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12 Strategies for a Successful Job Search

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By Nikki Steingold

Against the backdrop of 8.9 million job openings, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's understandable to feel a twinge of frustration as you navigate through your job search. However, let's reframe the narrative. Not every opportunity gleaming on the horizon might be the right fit for your career trajectory. Recognizing this truth is the first step towards empowering yourself to conquer the challenges of the job market.

Let's shift our focus to understanding the reasons behind the obstacles you're facing and implementing proven strategies to secure a job that matches your aspirations.

1. Ensure Qualification Alignment and Relevant Experience

Before applying, thoroughly analyze job descriptions to ensure your skills match requirements. If you meet 80% or more of the qualifications and believe you can excel, apply. Otherwise, consider gaining additional training or certifications. Tailor applications to positions where your experience aligns with prerequisites, seeking internships or volunteer roles to develop necessary skills.

2. Check Your References

Insights gleaned from a SHRM Survey reveal that a substantial 87% of employers conduct reference checks as a standard part of the hiring process. Ensure that your references can vouch for your skills and work ethic. Consider soliciting recommendations from former colleagues or supervisors to bolster your candidacy.

3. Stand Out from the Crowd

With an average of 250 applications vying for each job opening (LinkedIn), distinguishing yourself from the crowd is imperative. Elevate your qualifications by acquiring additional credentials or spotlighting unique skills and experiences in your application materials.

4. Tailor Your Applications and Cover Letters

Research underscores the importance of customized resumes and cover letters in capturing the attention of prospective employers. Tailor each application by weaving in keywords from the job description and spotlighting pertinent achievements.

5. Illuminate Your Achievements with Specifics

Resumes that include quantifiable achievements are more likely to captivate the interest of hiring managers. Infuse your resume with specific accomplishments and outcomes from your previous roles to make a compelling case for your candidacy.

6. Refine Your Application

A CareerBuilder survey emphasizes the importance of meticulous attention to detail, with a whopping 77% of hiring managers admitting to discarding resumes due to typos or grammatical errors. Ensure the accuracy and completeness of your application materials before submission. Additionally, present yourself professionally by ensuring your email address exudes professionalism, as 35% of hiring managers prioritize this aspect.

7. Address Employment Gaps

Embracing career breaks as a natural facet of professional growth has gained traction, thanks to initiatives like iRelaunch. Consequently, employers are increasingly receptive to candidates with employment gaps, provided a transparent explanation accompanies these intervals. Shine a spotlight on relevant experiences or activities during such hiatuses to fortify your candidacy.

8. Harness Your Network

Networking remains a formidable conduit to job opportunities, with a staggering 70 - 85% of positions filled through this channel. Admittedly, networking can be daunting for many. However, by reframing your perspective and mastering the art of identifying and approaching contacts, you can unlock doors to opportunities.

9. Invest Your Time Wisely

Recognize that embarking on a job search is a full-time commitment if not a rigorous part-time endeavor. Successful job seekers dedicate 10-25 hours per week to scouring for opportunities. Treat your job hunt with the seriousness it warrants, allocating ample time daily for researching, applying, and following up on leads.

10. Conduct Comprehensive Research

Studies corroborate that candidates armed with insights about the prospective employer and industry are better poised to clinch job offers. Leverage your research to forge connections, tailor your application materials, and ace interviews by familiarizing yourself with the company's principles, objectives, and industry trends.

11. Polish Your Interview Acumen

The adage 'first impressions matter' rings especially true in the realm of job interviews, with 51% of hiring managers forming their opinion within the initial five minutes. Dedicate focused time during your job hunt to hone your responses to common interview questions and exude confidence and professionalism.

12. Curate Your Online Persona

In the digital age, recruiters often scrutinize candidates' online presence. According to job interview statistics, 92% of recruiters screen candidates via social media, while 87% utilize LinkedIn. Conduct a meticulous audit of your online footprint and effectuate enhancements to present the best version of yourself to prospective employers.

Incorporate these strategies into your job hunt to boost your chances of success in the ever-changing job market. Register today for the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference, a valuable opportunity where you can engage in insightful sessions with employers, coaches, and fellow relaunchers. These sessions provide practical guidance, networking opportunities, and insider tips to enhance your job search journey. By attending the Conference, you'll gain invaluable knowledge and support that can significantly improve your chances of securing a fulfilling job tailored to your needs and aspirations.

Stay determined, keep up with new trends, and adjust your approach based on feedback. With the right tactics, strong determination, and the resources provided by the Conference, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the job market successfully and land the perfect job for you.

Don't relaunch alone!

Join our growing relauncher communities on Facebook and LinkedIn. For more great guidance on your relaunch and updates on when return to work programs are accepting applications, events for relaunchers and more, be sure to sign up for our Return to Work Report and follow us on social media to stay informed!

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