How to Narrow Your Job Search To Save Time and Effort
Congratulations, if you’ve been following along this job search series, then you know how to stay organized during your job search and how to create a job search plan that will set you up for success .
When I was last actively looking for a job, one of the most daunting things was how many jobs there are out there. It can get a little overwhelming to figure out what job is right for you. Remember the mantra that I keep repeating throughout these job series: finding a job is a job. You want to focus your efforts to avoid burnout and to also avoid wasting time. Here are my top five tips for narrowing your job search.
Tip #1: Don’t apply for jobs you don’t want
(Source) You might be reading this and thinking “Duh” but hear me out. It can be tempting to apply for jobs you’re not really interested in as a fall-back option. However, job searching is tiring. You don’t want to go through a series of job interviews for “just in case” jobs you’re not actually interested in, only to have job hunting burnout when your dream job offers you an interview. Save your time and employers’ time and apply to jobs that you’re truly interested in.
Tip #2: Make some lists to better visualize what career/job is the best fit for you
As a visual learner, this image from Craig Fisher resonated with me. For those that are looking for a “dream” career, I encourage you to think about the perfect career for you categorized in three buckets:
- What do I love?
- Do you enjoy talking to people?
- Do you enjoy working with numbers?
- Do you like working alone?
- Do you like working outside?
- What am I good at?
- Building relationships?
- What pays well?
- Pretty self explanatory- most of us have bills to pay.
Tip #3: Leverage self-assessments to help you find the right career for you
Are you a little stuck on the “What am I good at?” part of Tip #2? Don’t worry! There are TONS of quizzes out there that can help you narrow down what you like and what you’re good at. Here is a good resource to get you started: CareerOneStop by the US Department of Labor
Tip #4: Research- is there a demand for your field of interest?
This is all about research. I implore you: please, please do research to see if there are jobs in your field of interest. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics is a great resource for showing jobs that have solid growth. It also pays to do research about salary expectations for jobs you’re interested in so you’re prepared for those types of conversations during job interviews. The last thing you want to do is focus all of your efforts on a very niche career like “make headbands for Beyonce” only to find out that it’s not easily attainable. I don’t say this to crush your dreams, I say this out of tough love because increasing your chances of finding a job [like finding a field that has demand and is hiring] will get you employed faster.
Tip #5: Network
Talking to people can be intimidating- but unfortunately, sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. A 2016 survey revealed that 85% of jobs are found through networking. I get it- networking can be intimidating, but it has huge rewards. Attend some career fairs in your areas or mixers for young, professional adults. Reach out to recruiters via Linkedin- put yourself out there and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Comment down below- what tips have you used to narrow down a job search? Any tips I’ve missed?