There’s no shortage of great career advice, but one of the most powerful resources you can tap is somebody who recently landed a job themselves.
For one, they’ll have a more accurate view of the labor market. (For example: Ever had a grandparent tell you that the best way to get a job is to walk right into the office and ask for one? Not exactly the case anymore.) But for another, the fact that they’ve managed to break through and score a job means that they usually have insight into how you can do the same.
To get some of these invaluable tips, we reached out to Katherine L. from Denver, who found a job on Glassdoor last summer and has been thriving at her new company. Here are five of her tips on how you can take your job search to new heights in order to land your dream role.
Tip #1: Use Job Alerts
It’s no secret that the job hunt can be a slog, so any time you can automate part of the process, you should. If you’re tired of scrolling through job listings to find the right match, you might want to create a job alert. Job alerts do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to finding the job that’s right for you. Just enter the job title you’re looking for, the location you’re targeting and your email address, and you’ll get personalized job search results delivered to your inbox daily.
“I had a saved, filtered search on Glassdoor and I got emails with jobs in travel and tourism that I might be interested in. I saw listings for my current company and thought, ‘I have to check it out — I keep getting recommended jobs from there.’ Once I did, I thought the company looked super cool,” Katherine said.
Tip #2: Look for Jobs That Align With Your Interests
A lot of folks feel pressured to find a new job ASAP, whether out of financial need after a long period of unemployment or a desire to leave a toxic environment. But if you can take a little bit of extra time to find a job and company that you’re really passionate about — not just one that will pay the bills — it’ll likely pay off in the long run.
Katherine had always been passionate about travel and tourism, and was, in fact, on a career break traveling southeast Asia when she first started searching for jobs on Glassdoor. For her next opportunity, she became increasingly convinced that she wanted to marry her interests with her 9-to-5.
“What really drew me to my current company was the fact that I’m very passionate about travel and hospitality… We do vacation rental management, so we essentially help people earn their maximum possible vacation rental income, so it fit into my whole career curve,” Katherine said.
Tip #3: Research Everything You Can About a Company
Learning as much as you possibly can about a company before you apply will help you decide whether or not it’s right for you. Plus, research shows that nearly nine in ten hiring decision makers(88 percent) agree that an informed candidate is a quality candidate (Source: Aptitude Research Partners, 2017).
Katherine relied heavily on Glassdoor to scope out the companies she was applying to.
“Other sites may provide a job description, but I just love how Glassdoor has reviews, too. They’re very candid, and people don’t hold back. I really appreciate that — it lets you hear the good and the bad,” she said. “I felt the information I came across was very reflective of how it actually is now — I knew what I was getting myself into, rather than being thrown off guard.”
A few other things Katherine recommended looking into were benefits, company photos and, of course, salaries.
“Sometimes, I would see jobs and think, ‘Oh, that’s a really great opportunity!’ But then once I saw the salary, I realized that it actually wasn’t practical for where I am now. Rather than getting yourself all the way to the end of the process and realizing it’s not going to work for you, Glassdoor lets you set opportunities aside in the beginning,” Katherine said. “With Glassdoor, you get the actual jobs, reviews, salaries and benefits all in one spot.”
Tip #4: Discover Which Questions Interviewers Ask
One of the best features on Glassdoor is the interview reviews section. Using this tool, you can explore individual companies to see how difficult their interviews are, whether candidates have had a positive or negative experience, how often candidates tend to accept offers and even which questions recruiters and hiring managers at that company ask. For example, a recently-hired Senior Recruiter at Glassdoor reported that they were asked questions like “Tell me about a time you had to work with a difficult manager?” and “What makes you a great recruiter?”
You can also enter the name of the position you’ll be interviewing for to see which questions candidates for those roles are typically asked. Someone interviewing for an Executive Assistant position could be asked “What’s the toughest job you’ve held so far and why?” or “Describe a time when you had to manage up.”
This was a feature that Katherine made sure to leverage before heading into her job interview.
“I was definitely all over the interview reviews just so I could see what to expect and give myself an idea of what I needed to focus on,” she shared.
Tip #5: Remember — Once You’re Hired, the Work’s Not Over
Even if you nail the interview and land the job, as Katherine did, you can’t rest on your laurels just yet. All of the information you’ve gathered in the research phase and interview process should all be leveraged to help you thrive once you actually start the job. To really wow your new colleagues, take everything you’ve learned about what the expectations for the role are, what success looks like at the company and how you can most effectively collaborate with your coworkers and use it to become a star employee.
Katherine, for one, was able to put all the knowledge she gathered to good use and in just under a year, she was promoted to a new title and a new team.
“It’s neat to see how coming across my initial job on Glassdoor has led to further career opportunities at my current company,” Katherine said. “Thanks to Glassdoor, my current role is by far the best fit I’ve had in my professional career.”