5 Ways to Improve your Job Search

Are you trying to find a new job but feel like you’re stuck in a rut and no one will hire you? Do you feel like you’ve exhausted all of the possibilities and there’s just nothing left to do? Here are a few tips you can use to improve your job search and give yourself another chance to land the job you want.

1. Get help writing your résumé. A fresh pair of eyes will be able to help you spot errors that you simply don’t notice. If you haven’t revamped your résumé in a while, now is a great time to do so. Have you already asked for someone’s help but didn’t feel like it helped your job search? This time, ask somebody else, like a professional who interviews and hires candidates. Ask a person who is going to give you honest feedback and point out any flaws so you can improve your résumé. Try to have someone review your résumé who works in your field. They should be able to point out strengths and weaknesses of your résumé and help you modify important features, such as the layout of your document. Also, remember to tailor your résumé, especially your relevant skills, for each and every job you apply for.

2. Clean up your cover letter. Your résumé may state that you are creative, well organized and proficient on the computer. But, does your cover letter say otherwise? How you write your cover letter can say more than the words you use. An employer will notice if your cover letter is dull, unorganized, or lacks proper formatting, contradicting the claims you make about your strengths in your résumé. Create your cover letter to positively represent you and your talents. That may include reformatting or rewriting your cover letter altogether.

3. Practice your skills. Offering your time and talents free of charge to a company will show a potential employer what you could provide for their business or organization. This also gives you the ability to test out the organization, and see if you like working there. An internship can provide the perfect opportunity that will reap benefits for both you and the company. If you are unable to complete an internship, think about volunteering. Non-profit organizations are a great place to volunteer your time because they are always looking for people to help out with their projects. Whether you intern for a company or volunteer for a non-profit organization, you will gain experience and be able to improve your weak or out-of-practice skills before your next job.

4. Check your own references. Make sure your references know that you’d like to list their names as you apply for jobs so they aren’t caught off guard when an employer calls to inquire about you. Tell your references what types of jobs you’re looking for and why you want to work in that field. Be specific about why you want to list them as a reference and how they helped you accomplish certain goals. Mention projects or assignments that they helped you improve on and then thank them for their generosity. Discussing your previous successes will help them point out your strong points to employers. If they can’t remember who you are, it’s time to find new references.

5. Apply through a staffing agency. A staffing agency can help you expand your job search. When you interview at one, you’re actually interviewing for several jobs at once. That’s because agencies have opportunities for direct hire, evaluation hire or temporary employment for many different companies. If you receive a temporary position, that’s a great opportunity to network by talking with co-workers and learning about other job leads. On the job, you and the company can also decide if you are the right fit, which can potentially lead to a full-time permanent position. Agencies fill a variety of positions at many organizations, so they just might help you make the connection you need.

To find the job out there with your name on it, you have to earn it. So, try using these tips when you apply for your next job. You never know; one or all of the tips could be the key to landing your next job.

Which of these tips do you have the biggest challenge with?


  1. James A. Nordhoff

    My job search has been going on since mid-November. It is getting to seem futile. This area is so chock-full of applicants and low on openings. I have experience in a lot of areas, but no Professional degrees or cerifications. So far, Express Personnel is the only company that has even called me in for an interview, and you are a job placement service!!
    Fortunately, I am still receiving unemployment compensation, but it has 14 weeks left and no extensions from Feds in sight.
    It would seem to me, with all my former jobs experience, someone would at least want to set up an interview with me, wether through your service or Michigan Works!.
    My fear is that at age 47, with no degree or job specific training, my age is a road block. Should I consider online training with financial aid? (Is such aid for online courses even available?)Microsoft Certification sounds attractive and IT network courses are attractive, as well, but will any student loan or grants invest in online courses. I can not afford to pay anything right now, as all of my family’s monetary resources are earmarked to pay mortgage and utility bills, not to mention food and gasoline. Will I get a response, when I post this?

  2. J. N.

    Don’t give up hope, Jim! You did find a job and you are still working there making just enough to squeak by with your spouse helping out, too. I am James Nordhoff of Thanksgiving 2009.
    I hope the price of oil goes lower, so gas won’t cost me so much per week, as my job is 43 miles from my house.

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