Tara Porter

Sometimes the process of hunting for the perfect job can feel like walking barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be so daunting. We’ll share some useful job search tips to help you narrow your focus and position yourself as an ideal candidate

Specify Your Search

As you start your job hunt, resist the urge to apply for anything and everything that you come across. Instead, take some time to get specific on what you are looking for. Consider your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses, and the kind of jobs that you enjoy doing. Look at both your short and long-term goals, as well as your past professional experience.

Take these into account as you review job listings on job boards and identify which positions seem like an ideal match for you.

It’s also useful to consider specific companies that you’d like to work for. Quite often jobs that are posted online are at the end of the interview stage by the time you view them. Take a more proactive approach by contacting hiring managers at companies that you are interested in. Share your interest in working at that particular company and why you feel you might be a great fit. Even if they aren’t hiring at that particular time, they would have your information on hand for when a position opens up.

Build a Solid Resume

Take some time to create a strong resume. But heads up: you don’t want to just have a generic one that you send to everyone. Instead, revise your resume each time you apply for a job, using keywords from the specific job description throughout the document. Not only does this show hiring managers that you are the ideal candidate that they are looking for, but various companies use software programs that scan resumes for keywords related to the job. The program could identify you as a prime candidate based on keyword matches.

As you draft your resume, resist the urge to simply copy and paste the job description from your previous job. A more effective method to use is to share results that you produced at the company. If you have statistical proof behind what you did (for example, increased sales numbers), even better. Or perhaps you implemented a new organization system that helped your company run more efficiently. Share any relevant results that you created. This helps hiring managers see what you could bring to the table.

Accompany your resume with a strong cover letter that showcases your skills.

Polish Up Your LinkedIn Profile

In a study of over 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals, researchers found that 87% of recruiters used LinkedIn to evaluate candidates.

Take some time to polish up your LinkedIn profile to make yourself stand out as an ideal candidate.

Here are some revisions to make:

  • Indicate your title and industry

  • Make skills visible for recruiters on LinkedIn

  • Have at least two of your most recent jobs listed

  • Have at least 50 connections

  • Ask previous co-workers for skills endorsements and recommendations

  • Identify keywords common to the type of job that you are looking for and add those keywords throughout your profile

Make your profile and skills visible to recruiters by going to Jobs selecting Career Interest, then enter your interests and skills and select the toggle button to make yourself visible to recruiters.

As you revise your profile, take a moment to brand yourself. Would someone immediately accessing your profile know what you specialize in and what you are capable of? Highlight actual results that you have produced for previous employers, just like you did in writing your resume.


The Annual Jobvite Recruiting Survey found that referrals were 5X more effective than other hiring sources. Companies tend to pay more attention to job applications that come from referrals. This makes networking vital to your job search.

Connect with colleagues from the past, share what you are looking for and ask if they have any openings. If you know someone who works at a company that you are interested in, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask for a referral.


Prior to interviewing with a company, take some time to prepare yourself. Research the company a little bit and practice answers to some of these questions:

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?

  • Why do you want this job?

  • What makes you a solid match for this position?

  • What are some of your professional strengths?

  • What are some of your professional weaknesses?

  • Share a little about a conflict or challenge you’ve faced in the workplace and how you handled it

Keep in mind that people tend to remember stories, so you might want to share specific stories that showcase your strengths.

Include a Thank You Note

Following the interview, take a few minutes to send a thank you note.

A CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers found that 22% of employers were less likely to hire a candidate if they didn’t send a thank-you note after the interview. You could send a simple email thanking the hiring manager for the interview, sharing why you are excited about the prospect of working for the company and reiterating a specific contribution that you feel you can make.


Lastly, believe that you are a company’s ideal candidate. Have a little confidence (while still keeping a long arm's reach from arrogance). Many candidates undervalue themselves, feeling almost like an imposter because they don’t match every single qualification on a job description. But don’t let that be you. Approach your job hunt with a solid understanding of who you are, what you’re great at, what you want, what you’ve excelled at, and why a company needs you. That alone could help you stand out among a pool of applicants.


1. https://www.themuse.com/advice/100-short-tips-thatll-help-you-land-your-next-big-job
2. https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-stealthy-job-searchers-guide-to-getting-your-linkedin-recruiterready
3. https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-answer-the-31-most-common-interview-questions
4. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/how-to-get-a-job/
5. http://img.icbdr.com/images/jp/infographics/Thank_You_Note_Etiquette.pdf
6. https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/jobs/14-job-hunting-tips

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