Job hunting is a tedious but equally important task.
Experienced professionals like you and I, have gone through this process multiple times and because of its monotony, we generally tend to miss out on a lot of things which otherwise would get us a job much quicker.
So, what are these things?
I have compiled all the aspects of job hunting and the steps that revolves around it. You can always come back to this post when you’re in-between jobs to jog your memory and not miss out on any detail with respect to your job hunt.
Let’s get cracking!
The first step in your job hunt, before you even start the hunt, is to update your documents across all platforms. It’s important to add whatever you’ve learnt in your previous organization and showcase them in your documents.
This one is a no brainer! Your resume is the first thing you should start updating when you’re trying to find a job. There are certain things that you should keep in mind when you’re updating your resume. Here’s the list:
- Write a clear objective: Resumes that start with a crisp and clear objective tend to stand out most among employers. In this age, everyone knows what their career objective is and so it's important to be concise and clear about it.
- Profile summary: Along with showcasing what your objective is, start your resume by giving an overview of what you’ve done so far. Write a profile summary of your career and highlight the key points that will help you land an interview.
- Add your recent experience: Update your resume and add the last job you worked and list out your roles and duties. It’s important to list out your roles and responsibilities for all the companies you’ve worked for. If you haven’t done that then you should do it. Also, if you’ve been working for decades, then it’s better to show the recent and more relevant experiences rather than listing them all and making your resume unnecessarily long.
- Keep your resume error free: Always proof read your resume multiple times to avoid any grammatical mistakes. A resume with grammatical mistake can cost you countless jobs.
b. Portfolio of work
If you’re a writer, a graphic designer or in a profession which requires you to showcase your previous work to get a job then it’s important that you create a separate portfolio. This not only shows the potential employers that you take your work seriously but at the same time, it will help you to create a repository of your best work.
- Create your online portfolio: Start off by creating an online portfolio of your work. You can see these tools if you’re in the creative industry and don’t know which tool can help you to create.
- Add links of your portfolio in the resume: Even if your resume is being reviewed on a paper, it will still show the employer that you do have an online portfolio of yours. This will present you as a professional who is passionate about his/her work.
- Provide contact details on your portfolio: Online portfolio platforms are generally under the vision of employers trying to hire new employees. So, if some employer comes across your portfolio, it can open new doors of employment for you and make your job hunt much easier.
Also read: 10 Things Recruiters Look For In Your CV
c. Cover letter
A cover letter is something new in the Indian employment industry but it’s mandatory in the west. Most employers in western countries don’t even entertain a job application unless it has a cover letter. A cover letter is an exclusive message to the employer, stating why you fit for the particular role, what are your credentials and skills.
Our team has covered how to write a cover letter, which can be a good read in helping you out.You can also read some cover letter samples to help you write yours. In a nutshell, a cover letter should include:
- Introduction and purpose
- Contact information
2. Online job applications and online persona management
Once you have sorted out your documentation, the next step is to find a job. And in today’s world, the fastest way to connect with potential employers is via the internet. Now, there are more than a few ways to find a job online. Let’s discuss each of them and what to do land a job quicker than usual.
a. Update job portal profiles
The first and most obvious thing is to update your profile on online job portals like Naukri. Add your latest work experience and change your headline to something that will attract an employer’s attention. Here are a few tips to get found on the job portals quicker than others.
- Use the right keywords: Employers use job titles or specific keywords to search for employees on job portals like Naukri. So, make sure that you use all the keywords that revolve around your job title within your profile.
- Showcase your calibre: Instead of writing “looking for a job in sales”, show off your skills in sales which will draw eyes of employers. Something like, “Sales executive with 4 years of experience in B2B and B2C sales. I exceed revenue benchmarks and improve profits.”, will get more calls than the simple, “looking for a job in sales”.
- Go the extra mile: Most of the people just apply for a job and move on to the next. If you really desire a particular job, you need to do the extra effort. Look for recruiter’s contact information. Drop them a message about why you think you’ll be a good fit for the role. Or even better, get their number and give them a call.
b. Use Naukri portal the right way
Naukri is the biggest job hunting platform in the country with several employers looking out for employees.
- Searching for jobs on Naukri: On the home screen, write your job title in the search bar. There are filters to help you out by adding your relevant experience, salary and more. See how Naukri works to know more about this.
- Using filters: Use the filters to avoid jobs that do not match your criteria.
- Applying for jobs: Apply for jobs that fall under your area of expertise.
- Networking: Networking with recruiters is easy on Naukri. It can help you grab the right opportunities at appropriate time.
Also read: How to Use Naukri
c. Update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is something a lot of job seekers tend to ignore. However, LinkedIn is important because many employers check LinkedIn profiles of candidates before hiring them. Your LinkedIn profile shows a lot more to the employer than you may think.
Whatever you mention on your LinkedIn profile probably matters more than what you write on your resume. Employers know that resume is filled with content they need to hear, that’s why LinkedIn is something that they check to see the real you. So, make sure that you are consistent across your resume and LinkedIn.
d. Social media profiles
Just like LinkedIn, your social media profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook and so on make a huge impact on your overall profile. Most of the organization today, scout through your social pages to see how exactly you’re from what you say on your resume.
So, if you have a pretentious resume and you are completely different on social media, then this might be one of the reasons for not getting a callback from companies.
Your public social media profiles can say a lot about you, which you may not want to show to your potential employers. So, the key takeaways are:
- Maintain your social profiles just like you would for your LinkedIn.
- Join groups and discussion related to your work and profile.
- Follow companies in your line of work.
3. Contacting employers on email
Another great way to speed up your job hunting is by contacting companies via email. For a company to post vacancies takes time as it’s a process. So, your email may find them at the right time.
But company emails mentioned on websites receive a lot of mails on a day to day basis. So, it’s important that your email stands out from the lot in every aspect. And here’s how you can do it.
a. Subject lines
Subject lines are the most important when emailing to a busy inbox. Company emails get flooded with emails every day and the only thing that will make your job application stand out is the subject line and that’s why it has to be perfect.
Here are 3 things that you should keep in mind while writing a subject line:
- Keep it professional: Make sure that the language you’re using is not casual but professional. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t use your personal email, especially if it’s really casual. No manager will think that “firstname.lastname@example.org”, will contribute to their company in any way.
- Remember why you’re writing: Subject lines don’t have a lot of space to explain, so make sure you get the important bits right in the subject line.
- Include job title: Make sure to include the job title you’re applying for and your experience along with it.
Also read: Job Application Letter Samples
b. Email content
When it comes to writing the email itself, it’s important to keep things short, crisp and to the point. You want to make sure that your email gets to the point from the first sentence and includes all the important information. Here are the things you should include in your email.
- Introduction: Start by introducing yourself along with your current job profile and collective experience.
- Acknowledge the company: Once you’ve introduced yourself, talk about why you want to work for the company. It can be anything from the work culture, profile or even the brand. Show passion towards the company you’re writing to.
- Closing: While closing the email, let them know that you’re available and would love to get an opportunity to interview.
- Contact details: List your contact details at the end and don’t forget to attach your resume and cover letter.
Note: Don’t forget to follow up after 4-5 days. Sometimes, people might miss out on your mail because of a crowded inbox. So, always drop a simple follow up email.
c. Important links to mention
Finally, once you’ve nailed the subject line and the body content of your email, you want to make sure that you mention links to your portfolio or any of your previous work. It’s important to give the reader everything they need to assess your profile right there and then. This will save their time and increase your chances of getting an interview call.
4. Referrals & recommendations
It becomes relatively easy to find a job if someone recommends or refers you to an organization. This can be achieved by either a job referral or through a recommendation letter. Here’s what you need to know:
a. Job referrals
If you’re an experienced professional, then you would know about this. But, even for experienced workers, we tend to forget about job referrals when we are actually trying to look for a job. Get in touch with your ex-colleagues and see if they’ve also moved on to a new company and might be able to refer you. The easiest way to find people who can refer you is:
- Make a list of ex-colleagues, managers and so on.
- Shoot them an email with your updated resume and cover letter.
- Drop them a text message, telling them about the email and what you’re looking for currently, in terms of the job profile.
A lot of times, when we move on from an organization, we don’t keep a track of our colleagues and where they’ve moved on. So, there are chances that they can refer to the organization you really want to work at.
Also read: How to get a job referral
b. Recommendation letter
If you haven’t got any recommendation letter then you should contact a previous organization to give you a recommendation letter. This may not include your skillset but it covers your overall character as a professional employee for their organization.
A recommendation letter can really boost your chances to find a job and end your job hunt. Make sure once you have a recommendation letter, it’s listed with all your other documents such as resume, cover letter and portfolio.
Also read: Ready to use recommendation letter samples
Interviews are a crucial part of the job hunting process. Following are some of types of interviews and how you should interact in each one of them.
a. Telephonic conversations
A lot of times, you apply for a job and are able to land a telephonic interview. It may not seem as serious as a real interview but a lot of people get rejected even though they have the right profile for the job.
Talking to someone on a call does not help to know a person’s skills but it helps an employer in assessing communication skills, confidence and other essential attributes. So, it’s important to take these calls seriously.
If you’re prepared for such telephonic conversations, you’re more likely to end your job hunting much quicker than you expect.
Also read: How to tackle telephonic interview
The biggest mistake people make on telephonic interviews is when someone asks for an introduction. If you keep a template of your introduction handy then you will never reach the next round even if you have a really great profile on paper.
Any employer can spot a rigid and practised speech. So, it’s important you introduce yourself without any preparation.
I know I said you should be prepared for telephonic interviews but not for introducing yourself. It is not a test or a trick question. Just relax, and talk about what you have done, where you studied and where you come from; tell your story!
Listen to understand, not reply
When your interviewer is speaking or addressing something, pay attention to understand and not to reply. This is the basics of communication which most of us get wrong.
A lot of times, during such a phone call, we try hard to impress the other party and start preparing what we will say next in order to do so. While doing this, we completely ignore what the person is talking about.
Don’t do it.
Pay attention to what they’re saying and ask questions if you have any, this signifies that you’re paying attention and are interested in the conversation.
Keep it brief and simple
Try to keep your responses short, to the point and simple. I’ve made the mistake of stretching some of my telephonic interviews and could hear the impatience in the interviewer’s voice. But by the time I realized that it was too late for me. I knew I am not getting a callback.
Interviewers are calling a lot of people in a day and may not have the time to hear it all. So, it’s important to keep your answers right to the point.
Skip the extra details.
Trust me. It works.
b. Video Interviews
Similar to telephonic interviews, video interviews can also be the difference in getting the right job. Generally, you will only give a video interview if the organization is out of your town or out of the country.
If you’re in a situation of giving a video interview, it’s more than likely that the organization is worth switching states or even countries. So, you really don’t want to mess this up.
Here are a few things you should remember when preparing for video interviews:
Webcam & audio
When you’re about to give a video interview, it’s important that all your equipment is working perfectly fine. Make sure your webcam is working and provides a clear video.
Use Skype to test your audio and video functionality prior to your interview. You don’t want any malfunction of your equipment during the interview process, at least not from your end.
Also, make sure you have a fast internet connection. A slow connection may slow down the video calls and make it really hard for the interviewer to hear and see you.
Background and lighting
Your webcam not only captures your face but whatever is in the background. So, make sure that your background is clean and tidy.
Also, make sure that there are no embarrassing things lying around in the frame of the background which can give out a bad impression.
Lighting is equally important as bad lighting will lead to an interviewer not being able to see your face. The best thing to do is to add a lamp behind where you will be sitting. This will illuminate your face nicely.
Also read: Skype Interview Tips
Even though you will be interviewing from the comfort of your home, it’s still important to dress sharply. If you’re not sure about the dress code, then don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer beforehand.
But it’s always safe to go for a formal attire if you’re not sure about the dress code. Also, keep in mind that even though you’ll be sitting in front of the camera, you should dress completely.
Body language & behaviour
Keep a professional attitude while taking a video interview, just like how you would behave in a face to face one. Make sure there are no background noises such as a barking dog, yelling of kids or anything in the vicinity that can disturb the interview process.
Don't slouch or relax a lot while infront of the interviewer. Keep your body attentive but not stiff.
Also read: Dos and don'ts of interview body language
Also, ensure that you’re at a place where you can talk freely. Sitting in a cafe or your previous organization can have a lot of disturbances and stop you from being yourself.
c. Walk-in interviews
Walk-in interviews require extra effort as nobody knows you beforehand and so, first impression becomes the key in such interviews.
Dressing sharply, being punctual and being confident are few attributes that can work in your favor. It's important to have your documents handy.
Also read: How To Prepare For A Walk-In-Interview?
6. Top mistakes to avoid while job hunting
Let's review the important mistakes to avoid while job hunting.
- Resume: Not updating resume and keeping it error free.
- Cover letter: Not writing a solid cover letter.
- No online presence: No portfolio online to showcase your skill set.
- Job portals: Not updating job portals and using the right keywords for job hunting.
- Social media: Not maintining social media profiles.
- Outreaching: Not outreaching employers on emails and via recommendations or referrals.
- Behavior and body language: Not behaving the right way and maintaining body language at the time of interviews either telephonic, video or face to face.
Concluding, job hunting is a task we go through frequently in our careers. But because it’s something that is usual, we tend to forget a lot of the methods, tips and tricks to land a job much more quickly than we actually do.
This guide summarizes all the aspects, steps and processes throughout your job hunt. Come back to this when you’re in-between jobs to freshen up your memory.
Happy job hunting!