How to Optimize Your Job Search

Alice Duers

By on 06/23/22

How to Optimize Your Job Search

People always say “job searching is a full-time job,” and depending on what you’re looking for it can be time-consuming. It can feel isolating. It can even be discouraging at times, but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m Alice, the Talent Manager at Purpose Jobs. I’m here to help you through your job search, so feel free to reach out with any questions or additional advice!

Blog how to optimize your job search (1)

10 tips to crush your job search


1. Get clear about what you’re looking for

Take some time to reflect on your past experiences. What do you want to do next? What is driving your job search? Do you want to be remote? Do you want to take a step up? Are you looking to pivot? Grab a journal, open a Google Doc, or shoot yourself an email with your thoughts. Once you’re clear about what you’re looking for, draft a list of job titles to search for or companies you’re interested in. 

2. Bookmark your job boards 

There are lots of job boards out there and if you try to stay on top of all of them, you're going to be overwhelmed. Find the ones that are geared towards what you're looking for (i.e. Purpose Jobs is Midwest tech/startup focused) and prioritize them. Save the job boards you utilize for searching. You’ll want to check back weekly for new roles and stay on top of any updates they provide. If you have a company crush, bookmark their career page and check it regularly too!



3. Read the job description thoroughly

If you’re a solid skills match, apply! If you're missing a few qualifications, think about how your other experiences transfer or what it would take to become a rockstar at those skills. Aim to have about two-thirds of the preferred skills and prepare yourself to be able to talk through those skill gaps before applying. If you’re missing the bulk of the required qualifications, check the other roles at the company to see if one would be a better fit. Still committed to a job you’re not totally qualified for? It could be time to go back to school or get additional training.


4. Look within your network once you find a role

Do you know anyone who works at the company you’re interested in that you could chat with? Is there anyone within your alumni network? Ask if they have any advice about the recruitment process or even better if they could refer you through any internal referral program. LinkedIn allows you to see who in your network is a current or former employee. Be sure to approach the conversation with passion and excitement.  Avoid a “give me give me” mindset. Networking is a two-way street. 


5. Investigate the company’s culture

Purpose Jobs makes it easy to get a feel for what it would be like to work at each company and what their unique benefits are. Review the company’s website and culture page. Watch any videos they have to get a feel for the atmosphere. Make sure it is aligned with what you’re looking for in your next role before applying so you don’t find yourself back on the job search in 12 months. 



6. Only apply to one role at a company at a time. 

I cannot stress this enough. If you apply to two, three, or four roles, the recruiter or hiring manager is going to be confused about what you’re actually interested in. Apply to the role you’re most interested in. If you get rejected, ask to be considered for a different role by specifying which or applying to the role. 


7. Track what you’ve applied to. 

Having a spreadsheet that tracks what you have applied to, the date, and some notes on the company will make it easy to jump into interview prep once you hear back. The Purpose Jobs platform does this for you! Sometimes hiring managers and recruiters don’t have the capacity to review applications for a few weeks. You want to be prepared if they reach out to you. Keep an eye on your spam folder. 


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8. Refresh your resume

If you’re not hearing back at all that usually indicates either you’re applying to roles that aren’t a good fit or your resume isn’t conveying your qualifications. Check out this blog for tips on how to make your resume stand out. Also, ask for friends, families, and mentors to review your resume.

And seek out honest conversations. Be vulnerable and ask people you trust whether or not you're applying for things you're under-qualified for.


9. Polish your interview skills

If you’re getting interviews but no offers, that can indicate some additional interview prep will help! First, be sure to have your 1-3 minute elevator pitch ready and catered slightly to the company or position you are interviewing for.

Then using the job description as a guide, draft a list of 5-10 career accomplishments, projects you’ve worked on, processes you developed, or work streams you owned to serve as examples of your skills and experiences. For each example, expand upon it using the STAR method (situation, task, action, result). Write this out and practice giving concise answers to common interview questions using your examples. Finally, prepare 2-3 thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer at the end of your interview.


10. Don’t give up

Job searching can be frustrating. It can take months. (It took me five months to find my current role.) You can do everything right and still not get the job. Remember that you’re not alone. The Purpose Jobs community is here for you. 


And that's where I come in! My goal is to find quality talent (like you) for our amazing employers. I'm always here to help.

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