How to Hunt for a Job and Get Hired
You’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed. You need a job. And fast.
Whether you’re looking for that dream job or some steady cash flow, finding a new job is hard work and can be a little (or a lot) stressful. We’re here to help make it fun and rewarding.
Here’s how to hunt for a job and get hired in 11 steps.
1. See Who’s Hiring
Start with one of the online job search sites and see what jobs are available. These sites will show you what type of jobs are trending. They have customizable search features to find the job you want and useful career information. You even can set up job alerts and get notified (via email or text message) about opportunities in your area.
These are some of the top job search engines:
Facebook Job Search
Some sites will do the heavy lifting for you and show you companies that are hiring right now. Or you can go directly to individual company website job or career pages and see what job openings they have.
You also can join online groups in your area of interest or subscribe to newsletters. Both promote job opportunities.
2. Join a Hiring Marketplace
Job seekers can create an online profile on job sites like Indeed, SimplyHired, Monster or Glassdoor. Or you can join a hiring marketplace, where hiring managers are looking for talent in specific areas like tech, finance, sales or senior positions that pay six figures. Some specialized hiring marketplaces include Vettery and Ladders.
Other specialized job sites include:
AngelList (startup community for entrepreneurs)
Behance (designers and web professionals)
College Recruiter (entry-level jobs and internships)
Fairygodboss (women's career community)
Hired (tech professionals)
Idealist (nonprofits, charitable work, volunteering opportunities)
Lawjobs (legal professionals, attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries)
Mediabistro (media, journalists, advertising, PR professionals, freelancers)
RecruitMilitary (veteran-friendly jobs for military veterans re-entering the civilian workforce)
USAJobs (federal government’s official employment site)
We Work Remotely (remote work community for digital nomads)
You often can create a profile for free to get started and showcase your work and show what you have to offer.
3. Search for Jobs You Like to Do and Do Well
Everyone has a skill, and everyone has a passion. When you can combine your skill with your passion, a job doesn’t feel like work.
There is no reason you can’t do something you love and get paid to do it. We all have to start somewhere and be practical (at times), but don’t ever sell yourself short or let anyone tell you that you can't do something.
As a wise person once said, "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
4. Polish Your Resume and Online Profile
You need a solid calling card to get an interview. A resume often is the first impression you make on an employer.
Highlight your work experience with concrete examples of past successes. Spotlight your achievements with strong action verbs. Avoid buzzwords. Be honest. Choose a professional font and a readable format. And keep everything short, sweet and to the point.
If you need help creating a resume, there are quality resume building tools with different templates and features.
Enhancv (7-day trial to $19.99/month)
ResumeGenius ($1.95/14-day trial to $7.95/month)
Visual CV (free to $18/month)
Zety ($2.70/14-day trial to $71.40/year)
Not sure which one to use? Trustpilot is a reliable source for consumer reviews of businesses.
Once your resume is ready, proofread it, and let someone else read it to make sure it doesn’t haven’t any errors. One typo or mistake can send resumes — and job prospects — straight to the garbage.
The same goes for any online employment profile you create (from LinkedIn to anywhere else). This is how the business world sees you. Make sure your story is effective and represents you the way you want.
5. Get Your Digital Footprint in Order
Those photos or videos of you partying like a rock star might have been fun at the time, but looking like Keith Richards on your Instagram page can work against you in a job hunt. Recruiters have been known to check how a candidate appears on the internet, social media and blogs. If they don’t like what they see, you’re out of luck.
Take a look at your digital footprint, and make yourself look respectable. Don’t worry if you had an embarrassing moment that went viral. While you can’t completely erase your internet history, there are ways to clean up your online identity and market yourself for success.
6. Tap Your Network
You may have more connections than you think.
Let your friends and family know you are looking for a job. They might know of opportunities or know people who know of opportunities that aren’t even being advertised. You also can reach out to former work colleagues or coworkers, even former classmates.
Now is no time to be shy or too proud to ask for help. Get the word out, and you might be surprised who is happy to lend a hand.
7. Do Your Homework
Just as others can search about you, you can search about them. You should find out as much as you can about any companies that interest you.
What is the culture like? Who works there? What is the work like? How much do people like working there? Are there any drawbacks?
Glassdoor lets you search company reviews and ratings from current and former employees. The more you know, the better.
8. Remember the Cover Letter
Don't freak out if you are asked to write a cover letter. Many job applications require a cover letter and resume. Tailor the cover letter to each job. Do not just copy and paste the same letter everywhere, and do not repeat what is on your resume.
Use the cover letter to expand on what is on your resume. It is your chance to stand out and differentiate yourself from other candidates. Take the time to personalize your cover letter. This shows you care and can give you a leg up on the competition.
If you demonstrate an understanding of a company and how you can help fill their needs, you will grab their attention.
10. Master Your Interview Pitch
When you get an interview (and you will), be prepared. Practice answering questions that you might get asked. Here are some common job interview questions.
Practice asking questions about the job and company that you could ask. Here are some interview tricks to master.
Be on time. Look sharp. Then nail the interview and seal the deal.
11. Get in Where You Fit in
You can’t get a hit if you don’t swing the bat, and you can’t get a job if you don’t step up to the plate.
Once you have everything you need (in terms of paperwork and homework/research), be targeted in your hunt. The spray-and-pray approach doesn’t work.
Apply to places where you would want to work, and where you have the skills and requirements to do a job well.
11. Stay Hungry, and Keep Hustling
If you don’t get a job right away, don’t get discouraged. Keep going, and be open to any opportunity. Even if you have to make the opportunity yourself.
Remember what Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra said, "If you don't know where you are going, you might end up someplace else."
The job that fits your life is out there. Take the job you need until you get the one you want.