6 Effective Ways to Find a Job

By Staff Writer Published on February 21, 2017

Searching for a job can often feel exhausting, and discouraging. Here are a few tips for making this necessary process as painless as possible.

1. Understand and build your personal brand

Spend some time figuring out what will get the attention of a prospective employer and tailor your résumé to each job you apply for. Further your education, attend training courses for specific areas in which you feel weak, or obtain certifications. Focus on making yourself as strong a candidate as possible and standing out from the crowd of similar job-seekers.

2. Develop soft skills

“Hard skills” are measurable, teachable skills, like using computer programs and technical knowledge about your job, as opposed to “soft skills,” which are less quantifiable and refer to traits that allow you to successfully and cooperatively interact with others. Qualities like friendliness, adaptability, and clear communication are attractive to prospective employers because they are difficult to teach.

3. Research good answers for common job interview questions

There are two things you want to do here. One, understand the company’s reasons for the questions they’re asking you. And two, go over your answers in advance. Don’t memorize your entire response; it sounds rehearsed and your interviewer(s) will notice. Instead, focus on “sound bites” – short phrases or sentences that you make sure to include because they showcase a particular skill or impressive quality of yours. Sound bites help you prepare for interviews without sounding unnatural.

4. Network, network, network

Surprising as it may sound, networking is the most powerful job-search tool out there. Fair or not, it’s a fact that your next employment opportunity is often not so much about what you know, but rather whom. Face-to-face networking is best, but there are also online communities such as LinkedIn or Facebook that can be useful. Friends, family, and neighbors are great people to start networking with, but strive to expand your circle—talk to coworkers, professionals you meet at conferences, business owners, and professors.

5. Make the job search part of your daily routine

Don’t let a day go by that you don’t work on something related to your job search. It could be something as simple as submitting applications to jobs you find online or attending a networking conference in your area. Other ideas include updating your résumé, going to a job fair, following up on a job interview, or even seeking advice from a mentor, which could be someone in your network or a former professor.

6. Don’t forget to follow up

It can be easy to lose hope, but it is important to follow up with prospective employers after a job interview. You never know what will happen in the hiring process, and someone who follows up is more likely to be remembered. Be professional and express your interest, but try not to sound desperate. This list of dos and don’ts is a good reference if you’re unsure.

The college does not guarantee a job. Gaining employment is the graduate’s responsibility.