You're unhappy at your current job, so you start looking for a new one. At first, you're hopeful. With your skills and experience, you'll find a better job in no time. But after a few days of searching job boards and applying for positions you're really not excited about, you start to get frustrated. Why does it seem like there are no good job opportunities available? How can you find the right job for you in such a competitive job market?
If you relate to this struggle, you're definitely not alone. A recent FlexJobs survey found that nearly half (48%) of job seekers are frustrated in their job search because they can't seem to find the right opportunities. So, what can you do?
Here are three tips to follow if you're frustrated with the lack of good job opportunities in your job search.
1. Create An Interview Bucket List
As a professional, you need to have an interview bucket list—a list of 10-20 companies you'd love to work for. This is true even if you're not actively looking for a job. Are you passionate about a company's product or service? Do you feel connected to their mission? Can you relate to their values and beliefs as an organization? Think about these questions as you make your list.
Once you create an interview bucket list, you'll be able to conduct a targeted job search, one with direction and a purpose beyond just "getting a job." Simply put, your job search will have a foundation upon which everything else will be built. It'll make the job search and interview process so much easier.
For example, let's say a company on your interview bucket list has a job opening that you're interested in. When you go to write your disruptive cover letter, you'll stand out from the other job applicants because of your connection story, and you'll ultimately get the attention of the hiring manager. And, chances are, they'll want to give you a call.
2. Don't Rely On Job Boards
Job seekers often rely solely on job boards for finding employment opportunities. This is not the most effective way to find a job, never mind a good one.
When you decide to look for a new job, don't make job boards a primary part of your job search strategy. Everyone else is doing that, and competition is not only fierce but most of the "good" job opportunities never actually get posted on those sites (ever hear of the hidden job market?). Companies prefer to post jobs internally before using a job board to find qualified candidates. They may also reach out to previous applicants whose resumes are already on file.
Focus your efforts on gaining access to the hidden job market where the best job opportunities are usually found. How? Well, that brings us to our last point...
3. Network Your Way Into Your Dream Companies
A targeted and proactive job search, one that is built on an interview bucket list and also doesn't rely on job boards, is not complete without a clear networking strategy. If you ask a frustrated job seeker whether they've prioritized networking in their job search, they'll probably mutter "no." And there lies the problem.
Networking is essential to your job search. It's arguably the most important factor in getting job opportunities and growing your career. To find a good job opportunity, network your way into your dream companies, the companies on your interview bucket list. Reach out to current employees of these companies. Connect with them and start a conversation. Explain why you'd love to work for their company one day, but don't ask for a job or for any favors. Just focus on growing your professional network and providing value however you can. When a position opens up at one of your bucket list companies, you'll probably be the first one they contact.
At the end of the day, it's all about who you know.
If you're frustrated with the lack of good job opportunities available, don't give up. By following these three tips, you can and will find the right job opportunities. Try out your new job search strategy today and finally get the good job you've wanted all along!
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