Job searching is stressful — some tips to make it less so

Scrabble Job Search - Photo by Amtec Photos (amtec.us.com)

Job searching is stressful.

Job searching while unemployed is even more stressful.

Job searching while unemployed and dealing with bouts of depression is most stressful.

But it can be easier, can be less daunting of an experience. I’m hoping what I’ve used over the years can help you get through the grind of looking for gainful employment.

  • Be prepared to approach the job search like a typical workday. Updating your résumé and profile for every job site are your main duties. Many of the job sites allow you to upload a PDF or .docx version of your résumé and automatically import the fields for you. Don’t expect a perfect import; review each job entry, skill, etc.
  • Use general job sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Hired, and LinkedIn; industry-specific job sites (e.g. Dice), and local job search sites (e.g. worknola.com). I provide specifics on these below.
  • I recommend checking the box you’re open to moving (if you can). I say this because, through my experience talking with people and companies, potential employers will work with you regarding relocation or flexible working hours. You never know what’s possible unless you put yourself out there and ask.
  • If the job site has the option, change the “Distance From” location of the search. Typically, there are options for 2, 10, 25+ miles. Try increasing the miles and be open to a slightly longer commute.
  • If you’ve switched careers, don’t forget the skills you have from past careers and positions. They can apply across fields and positions.For example, I was a computer and printer technician for seven years but switched full-time to being a web developer. When I didn’t find any viable options for web developers after a few weeks, I tapped into my IT support background and searched for positions in that area, which tremendously opened up my options. The most difficult part was explaining what I’d been doing in recent years and showing that my skill set was still current and relevant, and I could do the job regardless of time away from it being my professional day-to-day.
  • Expand the search terms by making them broader, less specific.For instance, I’m most proficient as a front-end web developer and have strong chops in the back-end, but by changing the search from “front-end web developer” to “web developer”, it produced more results to sift through. Many times companies don’t specify the exact candidate they’re looking for in the title, but it is clear once you read the position description, qualifications, and duties.
  • Conversely, if your search terms are too broad, focus on a niche skill set you possess, or specific job title you’re interested in and search for that.

New Job Search

Indeed Prime is a complementary free service to the normal Indeed job search. Upon answering some questions, you can expect to hear from companies about potential positions.

Prime offers a short Work Style Assessment. It helps to focus or even realize the ideal position type and company culture you’d be best to work in. It is a simple choice between a stream of two images; pick which one speaks to you most. You can keep the results to yourself or share them publicly and with prospective employers.

Here are my results in case you’re interested in what to expect from the assessment: Work Style Assessment results. The entries with 100% for my results are all spot on. Remarkable.

ZipRecruiter can be your friend. After importing your résumé, set up the 1-click applications with real-time email alerts. When companies view your application and résumé, you’ll receive an alert. Text message notifications for potential jobs are also available.  I’ve removed ZipRecruiter from my recommendation as i’ve noticed that most of the emails i receive regarding potential jobs redirect to spammy websites. Not good.

Hired i forgot about. They sent me an email an hour ago enticing me to use them again. I was instantly in love with their onboarding to update my profile, fill out the questionnaire about where i’d like to work, how much money i wanted — with financial charts on-screen to let me know if i was lowballing myself based on experience! — and if i was a part of any networks or organizations. Took about 25 minutes to update everything to my liking, review, and submit. Check them out. Here’s my affiliate link — if you get hired through the Hired Marketplace, i get money. You can do the same with your own links. 

Hired.com email screenshot getting me back
Hired.com with the out of the blue email to retain me.

Sign up for the 30-Day free trial of LinkedIn Premium. I find having insight into who is and what companies are looking at my profile very useful. The insights help with researching what the market is looking like, what companies are looking for in candidates and how I stack up.

Google’s Job Search automatically displays results if the word “job” or “jobs” is in your search query. Here’s an example for New Orleans tech gigs.

Facebook Jobs is becoming more useful. Be prepared to scroll and scroll for open positions, however. The filtering is barebones, with removing internships the only one of much use to me.

Local job search boards can be rife with opportunities and are less known — a positive and negative for job search. For the companies that post on these boards, their focus is on local applicants. Fewer people apply on these boards because they don’t rank as high on Google or other search engines, so they’re unaware of their existence.

And that’s it. I probably have more tips in me, but I think these are a good start. If you have anything to add or anything to ask, please do so in the comments.

Cheers and peace.

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Sarvi J
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Sarvi J

Excellent, Mac!
Also I recently learned about Jobscan. You can copy and paste your resume in one slot and then the job description in another. Then the website tells you how well your resume matches the position AND makes suggestions on how to change wording and key words to stand out to employers.