11 Types of Job-Hunting Strategies (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 19, 2022 | Published September 10, 2020

Updated May 19, 2022

Published September 10, 2020

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Looking for a new job can become a part-time job itself. When you use a variety of strategies for job hunting, so you can broaden your search to find a job more quickly. In this article, we share the importance of job-hunting methods and share 11 that you can use.

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Why is it important to have job-hunting strategies?

It's important to have job-hunting strategies so you have more outlets for finding a job. Looking for a new job can take some time, making it important to try different methods to speed up the process. By using job-hunting strategies, you can continue to progress in your career and move on to better opportunities.

11 strategies for better job hunting

Use these strategies to find a new job sooner:

Networking

By expanding your professional network, you are opening yourself up to new career opportunities. You may find that when you have more professional connections, more people can recommend you to a new position. Even using your professional network for career advice can help you become a more qualified candidate. Use your connections as a resource to further develop as a professional.

Related: Professional Networking: What It Is and How To Master It

Online job boards

What was once a corkboard in your local library has expanded to a vast network of job opportunities. Now that most job postings are digital, it's much easier to find the type of job you're looking for. You can use keywords to search for your intended job title. Likewise, many online job boards allow you to share your resume and cover letter directly with an employer.

Recruiters

Many companies use staffing agencies to fill their vacant positions. That's why working with a recruiter or headhunter can be quite helpful for your job search. After you have an initial meeting with them, they connect you to jobs within your purview. Keep in mind that recruiters work on a commission, so make sure you can negotiate a fair wage and benefits plan before accepting a job offer.

Referrals

Some companies use employee referrals to hire new staff. That's because they trust their own employees' opinions, and it can help streamline the hiring process. Although employee referrals aren't all that common, it may be worth asking a trusted friend if their company has any opportunities. If you both think you'd be a good fit for a position at their place of employment, they could recommend you. Along with helping a friend out, employees who give good referrals tend to get a nice finder's fee.

Job fairs

Job fairs are an excellent way to learn about many companies at once. Colleges, universities and companies often host job fairs. They are often organized by industry, although some have companies across many job sectors. Prior to attending a job fair, research the employers that will be there. Learn about what kind of candidates they are looking for and what job openings they have. Bring a bunch of printed resumes and business cards to hand out. Be prepared to have a mini-interview with every recruiter you speak with. Afterward, follow up with an email.

Related: The New Graduate's Guide To Job Search

Company websites

Some companies choose to keep their job postings on their website. It's worth doing an internet search of companies within your industry to begin looking at their websites. Before filling out your application, get to know who they are, what they do, and who their clients are. Knowing all of this information shows you're serious about wanting a job opportunity from them.

Cold calling

Although this method tends to be less effective, you could choose to reach out to a company directly even if they have no current job postings. You could either call directly or send an email inquiring about any possible positions they may have. As email continues to become a common form of communication, this tends to be the more appropriate option. In your email, share a little bit about yourself and why you are interested in their company. Attach an updated version of your resume and a link to your portfolio, if applicable.

Related: How To Write a Job Inquiry Email: Steps, Template and Example

Internships

If you are inexperienced, starting with an internship is a great way to build your resume and create professional connections. With some internships, you may have the opportunity to transition into a full-time role. If this is the case, make sure to put in your best effort through the course of your internship. Try to prove that you are the right person for a full-time job offer. You can do this by asking smart questions, offering to take on a new project and taking on more responsibilities as you get more comfortable with your work.

Related: How To Find a Summer Internship

Walking in

Walking into a business and asking for an application is another possibly effective way to find a job. This job-hunting strategy is only appropriate for certain jobs, such as retail, restaurant, hospitality and other service jobs. When you go into a business, make sure you look presentable and ask for the application politely. If a business is urgently hiring, they may decide to interview you on the spot, so come prepared for that chance.

Newspapers

Previously, most job postings were in the local newspaper. Although this is less common, you can still find many jobs in the job opening section of a newspaper. Check out the newspapers in your town to see different opportunities. Many of these publications have online versions too.

Volunteering

Volunteering at an organization is one way to increase your chances of getting a job there. This is especially true for nonprofits that may not currently have the funds to hire you right now. If they see you as a hard worker and someone integral to the organization, you may be more qualified when a paying job does open up. Even if you can't get a job there, having volunteer experience looks good on a resume, expands your network and helps you learn more about roles you may want to pursue.

Tips for better job hunting

Follow these tips to increase your chances of getting a job offer:

  • Update your resume. Having a solid resume is one of the most important parts of finding a job because it's an employer's first impression of you. Make sure all of your information is current and accurate. Double-check for any grammar or formatting errors and have another person look it over, too.

  • Tailor your resume and cover letter. These materials should always be specific to the job you're applying to. You can save generalized copies of each and then tweak them to better fit the specific responsibilities and qualifications of the job you want. Search a job posting for keywords that you can add to your resume. This can help you get past any applicant tracking systems.

  • Be prepared for anything. Throughout your job search, you may be surprised by what can happen. For example, if a company is urgently hiring, they may ask for an interview right away. Likewise, a company may get back to you with a job offer months later. Being flexible and ready for the unexpected can help you improve your chances of getting a job.

  • Act kindly to everyone. When entering a business, be kind to everyone you interact with. You never know if they will have input on an employer's hiring decision.

  • Apply to jobs you are under-qualified for. Although you should direct your focus on jobs you're qualified for, still feel free to apply to jobs where you may not check off every single requirement. If you think you are a good fit for the job, the employer may decide to give you a chance. You'll never know if you refrain from applying.

  • Send follow-up emails. After talking to a recruiter or having an initial interview, always send a follow-up thank-you email the next day. Explain that you are still interested in the position and enjoyed speaking with them. This shows employers that you are courteous and professional.

  • Keep track of the jobs you apply to. When you're actively looking for a new job, you may send in dozens of applications. In an Excel sheet, write down which jobs you applied to and when. This way, you won't accidentally apply to a job twice and you can remember when to follow up with an employer. If you apply for a job and don't hear back from an employer a few weeks past the job application's deadline, you can send them an email inquiring about their hiring timeline.

  • Learn job keywords. Since search engines and career websites use keywords to help you find jobs, learn which keywords are applicable to the kind of job you want. Play around with different job titles that are similar to find a wider range of job postings.

  • Ask for informational interviews. Reaching out to companies for informational interviews is a great way to show your interest and get to know more about their organization. By making a good impression during this meeting, they may remember you when they have a job opening.

  • Be mindful of your online presence. Some hiring managers look at an applicant's social media to learn more about them. Always be mindful of the type of content you share on social media. Keep it courteous and professional. If you don't want an employer to see your postings, make sure to set your profiles to private.

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