Looking for a job can be a cruel, disheartening process. I know because I recently went through it. I spent about six months facing constant rejection before finally landing my next great job. Along the way I learned a couple of things that might help you out. These tips may not make the process of job hunting any less horrible, but at least they won’t cost any more than $5.
#1 A Recruiter’s Job Isn’t to Find You a Job
For years I had been ignoring the occasional call or email from recruiters/headhunters asking if I might be interested in a great position they had that was perfect for me. When I decided to look for a job I finally started to return these phone calls.
I spoke with a slick salesman who tried to convince me that I didn’t need to do any of my own work looking for jobs because he had contacts at all the top companies and would find me the perfect job when it came along then get back to me. It’s a good thing I wasn’t depending on him or any of the other recruiters I spoke to because I never heard back from him.
These recruiters don’t work for you, they work for the companies that pay them a commission to point candidates their way. Most of the jobs out there are with companies that aren’t paying a commission, and the only way to find those jobs is to search for yourself.
There is nothing wrong with talking to recruiters, and if one ends up finding you a job that is great, but you should know they aren’t working for you. You have to continue looking for a job on your own.
#2 Don’t Forget About Newspapers
There is no one place that lists all of the available jobs. You know to search the online job sites, and the online classified ads, but don’t forget there are still companies out there that think they can find the best candidates by posting ads in newspapers as well. To make things worse, many newspapers don’t publish all their job ads online.
Like most people, I don’t even remember the last time I subscribed to regular newspaper delivery. So every Sunday morning I would walk down to the local convenience store and buy a couple of papers. Sure enough, there would always be jobs in the classified section I hadn’t seen online.
After a couple weeks of this I realized how much all of those papers were going to cost me. With that realization I started heading down to my city library to peruse the papers for free. It became my regular Sunday afternoon routine.
#3 Use LinkedIn
I had put up a LinkedIn profile a long time ago but the truth is I never saw any purpose in it. When I started hearing stories about how many people were finding jobs on LinkedIn I started to take it seriously and made sure my resume was up to date on the site.
There are tons of recruiters looking for you on LinkedIn, but you should be careful about adding them as connections if you are trying to be discreet about your job search. When your boss and coworkers see you suddenly added five recruiters as connections they are going to know exactly what you are up to.
#4 Have somebody spruce up your resume for $5
A friend of mine told me how she had paid somebody $100 to fix up her resume and what a big difference it made. I thought that sounded like a good idea, but wasn’t too keen on spending $100.
Instead, I gave Fiverr a try. Fiverr is a website where people offer to perform various tasks for you online for as little as $5. There are many HR professionals on Fiverr offering to edit your resume for the incredibly low price $5.
I found one with good reviews from her customers and paid her $5 to have a look. I had spent a lot of time on my resume, but I knew it could be better. Sure enough, when she sent my resume back it was much more attractive. For one thing, she had reworded one or two things to make it sound a little more positive, but the big difference was how she reformatted the whole thing to make it look cleaner and more appealing.
After I had a pro fix my resume for me I noticed immediately that I started getting more interviews. That is a great deal for $5.
#5 Consider getting a new email
If you start looking for a job you will get more spam email than you can believe. First you have to sign up for job searching websites. You won’t believe how much garbage they send you. Next, when you find a job you want to apply for you will often have to apply through a recruiter rather than directly to the company. As you might expect, they will start sending you newsletters and other junk you never asked for.
Then you will start getting junk email about job related stuff from organizations you have never even heard of who apparently bought your email address from one of the other companies you had given your email to. The most obnoxious emails you will get though are from companies you applied to. It seems pretty underhanded to me, but many companies will get your application, never interview you, but then sign you up for their junk mail list. Junk mail is unavoidable, and just one more way the world makes life harder for job seekers.
What do you do about all this spam? I suggest you create a new free email account just for your job search, and don’t give it out to anybody except those related to your job search. After you have found a job and moved on from the job hunting cycle then you can just forget about that email forever. Your inbox will fill up with hundreds of pieces of spam, but you won’t be around to care about it.
The email address you use should sound professional, instead of cute or fun. I am a mentor to a handful of students in a program through my local university and my mentees sometimes send me their resumes to get my opinion on it. One of those students used an email address on her resume with a silly nickname her friends called her. Creating a new email was my first suggestion to her.
I am sure those emails are fun to give out to your friends, but if there is any possibility they hint to potential employers that you aren’t a serious professional then you need a new email. The good news is there are lots of places to get a new email address for free.
Using these tips should make your job hunt less frustrating. With just a few cheap or free changes to the way you go about your job search you might end up finding the job you’ve been looking for!