Having a job that you love is everyone’s dream but finding the right one can take a little time and work. Job searches can be exhausting and applying or interviewing can be a little intimidating, but when you find the right job for you, it’s worth the time and effort.
Whether you’re looking for employment for the first time in your young adult life or you’re trying to find a job that’s better suited for your skills, we have created a comprehensive guide that will tell you how to get a job and make the whole process easier and stress-free.
Before we get into the full guide, it's important to take a step back and look at the overall picture of why you're searching for a job: to build wealth.
Am I right?
Here's some wise advice from Todd, a well known Money Coach, on how important it is to acquire the right skills at the right time…
“Focus on increasing your earning power while you’re young. Work for maximum experience (rather than maximum money) early because rare and valuable skills will command a higher income.
The reason maximizing your earning capacity is important is because your wealth is determined by two ratios: your savings rate as a percent of your income, and your return on investment minus inflation. Your savings rate is the most important number in your early years and your return on investment is more important in later years. In other words, the more you earn the easier it is to save thus increasing your wealth.”
-Todd Tresidder, money coach at FinancialMentor.com
Finding Job Opportunities
Decades ago, searching for a job meant buying a newspaper and reading the classifieds or visiting businesses and asking for an application. Today, the Internet has made searching for a job easy and convenient. In fact, if you want to know if someone is hiring, it may only be advertised online.
Even though online searches have made finding a job that much easier, it still requires a little time on your part. If there’s a specific company you want to work for, the best thing to do is go to their website and check out their employment opportunities.
If they have any jobs available, there’s a good chance that they will post them on the site. If no job openings are available, you are often encouraged to check back frequently or even sign up to be on a mailing list.
Use Online Job Search Engines
A general google search for jobs will give you an overwhelming amount of results. Start your online search by checking out online job search engines like Glassdoor, Zip Recruiter, Snagajob, and Indeed. You can sign up for an account, upload a resume, and narrow your search to make your search better suited for your skills, interests, and location.
Use Your State’s Job Bank
Similar to online job search engines, you can search for jobs on your state’s online job bank. You have the option to narrow your search based on location and other factors. While you may see some of the same jobs you see on other sites, it’s a great additional resource.
If you want to know how to get a job, networking is key. While many prospective employers hire employees based on skills and experience, a lot of who you know and making connections.
Networking with former employers, professors, other professionals, and anyone who has a good relationship with you and knows your skills is important. You never know when a recommendation or a “good word” can come in handy.
Attend Job Fairs
Notice that a job fair is coming to your college campus? Don’t pass up the opportunity to attend the job fair. Job fairs allow you the rare chance to meet with recruiters from companies and to network. You may even have the opportunity to fill out an application or share your portfolio. Even if you walk away without a solid job lead, you probably obtained some helpful information.
We all know that social media is a fun networking tool, but it’s also a great resource when you’re on the hunt for a job. Take a little time to make sure your social media profiles look professional and set some information to “private.” If you have a LinkedIn account, keep it updated and check in on a regular basis as you will receive notifications of jobs in your area or field.
If you use sites like Twitter, you can follow a company you want to work for but keep your account professional and stay away from controversial topics.
How to Apply for A Job
Once you have found a few good job opportunities, you should start applying. Even if you aren’t sure if you are a perfect candidate, it never hurts to apply. Organization and goals can be helpful.
Use a Calendar
Whether you use a regular wall calendar or the one on your smartphone, planning out your job search will not only keep you organized but motivated, too. If you’re planning on applying for a job, be sure to mark down the application deadline on your calendar.
Make a Spreadsheet
Like calendars, spreadsheets are a great tool to keep you organized when applying. Consider making columns for who you had reached out to, where you have applied, when you applied, and when you interviewed. Don’t forget to update your spreadsheet every day.
Some job searches take longer for some people than others. If you apply for one job and get hired right away, consider yourself to be lucky. To get the most out of your job search (and without feeling disheartened), set goals such as how many jobs you want to apply to each week. Just like your spreadsheet, stay on track and don’t stray from your goal.
How to Follow Up on A Job Application
You’ve applied for a job, now what? Anyone who has ever wondered how to get a job has faced this sometimes-challenging stage. When you apply for a job time can feel as if it’s going by slow, especially if it’s a position you want badly.
How Long Should You Wait?
Even though you might be tempted to contact the company a few days after you applied, wait a bit. This is particularly important if you applied to a major corporation like Google. Also, be mindful of the deadline. If you applied well before the date, it might be awhile before you hear anything.
A good rule is to wait for anywhere between one to two weeks (unless someone at the company told you differently). You don’t want to come across as too pushy or impatient.
Ways to Follow Up
Some of the best ways to follow up are through an email, LinkedIn, a phone call, or even in person. Depending on the position and how you applied, it may be more personable or appropriate to call or stop in to talk to someone. Many companies, when hiring, will give recommendations for how (and when) to follow up.
What to Say
Knowing what to say is not only good practice for a potential interview, but is often an opportunity to make a first impression. So, what should you say? First off, always be positive, confident, polite, and respectful.
Get straight to the point without seeming rude. Tell them why you’re contacting them (because you’re interested in the job), give them a few reasons why you are interested, and why it’s a great fit.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Do you have questions after applying for a position? You don’t need to wait until you get an interview, to ask. Questions are good, and in many cases, it shows a prospective employer that you’re interested and isn't afraid to ask questions.
Keep It Short
It’s important to remember that a follow-up call is not the same as an interview. Keeping a conversation short and to the point is respectful and makes a good impression. Don’t ramble on and on unless the person that you are talking to encourages you to elaborate.
Job Interview Tips
A job interview can be one of the most nerve-wracking things about searching for a job. The better you’re prepared, the more likely you’ll land the job. One of the most important things to remember when you’re learning how to get a job is to ace the interview.
Do Your Research
Taking time to do a little research on the company and the position you are interviewing for can help calm your nerves and impress the interviewers. Prepare a few questions and ask them at the right time.
When doing your research, try to find out as much as you can about the position itself and some of the expectations. If possible, show or tell the interviewers about a project or work that you have done that’s similar to the position (here’s where a portfolio may be helpful). Preparedness shows the company that you’re serious about the position.
Dress To Impress
Even if you’re applying for a position that has a casual dress code, be sure to dress well. Make sure your clothes are ironed, your shoes are clean and polished, and that you’ve showered. If you wear cologne, lotions, or perfume, use them sparingly; enough to make you smell nice but not too overpowering.
Show Confidence, Be Professional, and Yourself
When you’re trying to make a good first impression, it can be difficult to “be yourself,” but do it anyway. Try to be confident if you’re nervous, be friendly but professional, and show a little bit of personality. Use manners but don’t act so different from what you’re used to otherwise you may forget all the important things about the interview.
Always Be on Time
Showing up to an interview on time is a “must.” Even if you forget to iron your shirt or brush your teeth, showing up on time or even a bit early is essential. Some interviewers will cancel an interview if the candidate shows up late, don’t take that risk.
Don’t Forget to Say That You Want the Job
An interview can last as long as five minutes to an hour, and during that time you’ll discuss a lot of different things. Regardless of the time you have, don’t forget to tell the interviewer that you want the job. Be clear why you want it and why it’s a priority in your life. Discuss aspects of the job that you love, not just the salary or hours.
Even if you feel like the interview didn’t go as well as it could or you decided that the job might not be a great fit for you, continue to be courteous and respectful. Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for taking time to meet with you and offer the opportunity for an interview.
When you’re learning how to get a job, you have to remember what to do after the interview. Here are some important post-interview steps.
Before You Hear Back
After your interview, you may feel confident or not-so-great about how it went. Regardless of how you feel, there are some “musts” you need to do after your interview.
Sending a thank you note is polite and respectful but also shows the interviewers that you’re interested in the job. It will also leave a good impression, which can help you later on in your job search.
Prepare For a Follow Up Interview
While some companies don’t have a follow-up interview, it’s always a good idea to prepare for one. Think about the interview or do a little additional research to come up with some questions. Avoid wearing the same clothes you did to the first interview.
Continue the Application Process
Even if you feel confident that you may get the job, don’t stop applying for positions. You never know if something better suited will become available.
If You Don’t Get the Job
Not getting the job you applied for can be frustrating and a hit to your confidence. Don’t give up or get down on yourself. If you’re able to, ask the interviewers why you weren’t selected for the position and consider any advice they offer.
How To Negotiate A Job Offer
Getting a job offer is a great feeling but before you say “yes,” you may want to do a little negotiating, especially if you aren’t happy with the salary or another aspect of the job. Here are a few tips to remember when negotiating:
Remain polite. Sounding too demanding or rude will make you less likable, and they may take back the offer and give it to someone else.
Be clear about what you want, why you want it, and why you think you deserve what you’re asking for (such as working from home or a salary increase). Additionally, be prepared to answer any questions they have.
How to Accept a Job Offer
As much as you’d love to just scream out “yes!” at a job offer, there’s a better way to accept a job offer. When a company offers you a job that you want to accept, don’t forget to show your appreciation and tell them that you’re excited.
It’s also a wise idea to ask for the offer in writing. Not only does it make the offer official but it will put all the details, such as starting date and salary, in writing. When saying “yes,” be sure to reiterate some of the important details about the position. Accepting a job this way will clear any confusion about your position.
How to Decline a Job Offer
Now and then, you may receive a job offer for a position you don’t want or can’t take. Rather than just saying “no,” or worse, ignoring it, there are appropriate and polite ways to decline an offer.
The best thing you can do is offer a sincere thank you, either in a note or on the phone, and give a few reasons why you’re declining. Choose your words wisely and always be professional and polite.
Tips to Keep in Mind
We have shared a lot of information on how to get a job and even if you feel relatively prepared to start your job search, there are some additional tips to keep in mind.
Match Your Resume to the Job Description
When applying for jobs, it’s important to customize your resume to the job description. There are many helpful examples online that will show you how to do this. By matching your resume to the job description, you’re increasing your chances of being selected for an interview.
Be sure to include relevant information in your resume and use language that’s professional and sophisticated. Unless the application or job description says otherwise, avoid a casual and vague tone.
Like we mentioned earlier, networking is everything. Select references who can speak highly of you and are professional. Always ask a reference before you put them down on your resume or application.
Write a Cover Letter
Cover letters are brief but make the first impression with prospective employers. Even if it doesn’t seem important or you don’t need one, write one. Be sure to customize it to the job description.
Don’t Apply to Every Job
While you should be open to applying for a variety of jobs, don’t apply for every job available. It’s best to invest your time in a position that showcases your skills and job background. Remember, don’t stop applying until you have a job.
Keep Your Social Media Clean
As we mentioned earlier, don’t forget to keep your social media clean and professional looking. Interviewers are likely to check you out online before or after an interview.
Deliver Your Application and Resume in Person
Whenever possible, deliver your application and resume in person. Some companies specifically ask applicants to apply online, not in person. Dress well and always proofread your resume and application before submitting.
Here are a few frequently asked questions to give you additional information when learning how to get a job.
How Can I Get a Job Fast?
Ideally, the whole process of job hunting would take a day or less. The quickest way to get a job is to follow the process that we’ve shared with you. Take a little time to follow all the steps and do everything right. While this may take longer than you want, it will be more likely to secure you a job.
How Do You Get a Job if You Have No Experience?
Trying to get a job with no experience can be challenging but everyone needs to start somewhere. There are jobs out there for people who don’t have experience; you just need to do research, remain confident, and be patient. Even if you need to take a job you don’t love to gain some skills, it may be a good starting point
How Do I Get a Job in Another State?
If you’re interested in moving and working in a different state, start by looking at that state’s online job search website. You can also find jobs in that area when narrowing your search on other online job search sites.
How Do I Get a Job at 16?
If you’re 16, you’re probably searching for your first job. Be sure to select positions that will hire 16-year-olds and don’t be afraid to network. Even if your experience is limited, count the work you have done (such as babysitting) and volunteer work.
How Do You Get Experience for a Job?
Gaining experience for a job you want can be challenging, but it can be done through internships, networking, and volunteering. A lot depends on the type of work you want to do and the skills you already have.