Our Guide to Conducting a Successful Job Search

A woman works on a laptop with a scratch pad for notetaking and cup of tea nearby.

You’ve worked your tail off to get to this point, but you realize you don’t even know where to begin. Starting a new job search is intimidating and overwhelming to say the least, but believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways to go about it. We’ve come up with a few pointers to help get you one step closer to landing your dream job.  

Tip #1: Instead of mass-applying to companies on job search websites, look a little deeper into the company and try and get in touch with a real person.

While job search engines like Monster.com or Indeed are plenty helpful, they might not necessarily be the best way to get seen. Many times, the one-click apply means your resume gets filtered through the system and might never be seen by an actual human.

If you find a position on one of the many job sites, dig a little deeper. Go to the company website or LinkedIn page and look for the email of a real person. Many times, the department heads and HR manager are listed with their contact information. Though this still doesn’t guarantee you a response, there’s a better chance your email will be seen by the eyes of someone who might be able to pass it along to where it needs to go. If you can’t find an email, try to find the name of the HR or hiring manager, and personally address your email and cover letter to them.

Tip #2: Try to strategically set up your interviews and go on lower-level interviews first to work your way up.

There’s nothing worse than going in for an interview for the perfect job and then realizing you’re not prepared for the hard-hitting questions they might ask you. Your technical interview skills might be a little rusty or non-existent, so set up a couple of lower-level job interviews before you head toward the more ambitious ones.

These more basic interviews will give you a chance to figure out how to sell yourself, which questions to ask, and the opportunity to build up your confidence. By saving the harder interviews for later, you give yourself the chance to unlock more difficult interview questions so you have the right answers for when it matters most.

Tip #3: Never stop practicing your trade. Ever.

Yes, you might be done with your studies, but you’re never done learning. During the job search process, you should continue practicing every chance you get. If you don’t have the answers to the questions you might get asked during an interview, you probably won’t be getting the job.

If you don’t have a perfect understanding of something, take the time to study it until you do. There are plenty of (free) resources on the web to help you grasp and master difficult concepts. Employers want to be confident that you’re confident, so show them that you are!

Tip #4: Don’t settle for anything you aren’t comfortable with.

A classic rookie mistake when entering a new job market is thinking the first job offered should be the first job taken. Like we mentioned in tip #2, if you have your interviews prioritized, you most likely won’t want the first offer anyway.

Know your worth. Make sure you do your research when it comes to the position that you’re seeking, and go into the job search with a ball-park of your ideal salary range. With more than 220,000 unfilled coding jobs, don’t be afraid to decline a position if it doesn’t satisfy your personal requirements.

The job search process is tough. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to making sure you’re ready for it, but don’t underestimate yourself. The process might seem daunting, but having the right tools will only yield the best result in the end. Take your time, put in the effort, and it will prove to be worth it.

This article was originally published on https://bootcamp.rutgers.edu.

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