1. Career Advice
  2. Finding a job
  3. Which search strategies will work best for me?
Which Search Strategies Will Work Best For Me?

Which search strategies will work best for me?

Artwork by: Katya Simacheva

  • What are the most effective job search strategies?
  • 1. Work your network
  • 2. Don’t apply for anything and everything
  • 3. Get job referrals 
  • 4. Keep your professional profiles up-to-date
  • How can you accelerate your job search? 
  • How to develop a strategic plan for your job search
  • Key takeaways

Don’t waste your time applying for jobs blindly and randomly. To find the right job, you need a strategy that works. We’ve got all the advice on effective job search strategies that will help you stand out and land the job of your dreams.

If you're like a lot of job hunters, you start the job search process by going to a site like LinkedIn, inputting your desired job title and city, and hitting "Search." While this technique might give you some good leads, it shouldn't be your only method. Consider multiple options in your job search, with each one a tool serving a different purpose. All these tools combined can be considered effective job search strategies—a multi-pronged approach to getting the job you want.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What are the most effective job search strategies?

  • 5 tips to accelerate your job search

  • How do you develop a strategic plan for a job search?

What are the most effective job search strategies?

It’s frustrating applying for job after job, only to never hear back from any of them. You may feel hopeless, but you’re not alone. Blindly applying to jobs isn’t always the best approach (although you might get lucky). There are more effective job search strategies to choose from that can help you land an interview and, ultimately, a job.

Here are four strategies:

1. Work your network

You’ve heard how important it is for your career to build a network. When you’re searching for a new job, whether in person or over a professional networking site, this is the time to reach out. Send a personal message to people in your network, asking for advice. See if they know of any openings at their company, or if they can make an introduction. It might feel awkward, but making a personal connection is a good way to get your foot in the door.

2. Don’t apply for anything and everything

This is not the time to throw your resume against the wall and see what sticks. Prioritizing quality over quantity is one of the most effective job search strategies. Focus on jobs that fit your skill set and experience, and take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter. Also, if you’re not excited about the company, reconsider applying. Ideally, this is a place you’ll be working for a long time, so make sure it’s a good fit for you.

3. Get job referrals 

You’re more likely to get a job if you’re referred to the company. It’s like getting an endorsement because an existing employee is vouching for you. In fact, your chances of getting a job interview via a referral increase to 50 percent compared to three percent for those without a referral. And it doesn’t matter if your referral works in your desired department—it’s only important that they work for the company.

4. Keep your professional profiles up-to-date

Effective job search strategies like this don’t directly affect your search, but it’s important nonetheless. If a company is doing its homework on you, you need to shine. Win any awards? Include it. Have any new, major accomplishments? Put them in your profile, front and center. And make sure the data is quantifiable—what was the outcome of your work, and how did your employer benefit? 

Expert Tip

The job search process can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. With Career.io’s Job Search Strategy tool, you’ll have access to digital tools, expert coaching, and professional guidance to tackle your job hunt with confidence.

How can you accelerate your job search? 

To be honest, the job search process is rarely quick and easy. There will be lulls and delays and times when you think, “Will I ever work again?” There are things you can do to speed up the process of finding a new job. 

Here are five tips:

  1. Know what you want. Define your “non-negotiables” including salary, job title, and company values/culture.

  2. Target your resume. For each job you’re applying for, utilize keywords from the job posting.

  3. Kick your networking up a notch. While you already reach out to people you know, contact those at companies to request an informational interview.

  4. Hone your interview answers. This way, when you do land an interview, you’re all ready to “wow” them.

  5. Hire a career coach. A coach will help you practice your interview skills, identify your strengths and weaknesses, give tips for your job hunt, and help you navigate the whole process.

Statistical Insight

Got seven weeks to spare? In general, it takes almost two months to land a new job. Research has shown that it takes entry-level workers about six weeks, with senior positions about seven. Data from LinkedIn has shown that there were 178,000 confirmed hires (U.S) between April-June 2023, with an average of over 57 days to fill jobs in “consulting, finance, engineering, healthcare, management, and sales.”

How to develop a strategic plan for your job search

If you want to get someplace, you need a map. If you want a new job, you’ll need a plan. Developing a strategic plan might seem tedious, but it will be useful so that you can be efficient in your job search and spend less time spinning your wheels. How can you do that?

Below are four steps:

  • Know what you want out of your career. Take a good look at yourself, and take inventory of your skills, experience, personal interests and abilities, lifestyle, and goals. 

  • Get organized. Spreadsheets and binders are your friends. Revamp your resume, keep track of jobs you've applied for, get your references in order, and make sure your certifications are current.

  • Make a list of your job search resources.This includes networking contacts, job boards, university resources, employment agencies, and recruiters.

  • Refine your interview skills. Practice with a friend or family member until you can handle common interview questions with ease. Confidence is key and will make the process much easier to tackle.

No matter what, stay positive. The job search is never easy. With a strategic plan and the right tools, you can create effective job search strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd and find the right job.

Need help staying organized with your job search? Try Career.io’s Job Tracker tool, which will allow you to apply for jobs and track your progress, all in one convenient online dashboard.

Key takeaways

  1. When hunting for a job, don’t just apply to random jobs. It’s important to be selective, use multiple job boards, network, or consider working with a recruiter.

  2. On average, the job search process takes about seven weeks. Be patient!

  3. To speed up the process, do a self-check, update your resume, and practice your interviewing skills.

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