Are you in a hurry to find a work-at-home job? Or do you wonder if your seemingly never-ending job search will ever end happily ever after? Whether you’re growing weary in filling out applications or just ready for income from a new position, here are some of my best tips to help you find a job quickly.
1. Pick a Direction
When you’re desperate for a job, it’s easy to fall into the “I’ll do anything” mindset. The problem with this is, you can’t create one set of application materials that cover everything.
You need to decide what direction you want to move. What are your long-term goals? Now, what are some baby steps you can take to help you get there?
For instance, if the position you really want requires customer service experience, it’s not a bad idea to take an entry-level customer service position for a little while. It’s not what you’re going to do forever, but it does help you get where you want to be.
It’s also important to make a list of non-negotiables. What is the lowest wage you can accept and still make ends meet? Do you have to have weekends off? Keep this must-have list as short as possible but do have this information ready so you can more easily weed out opportunities that won’t be a great match.
Once you make some decisions about what you want, you can be more intentional with your job search, which will help you land a position.
Read More: Find a Job in One Hour a Day
2. Research What Companies Want
Now that you have a direction to look in, take time to research. You must learn what companies would be a potential match, and what those companies are looking for.
Scour their social media profiles. Check out company profiles on FlexJobs. Learn as much as you can about these companies. That way you can target your application materials to what they’re looking for.
And, you can speak intelligently when they ask why you want to work there. You will already know the answer.
3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
In today’s marketplace, employers are scanning social profiles. Since LinkedIn is designed for business relationships, it’s essential that you put your best foot forward on that platform.
Ensure your employment history is up to date, and that it matches your resume. You don’t want employers to wonder which one is correct. Big inconsistencies will get your application dumped in the “No Thanks” pile.
Take time to add your skills as well. This is especially important if you’re switching fields or looking for a position that doesn’t directly relate to your previous experience. Show employers why you’re a good fit by connecting the dots for them. Don’t make them wonder if you have what it takes to succeed.
Remember to look at your profile pic. Is it a good quality picture and not a selfie? Are you wearing attire that would be appropriate in this new work environment? If you’re applying for a professional office job and you’re sporting holey jeans and a grungy t-shirt on LinkedIn, you may want to update your picture.
Read More: How to Find Work-at-Home Jobs on LinkedIn
4. Look for Work in Multiple Places
Don’t get stuck in a job board rut. If you’re only looking in one place for jobs, you are missing out. Spend time on multiple boards.
Read online newspaper classifieds. Search Craigslist. Go directly to the company websites and look on their jobs page.
FlexJobs is my absolute favorite resource for finding a job, but even it won’t have every position available.
Make finding a job a serious endeavor on your part. You can’t just wing it and expect to find a wonderful position. You need to be actively searching.
Read More: Job Search Apps
5. Follow the Directions
Once you find a job you’re interested in, don’t jump straight into the application. First, take time to read the entire listing. Are there any specific directions?
Always follow the directions to a T. The company wants to make sure you can follow directions. If there’s a certain word you need to use in your subject line, use it. If you’re supposed to email your application materials, don’t stick them in an envelope and mail them.
6. Don’t Forget Your Cover Letter
When following the directions, don’t forget the cover letter. It is not the same thing as the body of your email, unless the company has asked you to send it that way.
Adding a customized cover letter can help your application stand out. It can catch the attention of the hiring manager and make them eager to review your paperwork.
Don’t make the mistake of using a generic cover letter for every company. Instead, customize it. Let the company know why you’d be a great fit, and what specific skills you bring to the table. Show them why they should hire you and not any of those other candidates.
Once you have your cover letter drafted, it’s a great idea to ask someone to proofread it for you. Sometimes your brain can correct errors automatically, so you won’t even notice them. Think of a trusted friend, family member, or colleague who has good grammar skills who would be willing to help you out.
7. Prepare for Interviews
You worked so hard on the searching and applying stages, but your job search isn’t over yet. You must nail the interview.
It’s essential to prepare for these. Look up common interview questions online. Glassdoor often has sample interview questions for different types of positions. You can also search for “job title + interview questions” to help give you some guidance.
What questions are going to be a challenge for you? I recommend spending time on these, and having your answer prepared beforehand.
For instance, if you’re trying to get out of a toxic work environment, you may be tempted to dish it all out when asked why you’re leaving your current role. But that would be a mistake. Companies don’t want to hire people who air the dirty laundry. Instead, think of a way to word it more positively.
Are you ready for a change in direction? Do you need a job that offers better work/life balance?
Think about how you can spin the details to remain truthful, but not sound negative.
If possible, get someone to role play with you. They can ask you interview questions and you can practice answering them. This can help you work through the jitters and help you learn to quickly answer.
When the day of your interview arrives, dress nicely. Show up on time (or better yet, a few minutes early.) Bring any materials you were asked to (such as a portfolio) and bring along a copy of your resume and cover letter. That way if they refer to it, you can easily look at it as well.
Sometimes people get so frazzled in an interview they can’t remember anything. That’s why having these materials with you can help keep you grounded.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Equate Your Worth to Your Search
When you need a new job, it’s easy to tie your identity into your job search. But you are more than that. Not landing a job doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified or a quality employee. It does mean that you weren’t a great fit with this particular company for that position at this point in time.
You are not a failure because you don’t land a new job right away.
But remember – if you don’t have confidence in yourself, you will not be able to confidently answer questions. You can do this! So, believe in yourself.
Now get out there and find a job once and for all!