The year 2020 was super weird. Here we are two years later, and it feels like so many “normal things” still just aren’t the same. Businesses everywhere have NOW HIRING signs up and proprietors of all types complain about how they just can’t find people.
The job market in 2022 is a strange new place. While I’m not sure where all the people have gone, I know that finding a great job and hiring great people has always been a challenge. Since working in career services many years ago, I’ve found a sort of knack for helping friends with career moves and connecting employers to qualified individuals. These tips might be helpful for you, a family member, or a teen child looking for their next position.
If you’re seeking a job of any kind, remember to utilize your network. At a conference this week, some research was shared that 80% of jobs are won through personal connections! This means that your neighbors, family members, former coworkers, and social media contacts are a great place to start your search (whether you are seeking a position or hiring for one)!
Remember the basics of job searching:
- Update your resume. Focus on the skills you’ve gained and the special services or experiences that have enhanced your profession. De-emphasize all the positions you’ve had in the past and highlight the key selling features of why someone should hire you.
- Know what you’re going after. Even if you are targeting a few different job types, focus each cover letter and resume draft on that specific industry or position type. It’s important that the information doesn’t sound generic but is customized to the type of job you want to attain.
- Put your best foot forward. Even the most casual or artsy positions can require certain levels of professionalism. If you’re seeking a job at a bank, you’ll need to match the level of dress and formality that other bankers are wearing. If you have a construction background, it’s ok to match the tone of the building profession. But whatever industry you are interested in, make sure your appearance is neat and clean, and appropriate for that type of work. Consider cleaning up your social media profiles if disparaging information or photos that could be deemed really unprofessional or extremely offensive can be found. Whether you admit to it or not, people are looking! You wouldn’t want to get passed over for a great opportunity because of something someone dug up online.
- Utilize LinkedIn for the career connector that it is! Everyone should have a complete LinkedIn profile, no matter what field you’re in. A nice headshot (smiling, decent lighting, no other heads cropped out of the photo!) should be the first thing your prospective employers or contacts see. You can even take a nice photo with your phone if the background is simple and the lighting is good. A quick YouTube search can help with this! Make sure you include an interesting headline about your career path – make it interesting and dynamic not just some drab line about your last title or position. Fill out your past employment section, add as much additional information as you can, and ask friends and coworkers to send recommendations. After all, most people find a job through their network, so you might as well start building out your LinkedIn network for free to see where it takes you. I’ve received job opportunities, and client opportunities, and connected with other people through LinkedIn. It works!
If you’re able to do so, tell everyone you know that you are job searching and the type of position you are seeking. I’ve seen people post on Facebook, in neighborhood groups, and on LinkedIn — that’s a great place to get started and get the word out. You never know who might see it! Also, check local job fairs and online job boards like www.worknola.com. It’s also ok to reach out to employers directly and ask if they have openings in your desired field or if they plan to soon. You might not hear back, but you never know if you don’t ask.
Best wishes to you in your job searching endeavors! Present yourself in the most professional light to make a great first impression. Remember to stay true to yourself and honest about our qualifications, but open to new opportunities that might arise.