Job Search Tips

Note: This is an evolving page.  I will updated as I learn more about the industry.

Job Search Tips that I have learned over my past job searches:

Before a Job Search:

  • Whenever you successfully solve a problem or handle a difficult situation, write this down and use these in the future during an interview with a prospective employer (these problems to be included in a JobBindr report in the future).

Before Applying:

Resume:

  • Use the same keywords from the job description in the resume you submit with your job application.  This will help with the score ranking on an employer’s or recruiter’s applicant tracking software.  If you don’t, it has been reported that 70% of resumes that are submitted through job boards go unread.

LinkedIn/Social Media/Personal Websites:

  • Clean up your social media and/or make it private as employers or recruiters will use these sites as part of their candidate review/screening
  • Update your LinkedIn with your experience similar to your resume, but use LinkedIn as an alternate source for getting skills endorsed and recommendations.  This will supplement your resume and is used by employers or recruiters as part of their candidate review/screening

Professional and Personal References:

  • Notify your personal and professional references that you will be using them during your job search so that they are aware and they can make themselves available for a call.  Note: If your references get used during a job search, thanking them (small gift–gift cards, etc.) after you’ve found a new job goes a long way. Chances are, you won’t keep in too much contact until your next job search and it’s nice to show appreciation so that you can use them with no problem on your next job search.

Applying:

Resume:

  • When altering your resume for a specific job application, be sure that you properly save the resume so that when you get contacted via phone or email in response to your job application, you know exactly what you’ve submitted and can easily pull it up.

Job Boards:

  • Keep track of the different job boards you are using.  This becomes handy as you go about your daily/weekly search.  Also, if a recruiter ever asks, you are readily prepared to list them out.  This gives them a gauge for what and where you’ve applied to

Local Job Postings (Craigslist, etc.):

  • When applying to a craigslist or local job posting, the majority of the time you are required to email your resume in.  If so, be sure to include the original URL link within your email to the company so that if they respond, you can quickly pull up the email and know what you’ve submitted and what you’ve applied for.

Through a Network Connection:

  • Whether it be via an existing work connection, a connection through LinkedIn, or through a friend of a friend, it’s extremely important to upkeep your personal brand when using a network connection as your network connection is putting themselves on the line for you.

Company Research:

  • When applying to a job, you will want to do your research on the company so that you are fully prepared for the interview and so you can paint a picture and leave little to no room for surprises.  Some examples would be:
    • Glassdoor – ratings, review, pictures, salary, etc.
    • Business Profile – here you may find employee count, company description and mission, revenue, competitors, etc.
    • LinkedIn – here you may find existing employees who are connected to someone you know.
    • Crunchbase, etc. – If a startup, you will be able to see some information about company funding and the investors involved
    •         Use google operators for your research to really scrub the internet for information about the company.  Some tips:
      • Searching your terms in quotations will give you exact results.  For example, “XYZ company” versus XYZ company will yield very different results
      • Combining your search terms with specific sites.  For example, “XYZ company” site:linkedin.com
      • If you are getting too many hits from a particular website, remove that website from your search by including a ‘-‘ sign in front of the site.  For example, “XYZ company” -site:linkedin.com

Tracking:

  • When applying to jobs, you will want to log/track the following information a spreadsheet and a cloud based storage like dropbox or google drive (eventually JobBindr will be the main source):
    • Job Description (PDF the page or log the URL)
    • Resume used
    • Cover Letter used
    • References used
    • Salary (if available)
    • Location (to determine commute and average salary in that area for that position)
    • Date applied
    • Company Name
    • Job Title
    • Status (i.e. need to apply, applied, phone interview, on-site interview, offer, rejected, turned down, job closed, etc.)

Interviewing:

Phone/Video Chat Interviews:

  • When preparing for a phone interview, it is important to:
    • Have the original job description, resume, cover letter, and references readily available
    • Have your company research readily available
    • Be prepared to leave the office if you are currently employed, so be sure the above are stored in a cloud based solution (i.e. google sheet, google drive, dropbox)
    • Take notes of the conversation – what was discussed, salary if they mention it, next steps, the date the employer is looking to hire, etc.
    • Be in a quiet place to talk.
    • Take note of the contact information (i.e. email, phone number, LinkedIn profile, and notes about the person)

On-Site Interviews:

  • When preparing for an on-site interview, it is important to:
    • Bring multiple copies of your resume for all of those you are meeting with
    • Print your resume on the thickest and most professional paper so it naturally stands out
    • Bring a notepad with premeditated questions so that once they are done interviewing you, you can interview them (this is funnest part of an interview and is where you CHOOSE your employer)
    • Map out how far the job is and be sure to arrive ON TIME.  Also, this will give you an idea of the daily commute, which is extremely important for some.
    • Confirm dress attire and do not dress above it.
    • Greet the person at the front desk by first name and say ‘thank you’ to this person as you leave.  Log their name
    • Greet the interviewers by first name and log their name, title, and notes about them for later research AFTER the interview.  Ask for their business card.
    • Work on your body language and nerves.  This REALLY drives the interview.  If you look small and submissive, this is how you will be perceived as a worker.  If you are relaxed and confident, this is how you will be perceived as a worker.
    • Ask how long the hiring process is.  What are the next steps?  How soon are you looking to hire?  When can I expect to hear back?
  •        Remember, this is a two-way relationship.  You interviewing them is just as important as them interviewing you.  Remember that you are marketing YOUR SERVICES and that the employer is just paying you money.  You are just as important in this business arrangement.
  •        Remember to take in your surroundings during the job interview.  Observe the people, what they are wearing, if they are chatting or have their heads down working, the amenities (food, coffee, games, lounging areas, etc.).  You will want to use this observation if this job opportunity leads to an offer.

Follow-Ups:

  • After noting how long the hiring process is and what the next steps are, it is okay to send a “friendly follow-up” to those who interviewed you or the hiring manager to see what the status of their decision is.  This is important for you to know if it is a hot job opportunity or if you should move your focus elsewhere.
  • Also, sending follow-ups shows that you are a proactive person and businesses love to hire these kind of people.  Be that person.

Thank you Emails:

  • After an interview, use the business cards that you’ve obtained from the interview to send brief thank you notes to all for their time.  Express your excitement about the opportunity, but keep it short and sweet.  It is great to reference topics you talked about during the interview, so you will utilize your notes from your notepad here
  • If applicable, message the coordinator of the interview/front desk.  You will leave behind a sense of personal brand by showing your professionalism and genuine nature.

Offer Negotiating:

Pros and Cons between multiple offers:

  • If you’ve received multiple job offers (I highly suggest that you strive to do this), be sure to compare:
    • Salary/Other Compensation and compare to the averages in that area
    • Benefits and Eligibility
    • Equity/Stock Options
    • Paid Time Off
    • 401-K (Retirement) and Company Contribution (6% matching is REALLY good.  Higher than that is phenomenal)
    • Title
    • Growth Opportunity
    • Distance
    • Bosses – This is important for growth potential.  It has been said “pick your boss, not your job.”
    • Culture – Your observations during the interview + online reviews (glassdoor, etc.)
    • Company Size – this contributes to culture and growth opportunity
    • Product/Service vision and mission (do you like what the company does?)
    • Work/Life Balance (if measurable)

Negotiating:

  • If you’ve received multiple offers (which I hope you do), it’s okay to ask for what you want in terms of compensation, PTO, benefits, etc.  At this point, they are bidding on YOUR SERVICES.  Do this with caution and care.
  • If a company is willing to make adjustments to their offer, note this for the future.  This means that they have the budget, they do want you, and may have wiggle room when you think you’re ready for a raise.

After a Job Search:

  • Be sure to save the original job posting for the job you’ve accepted so you can easily and effectively update your resume for when you go on your next job search.

Unemployed:

  • If you suddenly become unemployed and are in the middle of a job search, start volunteering.  Not only can you list it on your resume to explain an employment gap, you show that you are a contributor to society.
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