Is your job search as desperate as your dating life? We feel that.
As of January 2020, 3.6% of Americans were unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By April, the rate escalated to 14.7%, presumably because of COVID-19-related layoffs, and has hit 11% as of this writing.
These numbers obviously fluctuate all the time, but one thing remains the same: People will always be looking for jobs. And with all the competition out there, you should probably work on your résumé — and a few other things — to score the position.
When you’re looking for a new job, there are certain skills you’ll need just to get noticed. We recommend taking an online course to walk you through the specifics, but here are some pointers to get started.
Tips on finding a job
Get serious about LinkedIn. If you’re hitting that “Easy Apply” button on LinkedIn, your profile better look pristine. Convenience means there’s probably a larger applicant pool. So get a real headshot and spend more time on LinkedIn than Instagram.
Polish your résumé. It has to be precise yet show extensive expertise in your field. To hit that perfect balance, you better research what you should include. You also have to make sure your résumé impresses the computers that scan it for keywords. (Because a human doesn’t always review your résumé if it doesn’t pass software called an Applicant Tracking System.) Above all, make sure it’s free of any typos. We recommend having a friend proofread it for you.
Write a new cover letter for every job. Ah yes, everyone’s most-hated task. It’s hard to curate a tone of excitement while avoiding pesky words like “passionate.” You should write lots of cover letters, catering each to the job position. And as with your résumé, that copy better be squeaky clean.
Consider building an online portfolio. Once you have the basic documents, you can amp up your hireability with a portfolio. The best portfolios are presented online, preferably under a personal domain. There are an overwhelming amount of options, and a portfolio varies widely by field. Make sure you have a course or mentor to oversee the project.
Learn how to interview well. When you get an interview request, make sure you’re prepared. It takes a lot of confidence and knowledge to impress during the interview. You want to sound cool and friendly yet intelligent. Prepare thoughtful questions beforehand and make sure to take notes — an engaged candidate will always stand out.
Each step in the hiring process can leave you unsure. Did you do enough? Should you add another skill? We hope you find a job that you love — and pays the rent/mortgage. Here are our favorite online resources to help:
“Résumé, Networking, and Interview Skills” on edX
Dive into career development in an extensive course that comprehensively covers each step of the process.
EXPAND YOUR LINKEDIN PRESENCE
“Rock Your LinkedIn Profile” on LinkedIn Learning
Quick videos help establish a profile recruiters will love.
BEST RéSUMé INSTRUCTION
“Writing Winning Résumés and Cover Letters” on Coursera
Learn detailed résumé-writing techniques on one of the best online learning platforms.
BEST COVER LETTER ADVICE
Guided Project on Coursera
Get a set of expert eyes to look over your cover letter and help yourself stand out.
BEST INTERVIEW WORKSHOP
“Mastering Interview Skills in 1 Hour with Fortune 500 Exec” on Udemy
Learn how to ace the interview with this one-hour course.
BEST FOR BUILDING A WEBSITE
“Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization” on Coursera
Learn to design your own website so you can present your best work.