It’s A Job Hunt Life: How To Stay Positive and Productive During the Job Search (French version available)
Job searching can be exhausting, especially if you’ve never done it before. It can be tedious to scroll through job listings, tinker with your resume, and fill out application forms – only to never hear back from the hiring manager. Everyone has felt discouraged, anxious, or frustrated with the process at some point, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your experience is productive and positive. Use this article as a guide to a more active, results-oriented job search that will help you expand your professional network, secure more interviews, and feel more confident as a job candidate.
Create a Professional Online Presence
Many teenagers use social media to chat with friends and share pictures, stories, and personal updates. But did you know that 70 percent of hiring managers use social media to screen job applicants? That means that for every ten companies you apply to, 7 of them will review your social media and assess whether you’re right for the role based on what you post.
During your job search, spend some time cleaning up your social media profiles. Imagine yourself sitting in a job interview with a hiring manager scrolling through your Instagram, TikTok or Twitter accounts. What would they think about you? How would you explain the decision-making that went into each post? Be sure to use professional profile pictures and avoid potentially offensive language. And remember that once something is on the internet, it’s out in the world forever.
You may also want to create a LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is a professional platform that can help you meet people in a field or academic program of interest, review personalized job listings, and highlight your skills to potential employers. Include a link to your profile on your resume and cover letter to allow hiring managers to find you more quickly. Use the platform to connect with people you know and send personalized requests to people you want to know. You never know who could present you with a great job lead.
Build Your Resume
The more experience you have, the easier it is to land your dream job. This situation can seem frustratingly paradoxical; it’s like you need to have a job already, just to get a better one. But paid work isn’t the only way to build your resume. Volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, unpaid internships, and training courses can help you stand out from other job seekers. In addition, you can use volunteer opportunities to experiment with different industries, fields, and job roles before fully committing to paid work.
In short, whether you’re in high school or just starting university, it’s a good idea to get involved by joining clubs, participating in school events, and volunteering on campus.
Only 20 percent of jobs are advertised through official job listings. The remaining 80 percent are promoted by word-of-mouth within personal and professional networks. If you want to expand your job search opportunities, you need to build your networks.
As previously mentioned, social media and LinkedIn can be invaluable networking tools. You can use status updates to show that you’re actively looking for work and apply directly to companies and hiring departments from your phone or computer. In addition, you can reach out to previous employers or volunteer supervisors to ask for a reference.
The concept of networking may seem intimidating, but it’s just a matter of talking to people. Who do you know? What do they do for a living? What resources can they provide? Let people know that you’re looking for work and ask whether they have any advice for you. You’d be surprised at how willing people are to share insights, give recommendations, and facilitate meetings with other professional contacts. Show interest in their careers, and they’ll likely return the favour by helping you out.
It’s a Long-Term Process
Although job searching can be stressful, it’s a skill that will serve you throughout your life. Finding the right opportunity – that is, one that meets your goals, matches your skillset, and brings you happiness – is often a long journey. But these steps can help you feel confident and productive while you figure things out. To recap:
- Present yourself as someone that you would want to hire.
- Get involved and learn new things.
- Talk to people, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Demers, J. (2015, March 8th). 10 Things You Should Do While You’re Looking for Work. Inc. https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/10-things-you-should-do-while-you-re-looking-for-work.html.
Faires, L. (2018, October 9th). Do Potential Employers Look at Your Social Media Accounts Before Hiring? Liberty Staffing Services. https://www.libertystaffing.ca/blog/do-potential-employers-look-at-your-social-media-accounts-before-hiring#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20recent%20study,job%20candidates%20before%20hiring%20them.