you hunted for Easter eggs? What is the best prize you ever found? Was that particular egg in plain sight?
It’s my experience, at least with being a dad, that the best eggs are usually (not always--but usually) the hardest to find. I loved wedging them somewhere obscure or just out of reach!
Because so many really great jobs never make it to a public job board (they first get posted internally at a company, and then if they are not sufficiently satisfied with those applicants--they will move it to external sites) you need to be extra proactive about WHERE to look to find what you want.
My suggestions with how to overcome this challenge:
Find companies you feel would be a good place to grow--places that align with your values. Find out if you have any “connections” to these companies: on LinkedIn, do you have any friends in your network that have ever worked for these companies or do any of the people you are connected to on LinkedIn have a connection that works for one of these companies? Doesn’t matter if you don’t personally know this person!
Part of the reason LinkedIn is set up the way it is, is exactly for this purpose--to help you get connected with the people and companies you want to work with.
Wisely network with employees at these companies or ask to be introduced by your mutual contact. Ask them about their experience with the company and if they know of any openings that will be coming available.
Many larger companies have recruiters (talent acquisition teams). There are definitely times when it is smart to reach out to these people. This was a good post on how to reach out to a recruiter. Even if they aren’t currently trying to fill positions--sometimes it is the right idea to get you on their radar as someone who is potentially interested in working there.
#5 Make use of all of the resources available to you and your “niche”
I’ve never liked being put in a box or labeled! It can feel really confining to have people think they know or understand me or others based off of our demographics--like whether or not we went to college, if we grew up in a certain socioeconomic class, what our gender, race, religion, ethnicity, age, ...yadda, yadda, yadda...is.
But here’s the thing, there are a lot of resources out there to help people.
I want to be the one to help you and answer your questions--I love being able to use my knowledge and experience to creatively help people get to where they want to be--BUT, I’m not the only one doing this. And realistically, I only have so much time in a day to respond to emails..
The smartest, best thing you can do for yourself is find out what all of the resources are that are available to you and use the best (or a combination of all of them!) to get yourself the support you need.
This blog post would be crazy long if I tried to hit every major group out there that may need some extra or more specialized help in their job search! So for the sake of trying to avoid writing a crazy long post, I’m just going to mention a couple general places to go to help with your hunt for the right work, and a few places that can help some of the specific groups that I tend to hear from the most.
Careeronestop.org resources - The United States Department of Labor has put together resources to help all sorts of groups that are frequently marginalized in their job search process. Groups like veterans, individuals with a previous criminal record, those with disabilities, the over 55 age group. Take a look at some of what they have put together that can help you.
This linked blog post has 30 different diversity job boards included in it. I haven’t gone through and verified the validity of each of these 30 different job boards they reference you to (use your wisdom and judgement about this), but it’s worth your time to check out the ones that apply to you!
Whatcanyoudocampaign.org - Resources specific to those with disabilities.
Fairygodboss.com Click on that link and it is a page full of links to resources designed to help women advance their careers. Fairgodboss.com in general is a site specific for helping women find the right job. Here’s a link to an article with 7 different companies targeted at helping women with their job searches.
Thomas Jeffereson said, “If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Expand yourself and what you are doing to find the right job--the one that is a fit for you and your circumstances. You may be crazy surprised at what you find!
Happy job hunting friends, and remember--the best “eggs” may require some reaching!
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