When you’re looking for a new job, the sheer volume of opportunities available can be daunting — even if you’re fairly comfortable using job searching tools. With so many listings available, it can be a major time suck to filter through them one by one, even if you’ve narrowed the pool using filters or by searching for specific job titles. That’s why going into your job hunt with a smart strategy is a must. Like anything else, the best job search game plans are simple to put into practice, so ahead, check out this five-step guide to finding your next amazing opportunity.
1. Start With Your Skills
Most people start their job search by simply looking up job postings with the same job title they have now. It’s worth seeing what’s out there with your current title, but if you’re looking for a new gig, chances are you’re looking for something a little different from what you’re doing now. Instead of focusing on jobs that have the exact same name as your current one, you’re more likely to find opportunities that will allow you to grow and evolve by first pinpointing your best assets and the responsibilities you want to have, then working backward by searching for those skills on job sites.
Think about the skills you use most often in your current job. Which ones do you want to further hone? What technical tools do you know how to use better than others? What elements of your personality help you do a good job? Which tasks do you love doing, and which ones would you rather never do again? By translating your answers to these questions into keywords (think: communication, strategy, leadership, etc.), you’re more likely to encounter job listings that inspire you.
2. Search Smart
Be sure to make use of the helpful filters that most job search sites offer. Glassdoor allows you to narrow down listings by location, estimated salary, company size and even date posted (it’s always better to apply early!). By using these filters to your advantage, you can save time and avoid having to sift through jobs you know aren’t right for you — allowing you to focus on the ones that could be great fits.
3. Utilize “Related Jobs” Features
Once you find one job posting you’re interested in, it will be easier to find more like it. That’s because many job search sites display related job listings somewhere on the page. Make use of these, as they can make finding multiple jobs to apply for a lot simpler, and can even help you discover opportunities that you wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. When you’re job hunting, it’s important to cast a wide net within the pool of jobs that are appropriate for your interests and experience level, so don’t overlook this easy-to-miss feature.
4. Look at the Big Picture
The specific role you’re applying for is definitely most important, but it’s also a good idea to consider the type of company you want to work for. Perhaps you have certain locations in mind, specific benefits you require or a particular type of company culture you know you need in order to flourish. Working at an early-stage startup and a multinational corporation are two vastly different experiences, so mull over what your ideal company might look like and do some research into the companies you’re considering applying to. Check each company’s reviews on Glassdoor to get a feel for what it’s like to work there.
5. Make a List of Opportunities You’re Excited About, Then Apply!
Once you’ve found one job you’re really excited about submitting an application for, keep the momentum going and find a few more rather than applying to jobs one by one. Once you have a good number (perhaps five or 10), sit down and apply for them all at once within 48 hours. By “batching” your job applications in this way, you’ll be more efficient with your search, and applying to each job will feel less time-consuming. If that feels too overwhelming, select your top three favorite opportunities and commit to applying for those within 48 hours. That way, you’re still getting some applications out there. After that, you should be well on your way to a new job!