Let’s start with the simple truth: Job hunting is a numbers game.

In today’s competitive job market, companies often receive over 100 applicants for each job opening. Most of the time, these companies interview less than 10 prospective hires.

The more jobs you apply for, the more chances you have of earning an interview.

But how can you stand out from the crowd? How can you improve your job hunting strategy?

Searching for a job can be stressful, but taking a few key actions can help you land the job. Read our list of job search tips that you can implement now.

1. Customize Your Resume and Cover

Creating the perfect resume takes time. And when you finally craft a resume that succinctly highlights your skills and experience, the last thing you want to do is mess with it.

It may seem counterintuitive, but your resume needs to be an ever-changing document for the rest of your career. Every job listing is different and your resume should be custom tailored for each opportunity. 

Don’t be afraid to swap out bullet points, change the wording and accentuate different skills and experiences. Save every resume in its own folder for each company you apply to.

Write personalized cover letters for every job. Research each organization and mention specific company achievements and goals as reasons why you would like to join their team.

2. Make Yourself the Obvious Choice

The point of customizing your resume and cover letter is to make yourself a clear-cut, no-brainer selection for the job. It’s also extremely important to follow application instructions to the letter.

Over 90% of large companies utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that scan your resume before a human ever reads it. These mechanical gatekeepers filter out any resume that isn’t a good match with the job description and application instructions.

With that in mind, take your time to punch up your resume by including the keywords mentioned throughout the job posting, especially in the job requirements section.

3. Search Online and Offline for Job Openings

You likely know the big job listings sites like Job NexusIndeed and Glassdoor These sites can be helpful resources for job listings and company research.

But did you know most job openings are never posted on major job search sites? If you want to work for a specific company, the best tactic is to go directly to their website and look in their careers section for job openings. Then dig around and find the names of the hiring managers and start networking.

Obviously, you’ll need a strong LinkedIn profile which opens you up for recruiter pitches. Many hiring teams search LinkedIn to find their next employee.

Don’t be afraid to go old-school and use your feet in your job search. Put on your best clothes and walk into an establishment with your resume and cover letter and ask to speak with the hiring manager by name.

Yes, some companies will turn you away. On the flip side, other companies may interview you on the spot. At the very least, a personal appearance is a great follow-up after you have applied for the job online.

4. Respond Promptly

We can’t overstress how important it is to respond promptly to emails and phone calls from human resources. You are trying to build a positive reputation and every step you take, or don’t take, reflects on your character. 

Whether HR just wants more information or if they want to bring you in for an interview, help them move you forward in the process with prompt and friendly communication.

5. Send Thank You Messages

A fantastic way to separate yourself from the crowd of job seekers is a genuine act of kindness. Yes, manners still go a long way.

When you interview, remember the people who took time out of their day to introduce their company to you and consider you for the job. Within a few hours after your interview, send a short-but-sweet email to each of these people. Thank them for their time and consideration and let them know you enjoyed your time there.

When you are up against stiff competition, a little common-courtesy such as a thank you email could be the difference that gets you hired.

Final Thoughts on Job Search Tips

When you interview, the company is trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job and for their team. In the back of their mind are two large questions: One, can you excel in the job you are interviewing for? And two, would you fit in with their current staff?

Focus your interview answers on what you can do for the company. Be courteous and positive so they can envision you as a perfect addition to their team.

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