12 Must Read Tips for 2023 Job Seekers

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KEY POINTS

  • An updated, easy-to-read resume is more likely to catch an employer's eye.
  • Now is a good time to build a network and work with a mentor.
  • Target companies that are a good cultural fit.

Remember to be kind to yourself as you look for a new job.

As the No. 1 job site for hand-screened remote jobs, FlexJobs is in a position to know the types of things that capture an employer's attention. It also recognizes the issues that may cause an employer to toss your resume to the side. Recently, FlexJobs shared its top 12 tips for job seekers with The Ascent. Here's what they are.

1. Update your resume

If it's been a while since you polished your resume, it may be time to update it by adding any new skills and experiences that may be missing.

Before sending your resume out, ask someone you trust to look it over and offer their honest opinion. Are there things you should cut or anything you're missing? Is it neat and easy to read? Would they want to hire you if they received your resume?

Finally, customize your resume to align with each job you apply for. Let's say you're applying for a remote position. Highlight everything about your past experience that lends itself to working remotely. For example, you may point out the organizational skills it took to master one job or the self-motivation you showed in another.

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2. Clean up social media

Recruiters and hiring managers regularly check social media to better understand who you are and what you offer. If there are photos of a drunken trip to Cancun or nasty comments about an ex-partner, get rid of those. Going forward, you may want to consider how anything you post to social media will reflect on you the next time you want a promotion or meet your significant other's family.

3. Solidify your professional brand

To create your own "brand," find a way to highlight your skills and experiences. That may mean setting up a social media account dedicated to your professional accomplishments. Think you don't have enough experience to share? You do. Even if you're just starting out, you've certainly picked up skills that employers can use.

Talk about what you've learned on the job. Repost articles about what's going on in your field. Ask open-ended questions that inspire others to engage. For example, if you're in banking, ask followers to share the most challenging customer service experience they've ever dealt with.

4. Find a mentor

The perfect mentor is someone a few years ahead of you on the career ladder. Meet with them on a regular basis for guidance on career-related questions. Ask for tips on handling your job search.

Where do you find a mentor? It may be someone you've worked with in the past or someone you meet through a professional organization. For example, if you're looking for a job dealing with life insurance, google professional organizations for that industry.

Whether you meet in person or virtually, those connections can be important.

5. Grow your network

Step out of your comfort zone by attending in-person or virtual career fairs, joining a professional organization, or reaching out to others in your field. The idea is to build a solid and well-nurtured network that you can turn to any time career issues arise.

6. Spruce up your skills

No matter how good you are at your job, there's always room for growth. Search through job descriptions to learn what employers in your field are looking for. If your education and skills don't match, take steps to acquire the skills employers seek. It may be as simple as taking a weekend course or online class.

7. Organize your home office

If you're working from home, now is the perfect time to clean your office and purge it of unneeded items. While you're at it, clear out the digital clutter. Get rid of unimportant files and programs so your computer will run more efficiently.

Studies show that a clean and organized space promotes feelings of calm and helps you focus.

8. Clearly define what you want

Figure out what you want in a job. For example, do you want to work remotely 100% of the time, be in an office full-time, or a hybrid of the two? Do you want a flexible schedule or set work hours? Are you an introvert who would prefer a behind-the-scenes job, or do you want to be out front dealing with the public?

Having a clear picture of what you want helps you focus your energy on the jobs that are likely to make you happiest.

9. Target specific companies

Once you know what you want, target the type of companies that will be a good logistical and cultural fit for you. One way to get started is by using LinkedIn. Look up a company you admire and can see yourself working for. Then, look for the "similar pages" section on the right side to help you find other companies that may appeal to you.

10. Follow up with employers

It's easy to shy away from following up once you've sent a job application. As awkward as it may feel, checking in is expected and may be just what you need to get your resume in front of a hiring manager. If you haven't heard anything in a week or two, reach out to ensure your application was submitted successfully and to ask if the employer has any questions.

11. Practice interviewing skills

Ask a friend or family member to participate in a mock interview. They ask you common interview questions, and you practice giving direct answers. The more you practice, the easier it will become.

12. Prioritize mental and physical health

Searching for a job can take a toll. It's easy to feel down or stressed. As you look for a job this year, make a resolution to keep your spirits up and focus on your health. You can do that by setting aside time to do things you enjoy. And remember to reward yourself for any successes, no matter how small they may seem.

It's the rare soul who enjoys job hunting. Still, the better you prepare, the more likely it is that you'll land a fulfilling position.

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