6 Tips for Getting Your Job Search Started

Whether you’re looking for your first job, or you’ve been in the game for a while and are considering a change in careers, you may have better opportunities now than in the recent past. According to Gallup, the National Jobs Creation Index recently reached its highest point in the last six years. Instead of just basking in the good news and hoping the market does the work for you, adopt a proactive attitude in order to beat the competition. To help get on the company dime faster, check out these six job-search tips.

1. Review your online reputation

Begin your job search by preparing your resume and online presence. Google yourself and look for any negative information. If you find any, check out the website Reputation for ways to push that information down in the search results.

2. Make your resume stand out

There are plenty of ways to make your resume stand out from the competition. You should have a few resumes specifically tailored to the different industries in which you are applying. Instead of simply stating your qualifications, back them up with data. If you improved sales by 10 percent in a particular year, mention that. And it goes without saying: Make sure your resume is error-free and grammatically correct.

3. Streamline your jobs list

Instead of hopping on a job board and applying for every posting that’s remotely related to your skill set, take some time and form a list of the top companies you’d like to work for. Target those first to see if there are jobs available for you, and, if nothing pans out, you can always go back and add more. Using a “blast” application strategy is typically a waste of time.

4. Use mobile apps

There are many mobile job-search tools available so you can search wherever you are. Ladders has a free mobile app which can help match your skill set with currently available jobs. Other helpful apps include Bump, which allows easy exchange of business cards and can be helpful in your networking efforts. Finally, Interview Buzz PRO offers tips on how to nail your interview.

5. Interview better

Start all interviews off with a firm handshake. As for the tone of the conversation, be confident but not arrogant – there is a difference. When given the opportunity to ask questions at the end – always do so. Prepare a list for easy reference. Inquire about how the process may move along after the first interview, then tailor your follow-up strategy accordingly. If you’re told not to call or email, abide by that. If follow-up is encouraged, don’t forget to do it.

6. Take advantage of tax breaks

Generally, the tax breaks associated with your job search only apply if you’re looking in your current industry – and first-time job seekers are ineligible. But if your job search qualifies, keep track of resume preparation expenses and postage, travel expenses, and any fees paid to employment agencies. For more guidance, check out IRS Publication 529.

Finally, as an overall tip for your job search, be patient – and don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t find the perfect job the moment you begin your search. Stay the course, keep working hard, and eventually good things will come your way.