Being on the job hunt may feel disheartening if you’ve been at it awhile. But luckily, the economy is turning around and you can find a satisfying job—if you know where to look.
Scrolling job boards and sending out resumes is a good start – but it’s not the only answer. Here are eight more fruitful ways to find career opportunities.
1. Know your transferable skills for new job opportunities
Transferable skills are abilities that you can use in many different jobs and careers. You can acquire these skills through work experience, education or volunteering.
Some fields have taken a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic . But others, such as health care, technology, logistics and professional services, are thriving. The key is to identify existing skills that other sectors value.
Start by making a list of the core components of your job, such as leading teams, overseeing budgets or managing complex projects. Then, create a narrative for potential employers to show how your skills can meet their needs, even if you don’t have industry-specific experience.
2. Pick up new skills from online learning programs
Feel like you’re missing a vital skill from the job descriptions you're seeing out there? Use your free time to acquire it now, when remote training options are plentiful.
3. Create an online presence
Any prospective interviewer can search your name online, so you want to ensure they will like what they see. That means polishing your LinkedIn profile and scrubbing your social media of anything that might poorly reflect on you.
But you can go a step further and boost your image by:
- following industry thought leaders,
- engaging with their content on social media platforms,
- sharing relevant news, and
- building your own website with samples of your creative work.
4. Network like never before
One silver lining of the “virtual reality” of the pandemic is that networking may be easier than ever—cheaper too. You don’t have to commute in, pay for parking and buy your contact a coffee. Use this to your advantage and approach former colleagues and clients, LinkedIn contacts and professionals you admire yet haven’t had a chance to meet.
Be respectful of a person’s time and consider your tone when you reach out to them. Remember, your professional contacts may also be dealing with a job loss or health scare. If they do agree to connect, prepare a list of questions and remember to follow up with a personalized thank you.
5. Attend online networking events
Another upside to the current environment is that most conferences are currently online. That means you can meet and mingle without the expense and hassle of travel.
Look into opportunities with your local Chamber of Commerce or national professional association to network and stay current with industry trends. Groups may even waive or lower costs to encourage virtual attendance. As always, follow up with any interesting prospective leads after the event, or reach out to a presenter to tell them how much you learned.
6. Prepare for video job interviews
Any job interviews will most likely be virtual these days, so you want to be sure you’re making a solid impression.
Do some dry runs with trusted friends to confirm you have good reception and that your background is clutter-free and well-lit.
Also consider where you position your camera. The best angle is at eye level. (You can prop the device up on some books if you need to raise it.)
Ask trusted friends to critique your facial expressions and hand gestures. This way, you’ll feel as natural as possible when the real thing comes around.
7. Include volunteer work on your resume
This activity pulls triple duty:
- you can learn or improve a skill,
- network and
- do good for your community all at once.
Find a role that will offer the best opportunities for building your resume. For example, let’s say you’re a budding marketing professional. You may volunteer by helping a non-profit organization with their social media.
8. Stay optimistic about future opportunities
It can be challenging to keep your spirits up, especially in a prolonged job hunt. Take time for self-care and prioritize healthy habits, like eating nutritiously and getting plenty of sleep and exercise.
Many job hunters enjoy the camaraderie of online support groups. As always, it's important to maintain other social ties with friends and family to get your mind off the job hunt once in a while, too.
The job hunt may take a while. But it’s worth it if you can find that one perfect position for you.