It seems everyone around me is trying to quit their jobs and find a new one. Unsurprising since this period is currently being called the "Great Resignation". 7.6 million people quit their jobs from April to May for different reasons. I think it's good that people may be seeking better opportunities for themselves. Having previously experienced a toxic work environment, I know what it's like to be in that kind of hell and the desperation to get out of there. In fact, I still have friends who live in jobs full of toxicity unable to get out for various reasons.
While it's great that people are seeking better employment, it also means the competition is rough. My hubby is one of the unfortunate souls trying to find a new job with little luck competing against the other millions of people in the same situation. Having watched him try and try again and after researching next steps, here are some job hunting tips in these trying times.
Did you work closely with a professor in college? Is your grandpa a retired businessman? Does your friend's mom run her own hobby store? Use your connections! So often we are either too proud or afraid to ask for help, but now more than ever, people are the ones who get you into jobs. It's who you know, not what you know. You never know who might actually be looking for someone, and you never know how close they may actually be.
Nowadays, a college degree is just a checkbox (an expensive one), and you and a million others all have one that might be relevant to a job. Or if you don't have one, you might have relevant experience but again so does the guy next to you. So if you have someone who can get you through the door, you've just put yourself at the front of the race. Take a second to look around you and ask if maybe your friend's mom knows someone who needs a hand.
2. Job Boards
LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Google job... these are but a few job boards that you can access to find jobs. Use all of them, don't settle for one! States, cities, and counties have their own job boards too as most of them are restricted as to where they can post their jobs. The same applies to state universities or other government positions. Certain occupations may have specialty job boards such as National Society of Black Engineers, Latinos in High Ed, Springboard for the Arts, etc. Don't settle and take the time to look up other job boards especially if you're looking for a career in a specific field. Also do your research, don't sign up for anything that looks shady. There are job boards that people pay to use, make sure it's worth it before you do the same.
As a caveat to this, if you don't have a LinkedIn, make one, ASAP. I can't tell you the number of applications that asked for LinkedIn Profiles, and it's almost certain recruiters or companies will look over your LinkedIn. Your resume should be one page, and your entire work history may not fit on that one page. Instead, link to your LinkedIn where you have the luxury of spelling out every job, internship, and school experience you have. Plus, you're going to look pretty behind the times if you don't have one.
3. Cover Letters
Let's face it, nobody likes writing cover letters especially when you have to write dozens of them in a day. To top it off, the formatting and style of these letters changes all the time. For both resumes and cover letters, there is no real "right" way to make them since everyone looks for something different. Though there are general standards and practices for them. For cover letters, they should be short, sweet, and to the point. Read it out loud to a family member, partner, or friend, if they're falling asleep or tuning you out, maybe you need to rewrite it.
As for whether they are necessary or not, here are some numbers from Zety and ResumeLab on cover letters:
The reality is only some recruiter will read your cover letter, but the majority will still consider you more qualified if you submit one. Which sucks, it really does, to put in all that time and effort knowing that they probably won't read it; it's demotivating. But, it will give you the one-up over your competition, so take the time to create a cover letter. Create a template that you can change up, but make sure you individualize it to the company you're applying for!
This might seem obvious, but list your accomplishments in your resume. I have edited a number of resumes, and it's incredible how often a promotion or award is left out because "It wasn't a big deal" or "It was a small thing." Look, recruiters aren't going to go ask your previous company if the promotion from staff to associate staff was a big promotion. They're going to look at it and see a "promotion."
I once had a client who received employee of the month several months in a row, but because it was a small department and for a retail position, they didn't think it mattered enough to put on their resume. I wanted to scream. Put your achievements on your resume, big or small. Don't put yourself down because you don't think you've done anything relevant in your life. Everything counts!
5. Don't Give Up
Ok, I admit, this one might seem cheesy, but when you're applying for several jobs a day against millions of other applicants, you're going to get a lot of rejection letters. You may also never hear back from a company, and that sucks. Rejection stings. No matter how numb you may think you are to it, it will take it's toll on you. You're going to wonder if you're worth any position, if anybody will ever hire you, if you're ever going to get that dream job... and you will, but you can't give up.
You will get none of the jobs you don't apply for. It's a fight to get the job you want, and you have to give it your all to get that sweet satisfaction at the end. It took me 6 months of applying for 10 jobs a day everyday and countless rejections to get the job that I have now. So give it your all, your hard work will eventually pay off.
If you have any other tips or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below! Let me know how your job hunt is going and what struggles you have faced.