If you’re looking for the best way to find a job, or how to find jobs online, then keep reading.
I’m going to walk you through the best ways to find jobs quickly and easily, without wasting time or having to submit tons of applications on job boards without hearing back.
We’ll look at the five best ways to find jobs online and offline, and then I’m going to give you a few extra tips to help make your job search easier.
So if you can’t find a job, or are just starting a job search and want to get hired quickly, you’re in the right place.
Let’s get started.
I’ll start by saying I know not everyone has a strong network they can rely on. It’s okay. But whoever you do know, you should talk to and utilize. And you should make new connections/relationships to make your job search easier as well.
Rule 1: Tell EVERYONE You’re Job Searching
The first rule of job search networking: Tell people you’re job hunting. Nobody can help you if you don’t tell people.
I once landed an interview at a top tech company in Boston by telling my haircutter I was job hunting.
What happened? Earlier in the week, a hiring manager had come in and dropped off his business card in case the haircutter finds any recent graduates who are job hunting. I mentioned it, he gave me the card, and the rest is history.
Rule 2: Always Try to Get Introduced to a Company
Also, think of anyone in your existing network (former coworkers, classmates, friends and family, etc.) who work at companies or have connections to companies you might want to work at.
Approach them and ask if they know if the company is hiring. Explain why you thought the company would be a good fit and see if they have any ideas how you might be able to get in contact with them.
It’s best to ask casually like this, rather than directly asking for a big favor upfront… unless you’re very close with the person you’re talking to (like a sibling, best friend, parent, etc.)
Why It’s Always Better to Get Introduced to a Company
Any time you can get introduced directly to a company or hiring manager, you will have a much higher chance of getting the interview. You might even skip the conversation with a recruiter or HR and go right in to meet the hiring manager.
So always get introduced to a company if you can. This is faster and FAR more effective than applying online, or other “cold” approach methods.
That’s why networking will always be one of the best ways to find jobs, and the first methods you should go to.
You should spend a good portion of your time finding companies that fit what you want to be doing in your career, and apply directly via email or via their “Careers” page.
This includes companies that are hiring, but also companies who are not hiring.
Your odds of hearing back from a company that doesn’t appear to be hiring are lower, but you’ll have virtually no competition if they do reply and show interest in your background.
So aim for a mix, maybe 70% companies who are hiring, and 30% companies who don’t appear to be hiring or don’t have a job that fits your background listed on their site.
Reasons Companies Might Interview You Even if a Job Wasn’t Posted:
What to Put in Your Email/Application:
However you choose to apply to these companies, make sure to explain why they caught your eye in your cover letter or email.
Saying “I need a job” isn’t good enough. You need to show a company why you want THEIR job. So you need to show:
So make sure those two points are in your cover letters or emails when you send your resume.
Also make sure to “tailor” your resume for each job. This will multiply the odds that you hear back, usually by 3-5x.
If you follow these steps, do your research and don’t rush, this method is one of the best ways to find a job online.
While method #2 above requires careful research, and selectively picking companies to apply to, this method works by ramping up the number of applications you send out.
This is one of my personal favorites and has been working very well for job seekers for the past two years, but you shouldn’t only use this method for finding a job online.
You should balance this with more thoughtful, targeted job hunting via your network and applying to companies that you know and like.
Still, LinkedIn Easy Apply remains one of the best ways to find jobs online, even if you don’t have any network to rely on.
The main goal with this method: Get your resume in front of a lot of companies so you can start having conversations FAST.
The general idea: You use LinkedIn to search for jobs by keyword, location, etc.
And then you apply directly via LinkedIn, which eliminates the need for a cover letter, and saves you TONS of time because you don’t need to create an login/password for different job portals, or fill out personal details like name and address, etc.
You simply find jobs that might interest you, attach your resume and click “send”. You can do a very high volume of applications this way, and get job interviews scheduled relatively quickly.
Don’t only use this. But it’s one of the best ways to find jobs and get in front of more companies. And it can definitely get you hired.
I don’t recommend mass-applying to online job openings, except with LinkedIn Easy Apply (mentioned above in step 3).
However, job search sites are still one of the best ways to find a job because you can use them to identify which companies are hiring.
Some even allow you to set custom job search alerts and receive notifications about new postings, so you don’t miss your dream job if it comes up.
Then, you can apply directly to these companies (step 2 above). Or better yet, check your network on LinkedIn to see if you’ve got anyone with a connection to the company. For example, a current or former employee.
Then, you can ask for a referral regarding any appropriate job openings at the company.
As you can see, these strategies for how to search jobs are tied together, and you should view your job search as one broad effort, not separate strategies.
For example, job seekers should research job listings but always check their network before applying directly. They should utilize job alerts and job search engines but email a company with a more personal approach once an interesting new job opening is identified.
Job seekers can also gain job opportunities through a staffing or recruitment agency.
Note that recruiters are best able to help candidates with prior experience.
If you’re an entry-level candidate, you’ll be better off attending job fairs.
But for those job searchers with experience, recruiters can provide a good, secondary way of hearing about job listings, getting introduced to hiring managers, and landing more interviews in their job search.
I say “secondary way” of finding jobs online because you shouldn’t rely on recruiters alone. They’ll send you the occasional job opportunities, but they work for the employers.
Recruiters help companies find people to hire. They don’t help people find jobs. That’s fundamentally different. I explain more about how recruiters work here.
My advice to job seekers, as a former recruiter, is this:
You should talk to recruiters and let them go to work for you, but expect nothing. Then, if they come back with a few job listings or interviews, it’s a pleasant surprise.
But don’t stop networking, looking at job boards and job search sites, and continuing your own search for a new job when a recruiter says they’ll start finding you new job opportunities.
Because they say this to hundreds of candidates and will only help you if it benefits them (here’s how recruiters make money and how it may benefit them to help you).
It’s still your job search and you need to do most of the work if you want to find a job online.
Note that staffing and recruiting firms are also a good avenue to obtain temporary employment if you’re stuck and can’t find a permanent role. Some firms handle temporary, contract-based roles. Others specialize in placing job seekers into full-time, permanent roles.
Make sure to ask each recruiter where they specialize so you don’t waste your time talking to the wrong types of recruiters.
We covered the best tips for how to find a job above, but where should you start? And how much time should you spend on each activity in your job search?
If I were starting a job search today, based on what I know as a former recruiter, I’d aim to spend 25% of my time in each of the first four steps, unless I had a very strong network. In that case, I’d rely on my network almost entirely at the beginning.
Recruiters, listed as step 5 above, are a secondary way of finding job and you should just talk briefly with them and then move on, getting back to your job search efforts while they look for roles.
I recommend you start by going through your network, writing down a list of who you know, and contacting them.
I’d then spend at least half a day using Method #3 above. Try to apply to 10-15 companies in half a day.
After this, spend a few days on Method #2, targeting specific companies you’d like to work for.
Going forward, keep splitting your time between methods 2, 3, and 4, and remember to use your network whenever possible. A referral is almost always the best way to contact a company.
Earlier, I promised I’d shared a few extra tips to help you in finding a job, so here a few resources from our website that’ll help you further.
First… when you get interviews lined up, review and practice answering the common questions here. That link has a list of 128 questions you can expect to hear.
Don’t go in unprepared and waste all the hard work you put into applying for jobs without being ready for the interview. You want to get a job offer from every interview you can!
Also, make sure you’re sending out a thank-you email or note after the interview. This reaffirms your interest in the position and shows the interviewer that you appreciate their time. Believe it or not, this can be the difference in whether you get the job!
Next, I’d recommend making sure you’re timing your job search correctly, so here are the two best and worst times to look for jobs.
Now, you can’t always control when you need to job hunt. But it’s helpful to know whether you’re in a fast or slow time of year so you can adjust your strategy.
And finally- remember, you only need one job offer. You’re one good interview away from getting hired!
So don’t get discouraged or give up. Keep trying to improve – in your job applications, your interviews, and your networking, and you will find work!
If you read the steps and tips above, you now know multiple effective ways to find a job online.
There isn’t one perfect method to get a new job, and you should use a mix of the strategies above.
You should also track your progress and see what’s working. Different tactics work best for different experience levels, industries, and more.
So for example, if you find you’re not getting any interviews from job boards, but you’re getting great responses when applying directly to company job listings on their websites, then do more of that.
Job seekers should:
And job seekers should always remember to find mutual contacts at a potential company and ask for an introduction when possible. Only apply online if you don’t have someone who can introduce you to the employer.
If you use this approach, you’ll be able to get hired faster in your job hunt.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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