Most job searches unfold in the same way. It starts by searching for jobs on the internet, like searching the open positions at LegalZoom, for example. Then, you fill out an online application, tweak your cover letter, and send your resume.
Job after job, the strategy is the same. Unfortunately, just because it’s the way most people search for jobs doesn’t mean it’s the best way to search for jobs.
The truth is, the job search has evolved from even just a few years ago, which makes some of the ways we used to look for jobs obsolete.
Here are a few things you need to know about searching for a job that will definitely transform the way you look for work.
Hundreds of People Apply for the Same Jobs
You know there are a lot of people applying for the same open position, but do you know just how many people are applying? On average, 75 people apply for a single open position.
That’s a lot of people! Even if you consider that some positions get a little less. Some positions will get a few more. You could literally be competing with 100 people or more on each job.
This can be discouraging, but you shouldn’t let it get you down too much. Everyone is in the same boat, so if you don’t hear back from many of the jobs you apply for, knowing it’s completely normal can make you feel better about your job search.
The Vast Majority of Jobs Aren’t Even Posted
Here’s a mind-blowing statistic—as much as 80-percent of jobs aren’t advertised. That’s a lot of jobs that you don’t even know exist!
Some of those jobs you will never have access to, because companies are only looking for internal candidates, but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel completely on discovering these secret positions.
Networking is a job searcher’s best friend. Reach out to contacts directly and attend job fairs to meet recruiters face-to-face. Making personal connections will increase the number of jobs you are exposed to, and it will help you uncover jobs that aren’t being advertised on the internet.
You Will Apply for a Lot of Jobs Before You Get One
It’s true that there is no magic number when it comes to how many jobs you should apply for each day. Keeping track might end up depressing you anyway. That’s because the average job searcher will apply for a lot of jobs before getting hired.
For some, that means applying to dozens of positions, while others may tell horror stories of applying to 100 jobs or more.
There are some questions you can ask before applying that can help you reduce the number of jobs you apply for:
- Do I have the right degree?
- Do I have the right experience?
- Am I over- or under-qualified?
- Is there someone at the company I can reach out to directly?
Your Resume Isn’t as Big of a Deal as You Think It Is
Today, your resume doesn’t really matter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can skip out on providing it altogether. It’s still an essential part of the application process, but unlike the past, when it was the main feature of a candidate’s application materials, today, it’s only a small part.
Networking is more important than your resume, but you still have to make sure it’s up to snuff. Make sure it looks good, just don’t think you’ll get anywhere submitting it blindly to a job board.
Neither Is Your Cover Letter
Your resume isn’t a big deal, but neither is your cover letter. That’s because the recruiters are just as busy as you are. They don’t have time to read every cover letter in detail!
However, just like you can’t just get rid of your resume, you can’t just get rid of your cover letter. Instead, find ways to make it more interesting.
A few ideas for making over your cover letter include:
- Focus on how you would benefit the company
- Highlight career accomplishments
- Align your skills with the employer’s requirements
- Consider including an after cover letter
The job search is messy, and it often creates disappointment and anxiety as application after application is filled out with no response. Don’t get discouraged! You just have to know how to play the game.
The facts on this list will help you modify your job search so you can discover more opportunities and submit fewer resumes in order to land your dream job.