The Ultimate Job Search Guide For 2022 and Beyond With PDF Download

Looking for a new job or switching your career path is no joke! You must prepare for interviews, create a professional resume, write a cover letter, and gain skills to land your dream job.

No wonder most job seekers find job hunting a long, tedious, and tiring process. And if you don’t know where to start, job hunting can become more challenging for you!

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry! We’ve created this job search guide for 2022 and beyond to help job candidates land their desired position effortlessly. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know from start to end for a successful job search. That said, let’s begin!

Before You Start Job Search, You Need to Know When Actually Companies Start Hiring

You cannot predict the month or time of the year when you’ll have to hunt for jobs. Your company may kick you out any time of the year, and you’ll soon find yourself looking for opportunities online or offline.

Yet, there are some months when companies are hiring actively. Most companies have vacancies during January and February. That’s because this is the time when businesses gain momentum and are growing.

Besides, the new year brings new beginnings. So, hiring managers have several job opportunities at this time.

Additionally, months like March, April, May, September, and October are also great for job searching. But you should avoid looking for a new opportunity in summer and December.

The Ultimate Job Search Guide for a Successful Job Hunt

The job search process is not a cakewalk. You need to put in a lot of effort and look for opportunities in the right way to land a job faster.

Most job seekers complain to have been job searching for several months but have not gotten a satisfactory response. And that’s because they don’t prepare for job hunting or don’t know the right approach to search for employment.

In this section, we’ll cover the step-wise approach you need to follow for a successful job search:

Step #1. Define Your Career Goals

This is a pre-step in your job hunt journey where you must determine your career goals. That means you have to define what your ideal career looks like. Consider factors like what you want to do, your preferred company culture, salary expectations, growth opportunities, and your responsibilities.

Also, determine if you possess the skills and experience required to achieve your career goals. Ask yourself if you want a remote, full-time, or part-time job and the preferred job location.

Again, check if you need to update your resume if you are switching careers. And before applying for a senior role, ensure you have the skills and capability to handle your responsibilities.

Freshers are often not sure about which career path to choose. If you are a fresher, you can take a job, try it for a year, and change it if you aren’t satisfied.

Step #2: Update your Résumé to Highlight Job Skills

Your prospective employers will only take 5 to 6 seconds to shortlist your application through your resume. That justifies why you should create a professional and concise resume before submitting it to the hiring manager.

Your resume must have separate sections highlighting your skills, strengths, achievements, work experience, etc. Your potential employer should clearly understand the position you have applied for.

Following are the must-haves in a resume:

Use a Professional Email Address

You shouldn’t submit an unprofessional email address to your prospective employer at any cost. Before resume writing, create a professional email address using your name and list the same in your resume. The email address can be of the form:

{firstname} + {lastname} +

Mention Achievements Instead of Responsibilities

Your hiring manager will already be aware of your responsibilities at your previous company. So, avoid listing your responsibilities in your resume. Instead, mention your achievements or highlight projects where you stood out.

Stick to Relevant Work Experience

If you are going for a career change, your previous work experience is useless, so don’t include it in your CV. Similarly, your potential employers won’t be interested in knowing about your 10 years ago internship or volunteering experience.

You should only list the recent and relevant work experience in your resume. Also, don’t go into the deeper details.

Back Up Your Skills

You should have a practical example to prove how you applied all the skills, including soft and hard skills, in real life. Don’t just list random skills in your resume, if you cannot justify it.

Also, only mention the transferable skills from your previous work. Do not list an irrelevant skill set to show your employer.

Make Your Resume Ats [applicant Tracking Systems]-friendly

Most companies use ATS to shortlist resumes before conducting job interviews. ATS directly filters out irrelevant, poorly-structured resumes. That’s why you should emphasize creating an applicant tracking system-friendly resume that contains job-relevant keywords and skills.

Use a Resume Builder

In this era of technology, there is software for everything. Similarly, you don’t need to create your resume manually. You can use online resume builders to create a professional resume.

Such builders do proper formatting for your resume to make it through ATS. They also use standard headings and fonts to give it a professional look.

Resume Building Tips

Resume building itself is a vast topic. And you can get overwhelmed learning the tips and tricks to building a perfect resume. To ease you out, we’ve compiled some essential tips to create a resume that gets you hired faster:

  • Include up-to-date information in your resume. Regularly update your contact details, skills, and work experience on the resume.
  • Mention your skill set, achievements, and strengths.
  • Use standard fonts and headings.
  • Keep it simple and easy to read. Do not make it creative.
  • Keep it short.
  • Optimize your resume by adding relevant keywords based on your job industry.
  • Proofread the resume twice to ensure it has no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Use bullet points instead of writing long paragraphs.

Step #3: Improve Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn and Make Your Profile Visible

You might be wondering why keeping an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is essential. Afterall, how can this social media platform help you get a new job?

Well, your LinkedIn profile plays a vital role in the job hunt process. Several employers look for candidates on LinkedIn and share job postings on their company pages. Employers typically search for candidates by connecting with them or through the search results.

Creating a brand on LinkedIn will help you get noticed by hiring managers. All you need to do is optimize your profile to match your specific industry and engage with relevant content.

Also, demonstrate your uniqueness by providing valuable content to the industry. This way, your profile will be visible to recruiters, and they’ll contact you.

Below are a few tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile:

  • Upload a professional profile and cover photo.
  • Write a clear and engaging headline explaining who you are or what you do.
  • Use a customized URL.
  • Include your summary.
  • Keep the profile up-to-date.
  • Use keywords to optimize your profile while listing your skills, writing your summary, and work experience.
  • Check for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Step #4. Pick a Job Board

Online job boards are becoming more popular nowadays. Every job seeker starts searching for jobs through job boards since they are convenient to use, and you don’t have to go elsewhere to hunt for a job. You can do it from the comfort of your home.

The only catch here is that the internet is flooded with online job boards, and you can’t use all of them. So, you need to pick the job board that sounds best and stick to it for your dream job. Some popular job boards include:

  • Naukri
  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • TheMuse
  • LinkedIn

Additionally, there are job portals focusing on niche-based job postings. For example, Snagajob is for job seekers looking for part-time or hourly jobs, and WeWorkRemotely is for remote jobs.

You can check the list of online job portals and register on portals that seem ideal for your job hunt.

Step #5. Ask for Job Search Referrals From Your Connections Before Applying Directly

One of the best ways to get responses from a potential employer or strengthen your profile is through referrals. You can get referrals for your new jobs in various ways.

First, connect with professionals in your industry and ask them to refer you to job openings at their company. You can connect with people at networking events or on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Most companies have referral programs that incentivize employers who give suggestions for new hires. So, you can request employers to refer you.

You can also talk to your former employers or colleagues to recommend you for a job at another company. However, this is only possible if you have ended your previous job on good terms with your employer.

References can help your application get noticed faster and make you a trustworthy candidate. Always try to gather references before applying for a new job directly. If not more, you can try to get three to five references for your job application.

Step #6. Apply for the Positions You’re Genuinely Interested

Hiring managers have a lot of work to do besides conducting the hiring process and job interview. You shouldn’t waste their time by sending applications for a job that doesn’t interest you.

Check the job title and job description before sending your job application to a company. Identify if you are genuinely interested in the position and have what it takes to work for it. And only apply for the position if it’s a right fit for you. Otherwise, continue your job search.

Remember, applying for the wrong job won’t get you the opportunity and will waste your and the employer’s time. Never do that!

Step #7. Research The Companies & The Positions

Another vital aspect that matters to every job seeker while searching for a job is the company culture. It is crucial to research companies before applying for a particular job to make sure it meets your career goals. Researching also saves you from applying to a fraudulent job posting.

Further, researching a company can help you answer interview questions better, negotiate your salary, and tailor your resume accordingly.

Following are some strategies you can use to research companies:

Check the Company Background Information

Begin by researching what the company does. Does it sell a product or service? Is it a small or large firm? Is the company in its growth phase, or is it well-established?

Also, check if the company emphasizes work-life balance and values employee rights. You can read Glassdoor reviews to know what employees say about their company.

Read the Job Description in-depth

Once you identify that the company is the right fit for you, it’s time to get into the details of the role. You can determine that by reading the job descriptions in detail and verifying whether you possess the skills and experience needed.

Ensure that you mention the must-have skills in your resume.

Besides, if you are applying for a different or senior role than your current position, ensure that you are interested in it and can accomplish your responsibilities. Also, highlight your skills and experience in your cover letter accordingly.

The Average Salary Range for This Role

Research the job market to find the salary range for your job role. You can use search engines like Google or employment websites to know the salary range of your role.

The Average Salary for a Similar Position to Yours in the Company

Before appearing for an interview, check the average wage of a position similar to yours in the same company. This will give you an idea of the salary you may be offered. You can use this information to negotiate your salary if you receive the job offer.

Does the Company Really Seem Like the Type of Place You’d Enjoy Working

Finally, before completing the application process, ask yourself if you will enjoy working at this organization. Consider all the factors like salary, culture, work responsibility, etc., while making this decision.

Step #8. Write a Tailored Cover Letter

Companies require you to send a cover letter along with your job application. You need to mention why you are ideal for the job, past work experience, skills, and why the company should hire you in your cover letter.

Cover letters are typically 200 to 400 words long and should be tailored for specific job roles. This means you shouldn’t use the same cover letter for all the positions.

That said, let’s see what to include in your cover letter.

What to Mention in Cover Letter

Your cover letter should contain the following information:

  • The job title you are applying for.
  • Top skills you possess that are relevant for the job.
  • Some biggest achievements that will help you succeed in your next job.
  • Why are you applying to the company, and what do you like about it.

Look at the Cover Letter as a Personal Letter

While writing the cover letter, address it directly to the recruiter. Write the letter in a convincing yet professional tone to convince the recruiter that you are a perfect fit for the role. Don’t make it sound robotic. Your employer should know that an actual person has written it.

Again, tailor the letter for the specific position and company you are applying to. Do not use a one-for-all letter.

Tailor Your Cover Letter to the Role

The job descriptions for various job titles will vary, and you should write your cover letter accordingly.

Highlight the skills you possess and what makes you the right fit for the job role. Also, use relevant keywords and include your work experience details in the cover letter.

Remember to re-write the cover letter entirely or tweak it while applying for different jobs. Using the same cover letter will ruin your impression in front of the recruiter, and he may think you are not serious about the position.

Want Your Cover Letter to Stand Out

Recruiters often call candidates with a convincing cover letter for interviews. So, you should put in all the efforts to make your cover letter stand out. You can use a standard cover letter template to write your cover letter.

Additionally, mention all the necessary information about yourself and your skills to help the employer make a better hiring decision. You can also check other resources for more cover letter writing tips.

Step #9. Tailor Your Resume to the Role

Another secret to boosting your job search journey is to tailor your resume specifically for the job role you apply for. Most job seekers use the same resume for several positions and don’t care to optimize it for specific roles. You shouldn’t do the same!

Even if you apply to similar roles, tweak your resume for each position to make it stand out from the crowd.

For example, if you apply for a Sales position, you may consider applying to roles like sales specialist, sales team lead, etc. And the resume you submit for each of these roles should be different.

You can use the following approach to tailor your resume for the position you are looking for:

Read the Job Description for the Position. Identify Which Skills/experiences Are Mandatory

Hiring managers list the mandatory and optional skills within the career description. Read this description carefully to know your roles, responsibilities, and skills required for the position. You’ll also find the experience required for the role.

Use this information to identify the skills that your employer will be looking for in your resume. Then highlight these skills and your work experience to get the recruiter’s attention.

Go Through Your Resume and Change Your Job Title to the Exact Role You’re Applying for

If you have mentioned your job title in your resume, you need to modify it to match the role you are applying for.

For instance, if you are applying for the position of an SEO executive, mention the exact job title in your resume. That way, ATS will recognize your resume and shortlist your application.

Mention the Essential Skills in the “Skills” Section

The next step is to modify the skills section to meet the employer’s requirements. Check the job posting description to find the must-have skills for the position. Then list these skills under the Skills section. Do not include them in any other section or give this section a different name.

Also, if you have any transferable skills from your previous work experience, list them in this section.

Mention Your Years of Experience in the Position

Most employers will ask for work experience and only consider your resume if you are experienced enough for the position. To save time and make it convenient for both of you, mention your work experience next to the position.

Mention this information under the “Work experience” or “Professional background” sections.

Talk About Your Top Achievements That Are Relevant to the Role

Under the work experience section, mention your achievements or key contributions to the growth of your previous company. Write this in bullet points and keep it concise. You can go into deeper details if the recruiter asks for more information during the informational interviews.

Step #10. Ace the Interview

After successfully completing all the above job search steps, it’s time to prepare for interviews. Your recruiter can call or email you to appear for an online or in-person interview anytime. And you should be prepared for it in advance.

Agreed, interviews can be a nightmare for most of you. But you can ace your interview with the strategies discussed in this section.

Interviews 101

Whether appearing for an interview for the first time or as an experienced individual, you need to know the interview basics first. Here are some points to keep in mind before going to the interview:

  • Get a good sleep on the night before the interview.
  • Eat a proper breakfast before leaving.
  • Leave early to reach the interview destination. Set your departure timings, so you reach the office 15 minutes before the reporting time.
  • Choose your attire depending on the role you are applying for. For instance, an interview at the bank will require you to dress in a formal outfit. Also, get your outfit ready in advance.
  • Don’t get over-energized for the interview.

During the interview, looking professional and answering questions calmly are necessary. Following are a few tips to follow during the interview:

  • Don’t get nervous. Take a deep breath and relax.
  • Focus on one question and don’t rush to answer the questions quickly.
  • Talk about your achievements objectively.
  • Talk calmly and politely with the interviewer.
  • Maintain eye contact, sit upright and keep your pace regular. Don’t speak too fast or slow.

Common Interview Questions

Your interviewer may ask questions about you, your family, work experience, education, achievements, etc. However, most interviewers commonly ask some questions, and you should prepare for them in advance. These include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What is your biggest achievement?
  • What kind of work environment increases your productivity?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why did you leave your previous company?
  • What are your interests outside work?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you want to ask us anything?

Behavioral Interview Questions

Some recruiters ask behavioral questions during the interview. These questions are tougher than normal ones since they are based on your experiences.

The best way to answer such questions is through the STAR approach. Here is how it works:

Situation – What was the situation and the problem you had to solve?

Task – What activities did you have to perform to solve the problem?

Action – What actions did you take to fix the problem?

Results – What were the results of your actions? Did the company benefit from your approach?

Some example behavioral questions include:

  • Give an example of how you dealt with a challenging situation at your workplace.
  • Give an example of when you worked well under pressure.

Other Job Hunt Tips

Below are a few more job search tips to boost your job search process:

#1. Set Aside Time For Your Search

Job searching is not an overnight process. You need to be consistent while searching for jobs. You cannot stop your search after applying for five jobs once a week. Instead, set aside a fixed time of four to five hours to explore and apply for jobs daily.

#2. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Resources

Online sites are helpful, but you shouldn’t stick to them only. Additionally, you can conduct your job search at the following places:

  • From local recruiters.
  • Friends and family members.
  • Attending job fairs.
  • Visit companies personally and ask them if they are hiring.
  • Ask your professional connections to refer you.

#3. Take Advantage of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an excellent platform for job seekers and recruiters. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, create one today and optimize it. You can use your account to browse and apply for jobs, connect with professionals in your industry, and keep up with the industry trends.

Recruiters can also connect with you directly when your profile appears in their search results.

Job Hunt FAQ

1. What is the best way to job hunt?

You can hunt for jobs online and offline. However, the best way to hunt for jobs is through online job portals like Naukri, Indeed, Monster, etc. You can also ask your friends or relatives to recommend you. Additionally, you should apply for jobs consistently.

2. How can I get hired with no work experience?

Some companies hire freshers, while others recruit only experienced professionals. If you want to get hired without work experience, your resume should highlight your skills and demonstrate why you are ideal for the job.

You can also apply for internships or volunteer for organizations to gain industrial exposure.

3. When should I start job hunting as a student?

You can start looking for a job a month before your graduation date since this will help you line up your work before graduation. You can also begin your search during the summer vacation to get a job in advance.

4. What’s the best job search engine?

You can find several job listings on all search engines. However, the best search engine is the one that alerts you when openings are available in your nearby area. Also, you should choose a job board having more number of companies.

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