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If you are looking for a job or want to leave your current place of employment, job hunting requires a brand-new approach. It’s no longer about looking at posted jobs, sending in your resume, and hoping for an interview. Thanks to rapid digitalization, every job hunter must retool his/her strategies to find that perfect job.

A job search, especially when unemployed, can seem overwhelming. There are great opportunities available to everyone, especially if the necessary skills are present.

Let’s look at a few strategies that can be employed to land the right job in a very competitive job market.

6 ways to improve your job-hunting skills

1. Create a brand

The internet has made it easier to connect with the right people. What you have to do is showcase your skills – think of yourself as a brand and what your unique skills are.

Once you are able to recreate yourself, you can pitch your skills while standing out in a crowd of applicants.

2. Update your resume

A resume is your calling card. If you can’t think of ways to polish it, then hire an expert in resume writing and let them make you a new one.

3. Register on portals

Sign up on the most popular job portals in your area. HR recruiters and headhunters use these to put employers and prospective employees together.

Some of the best job portals to register on are Monster, AngelList, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, The Ladders, LinkUp, and FlexJobs.

Depending on where you live, do a search for the best job portals and register. This will increase your visibility and result in more opportunities.

4. Do the research

If your skill set is very specific to an industry, search to find out which companies are hiring. You can go to their websites and apply for jobs in your area of interest. It’s also a great way to find your dream job.

5. Network

Another way to find the perfect job is to join groups within a specific field. You can attend meetings, casual get-togethers, or even conferences. When you are ready to make your move, you can tap into your contacts regarding openings in their company.

6. Utilize LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful and go-to platform by professional job seekers and companies. Employers often post jobs on this platform.

Set up your profile and update your skills regularly. Try to expand your network on this platform and leverage your potential.

While the above strategies are critical to a job hunt, there are few things you should not do. Some of these missteps could jeopardize your chances of getting that new position.

6 things not to do when job hunting

1. Don’t tell the world

Be discrete when you’re looking for a new position. Word can reach your manager and result in them trying to replace you too soon. At the very least, things around the water cooler can get real awkward.

2. Don’t use your employer’s resources

Avoid printing your resume at work or even using your office computer to update your resume or carry out a job search. Employers usually track online activity, which could cause problems.

3. Don’t be too social

Be careful of what you post on your social media networks, especially on Facebook. Employers do look at a potential employee’s account to get insights into their activities.

4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

While you can rely on job portals for new listings, use other avenues too. Remember to use your LinkedIn account and your contacts.

Be cautious while networking – your colleagues and bosses may know many of the same people. You want to keep your job search quiet until you have interviews lined up.

5. Don’t be late

Be on time for your interview. Tardiness is not appreciated by potential employers and could result in a bad impression.

6. Don’t be ungrateful

Send a thank you note right after the interview. This will boost your stock with the new employer, and you can find out whether you are being considered for the position.

Showcase your skills. Think of yourself as a brand and share what your unique skills are.

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Is working with headhunters a good idea?

Headhunters also play an important role in the hiring process. There are benefits and drawbacks to working with headhunters.

Benefits

First off, headhunters are experts in specific industry sectors and aware of openings. Many companies work exclusively with recruiters and don’t advertise. In such cases, you will hear about openings and can get interviews. Be prepared with your most current resume.

They can also help you to polish up your resume if you need it. Let them help with suggestions and get a good version. They can also help you with tips on answering important questions so that you get the job.

Headhunters work on a commission. They get paid when a candidate sent by them gets hired. So, they are motivated to place as many people as they can and are a good resource for job hunters.

Drawbacks

There are downsides to working with recruiters as well. Your resume could end up being tailored to meet the needs of specific clients. When this happens, you may end up in a job you don’t like. You could also go for interviews that don’t interest you.

Some other strategies to get your dream job

Letters of Intent

There are jobs that companies may not advertise. If you are interested in working for a specific organization, it pays to send them a letter of interest along with your customized resume.

This letter is different from a cover letter because you are taking the initiative to tell this company why you want to work with them. Such letters usually get the attention of the hiring managers and you can get called in for an informational interview or sometimes even a casual chat.

Before you write a letter of intent, do research on the company, its objectives, and their track record. There are templates online which you can use as a basis for your own.

Once you send in the letter, check your contacts to see if you know an employee. Ask them to put in a word with their HR department.

Letters of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation adds extra weight to a job application. Interns and employees with a good track record benefit from a letter of recommendation.

Ask your boss and peers to write or sign one for you. This will help you generate credibility and land a job that you want. If you don’t want your current company to know you’re looking, tap into previous employers.

Conclusion

There are many ways to approach a job hunt. While some strategies mentioned are common to everyone, every job search is not the same. Use a combination of these to help increase your chances of getting the job you’ve always wanted.

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About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Greg Lewerer

Director of Creative Strategy

Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.