Let’s face it; job hunting can be an overwhelming but rewarding experience. Rewarding because you have acquired your degree or work experience and you’re ready to begin a career. Overwhelming because you wonder what job site to start with. Then, when you’ve found that job site, you wonder what title you should use for the search bar? Should you look for a specific industry? Date posted? What about experience level? Location? You are comfortable staying local but open to relocating for the perfect opportunity. But then what location should you put?
These are the numerous amount of questions that flow through your head when applying for a job. Well no need to fear, a veteran is here, to guide you through the way. In this article and based upon my experience as a veteran job seeker, I will provide some tips and advice on how you can limit your anxiety and enjoy searching for a career without feeling overwhelmed.
Job filters and their functions:
If you are looking to stay local, my first advice is to start within proximity and work your way out. Typically, a job site will give you two search bars at first; job title and location. For job title, insert what you’re interested in! Operations? Marketing? Human Resources? Once you’ve got that, choose a city that is the closest and ideally the largest. From there, you can filter the miles and slowly include cities within 5, 10, or 15 miles from that location.
If you are open to relocating, you can search for jobs within a state. Some job sites, like LinkedIn, let you search for jobs worldwide. No matter the case, once you’ve got your desired position and location, you’re ready to begin exploring and filtering.
It should be a little easier beginning this way because from here, you can start to filter your job search by salary estimate, job type (full-time, part-time, etc.), experience level (mid, entry, senior) and company. You may also filter by relevance or date. Either option is excellent but keep in mind that newer postings may be more competitive because they’re “fresh.” While older postings may result in employers looking to fill their open role quickly (or they may be hard on who they hire). One never knows so the best thing you can do is apply to what you feel is a good fit.
Many people will have their own opinion as to how much time should be devoted to applying to open roles. Some say, apply to as many positions you’re qualified for. Others may say, spend 40 hours a week, as if job hunting were a job. The truth is, there is no correct number of jobs or an exact number of hours. Do one position at a time. Research that company by looking at their website, social media pages, company reviews and even LinkedIn profiles. Make sure they are the right company for you before you decide you are the right candidate for them.
My last recommendation is to stay organized. Create an excel spreadsheet that lists the job title, company, what application source you used (LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter), date applied, job rate/salary, location and even the website. Creating an excel spreadsheet will help you keep track of your job submissions so that when you receive a call for an interview, you can quickly look up that company’s profile information.
Remember, job hunting can be an overwhelming but rewarding experience. You are the job seeker and the process is in your control, so stay calm and don’t overwhelm yourself.