The A to Z Guide to a Smart Job Search

Because everyone loves a good list that uses the alphabet, am I right?

A – ATS: Companies use these databases to collect resumes and candidate data. If applying online, keep keywords in mind to optimize your resume and make it easier to search. 

B – Branding: After a while, candidates all start to look the same. Define your brand and what makes you stand apart, whether that’s on your resume, your LinkedIn, or preferably in your discussions with hiring managers.

C – Culture Fit: Keep in mind that sometimes if you didn’t get the job, it’s not because you’re not qualified. And a lot of the times, it’s more so you don’t feel at home in the office. It might be too high-strung of an environment or even too lax. Whatever reason, factor that into your choice in company.

D – Details: When crafting your resume, use descriptive words. Define what you’re actually doing, besides the job title and company. An “Account Executive” can mean 50 different things, depending on what company you’re at. 

E – Email: When possible, reach out directly to the hiring manager or interviewer. Keep at the forefront of their minds with a kind follow up email or thank you note. Keep it short and sweet, but make that impression. 

F – Friends: We all forget that we have friends that have connections. Ask your friends if their company is hiring or if they’ve heard anything through the grapevine. It’s mind-blowing how many people find jobs just through their friend network.

G – Growth: What you don’t want to happen is to start a new position, just to feel stuck in 2 years. Understand how you will be able to develop and find longevity with the company. (Good question to ask in the interview)

H – Happy: Need I say more? FIND A JOB THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!! 

I – Interview: The means to finding a job, we all understand that. Don’t underestimate the weight of the interview process. Even if it’s your third round and you’ve already met everyone, you are still on display and being evaluated. Do you research, prepare with your recruiter, and keep your interview quality up. 

J – Job Board: Still the golden ticket for exploring the job market. During the beginning of your job search, update your resume to all job boards. Yes, us recruiters still search them on a regular basis. 

K – Key Success Factors: A good example for a question to ask in the interview is “How do you measure success in this position?” Get a good grasp on what elements are important to accomplishing your goals. 

L – LinkedIn: The go-to place for professional communication. I have seen some amazing connections, and job placements, happen on LinkedIn. Become active in the community. Engage people, write thought provoking posts, and build a presence for yourself. That means refreshing and optimizing your LinkedIn profile 

M – Metrics: Specifically with sales and other goal-oriented professions, adding quantitative metrics to your resume is a non-negotiable. Hiring managers want to understand your output and numbers do just that.  

N – Network: It’s all about who you know. Even outside of the job search realm, start developing an inner circle of professionals within your industry. The value that each added person brings is priceless. And always keep in mind what you can offer someone as well.  

O – Open to New Opportunities: A sneaky little feature on LinkedIn that alerts us recruiters that you are ready to take a hike. You can find this toggle on your profile, right below your photo. Activating it will NOT notify anyone at your current company and it only appears in the LinkedIn Recruiter platform.  

P – Patience: If you can find and land a job in less than a week, kudos my friend. But realistically, you need to have the right mindset going into a search that it will probably take a few weeks to a few months to land a position that makes you happy. Setting your expectations early will make all of the difference.  

Q – Questions: Having questions prepared for your interview will 100% set you up for success. I’ve had several companies in the past express concern that the candidate wasn’t interested in the role because they didn’t want to dig deeper in the company. It happens. Come up with 3 solid open-ended questions that can really help uncover information about the business. 

R – Recruiter: USE ONE. This is not a biased word choice (haha). But honestly in a nutshell, we can connect you directly with the hiring manager, bypass the exhausting online application, and more importantly, give you all of the ammunition possible to ACE your interview. (And as a candidate, we are free of charge. Did you know that?) 

S – Salary: Do not bring up salary at the beginning. It makes it seem like that’s all you care about. Yes, at some point that conversation with arise, but wait until you really understand the role and company before diving into the money talk.  

T – Timing: Before you dip your toe in a job search, make sure you are ready. It’s almost like car shopping, once you start the process, you just have to keep going until you make a decision. Get your ducks in a row, talk with your family, and make the conscious decision to move forward with a new opportunity. 

U – Understand: This sounds silly but many times, candidates will walk into interviews not even knowing what the job entails, let alone what the company does. It happens all the time. This is going to be a big chunk of your life so take time to understand what you’re getting yourself into so you can sell yourself. 

V – Voice: In the latter part of your interview process, it is important to voice any concerns or questions you have before starting the position. Remote days, commute, pre-planned vacations, whatever! As a recruiter, we always like to iron out any issues on the frontend, so when an offer comes, it’s a smooth transition to your start date. 

W – Work Environment: Very important! The job function is one thing, but the feeling you get when you walk in the door every day is going to be way more valuable to your long-term success there. If you can, try talking with some of the current team members, walk around the office, see how it all makes you feel. And yes, it is a FEELING.

X – Can we just skip this one? Thanks.  

Y – You: Funny enough, a lot of people don’t know how to talk about themselves. You have to articulate who you are and what you can bring to the table. Before an interview, put together some key points to highlight when speaking with different members of the hiring team.  

Z – Zzzzz: Ok, what else should I have picked for “Z”? Not to sound like the people that administer standardized tests, but get some sleep before your interview. You want to be at your peak; no late nights, ok?

Looking for more advice on landing a job? Reach out to our team and we’d love to help!

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