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123 Modern Job Search Tips For 2023 by Mark Anthony Dyson
We can call this the “modern job search era” because the speed of change and reality of job seeking has transformed the last three years. We are not the same professionally without recanting the events and changes in healthcare, education, and the universal workplace. We are fighting and changing past employment habits and trying to uphold past ones simultaneously.
It’s affected the way we think about job search while it solidifies much of what we knew was wrong is exploited among the savviest professional:
- The job stability of yesterday has yet to apply today. Some employers still look for applicants to stay three to five years in each position.
- Job seekers assume job postings are what they (you) see is what they get (WYSIWYG).
- The general public assumes layoffs in one industry mean job loss in others.
- Employers can do no wrong and can tell no lies.
- The assumption every job posting is real, timely, and should be trusted.
No matter what is said and reported about the job market, when you need a job, you must start looking. I created a list of job search tips to inform your thoughts, enlighten and encourage your search, and spark creativity.
There are two or three suggestions to help you advance your efforts. They are listed randomly, not strategically, or with any progression.
Miscellaneous things you can do anytime to conduct a successful job search
1. One of the benefits of podcasting is the relationships created along the way and the opportunities for additional exposure. I also stalk my guests for six months to a year. By seeing them in action for a time, I either like them or I don’t. Those I like, I ask them to come to the show. While building your network, you should know how they can add value for a while before asking anything. Take the stock value of your network as if it were your show to other professionals, recruiters, employers, and whoever is in your audience.
2. The power of focus affords you to shift, swivel, and side-step obstacles. Plans and strategy are everything – “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment, and to either of these ends, there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, honest purpose, and perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing” ~Thomas A. Edison
3. The most important thing before starting your job search is knowing what companies you want to work at and what you want to do. Unfortunately, that’s the most challenging part for most people.
4. Based on #3, read this article from Sarah Johnston about target companies. You have not used these yet, nor may you need them all. But this will crush any excuse of not having a more focused job search.
How do you find your “target team?” How about a “target boss?” Networking. Collaborating with like-minded people on projects, contests, white papers, articles, or videos for the world (and your future employer. Team member referrals or recommendations from collaborations increase your chance for employment.
5. My friend Jacob Share’s 365 job search tips list is here.
6. Address the irrelevant about your essential (or soft) and hard skills. Communication skills aggregate many soft skills into many services, if not all. If you need to improve with customer service skills, your industry or job requires you to hone those skills.
7. Knowing the terminology is not overrated in most industries. If you’re changing careers and entering a new industry without understanding the meaning and context of the terms, your credibility will be challenged. It’s good if you’re showing a passion for learning. It’s more complicated if your mindset is to show off.
8. You must communicate a clear message to connect with leaders online. The more concise, clear, and succinct your profile delivers value, the more powerful your profile and reputation seem.
9. There are so many articles of questions to ask interviewers, and I won’t bother here (I wrote about it several times myself). Too many job seekers lose opportunities due to a lack of preparation when it’s time to ask the interviewer.
10. You know by now if you lack likeability or not. What you probably still need to do is ask what it is about you isn’t likable. You’ve got homework to do. Here’s why feedback is so critical to your job search, career, and life:
11. Businesses rely on analytics to implement changes in hopes of succeeding. You’ll need to get used to quantifying your results, accomplishments, and impact on every job. You’ll stand out when you skillfully present a resume highlighting (but not overloading) data points that will matter to the employer.
12. I know I mention this on my yearly lists of job search tips, but the competition is job search fierce because of confidence in a job seeker market. Without a competitive strategy or confidence is like wearing jeans and t-shirts to a formal wedding.
13. Underemployment is a fundamental reason many are in debt, even with two jobs. Yet, it’s excellent fuel for motivation for your job search. Consider anything below your worth is only worth it if it’s part of the bigger picture. You can come out from under it as I wrote for Payscale. Let me share how you can leverage underemployment:
- Create meaningful solutions for the employer where you’re underemployed. There is some value in being the big fish in a small pond where talent is concerned.
- Cultivate your voice by doing this one simple hack: Learn to speak when expected, listen when unexpected, and master both when they are critical to your credibility and reputation.
- There are no shortcuts to career success, so expect pain, setbacks, and discomfort as you search for the right job. Use this time to motivate yourself to do the small things right, like follow-up calls, emails, and visits when possible.
- Many things will pull you in different directions, but the core of your efforts must always be your desire to optimize your contributions to your industry. Your achievements can serve as daily reminders to motivate you.
- Don’t consider having people remind you of your mission a weakness. We all need people who can help lift us when we can’t lift ourselves.
- Persistence means trying different ways to open doors you find closed – or even breaking them down if necessary. Don’t settle or wait for someone else to open your door. You’ll pay for it in mediocrity if it becomes a way of life.
- Surround yourself with those who understand what you’re doing. You need to hear the voices who are encouraging, truthful, and patient. Sometimes, there may be no such voices. In those instances, you have to reconcile with and rely on yourself. These times build lifelong career support you will remember.
- You’re in it for the long haul, not just trying to “break through” to the next job. It would help if you were crafting a body of work that proves your value. Build a network of people with whom you can share ideas and exchange value. Master your craft through constant work.
- The more you plan for your next several moves through timelines, future-proofing skills, and training, the less you’ll need to reflect on your obstacles.
14. Make sure you can access at least your last ten years of accomplishments, awards, results, and impact. Get used to recording and saving them for easy access. I have more than 2500 entries in my Evernote (While I use the paid version, most people will do well with the free) from 13 years ago. The Notes app on Apple is as good. Both make it easy to scan performance reviews, tag them, and find them years later.
15. My friend and former headhunter Christopher Taylor gave great advice about recruiters vs. headhunters. Listen to our conversation here, but I will list a few points below.
16. Headhunters can help prepare you for an interview with the company. They have intel to help you understand how to communicate your assets and best attributes to the employer. It’s up to you to execute.
17. The headhunter understands the culture, salary range, and some of the questions often asked by candidates. If you don’t ask, they won’t volunteer in many cases.
18. Follow up with the headhunter if you are still waiting to hear from them. They have multiple clients in various roles.
19. Headhunters will look for your LinkedIn profile to find out as much as possible. If your blog has a robust presence, you will stand out. They want to know as much about you as possible.
20. Your network includes people you know who need to be online. Value them as much as the ones you know personally. On the contrary, your online network is as valuable as your network.
21. Now that you’ve gotten more experience and skills from leaving your past job, you may have what employers need now. Not to mention, you have a good relationship with them, too.
22. I was once laid off but maintained a good relationship with the general manager and former coworkers. When I was fired from where I was employed, I called the general manager. He hired me that evening, and I started the next day. The time between being fired and re-hired by the old company occurred within 3 hours.
23. Learning is an important career tool. Consider using Spotify, TuneIn, and other audio apps as resources you have yet to consider – like audiobooks. I found an old radio show from Dale Carnegie. He wrote one of the most famous networking books ever.
24. Volunteer work and the side gig are the new career change strategy in the modern job search. Do these with what you aspire to do next. You can do this while employed.
Here are a few of the benefits:
- It’s a great way to network within an industry or an organization you want to work for.
- It shows value alignment between you, your peers, and target organizations.
- It allows you to showcase your professional skills or learn new skills
- It gives you a chance to help others, who may, in turn, be able to help you
- It can fill in employment gaps in your resume.
- It can make you feel better about yourself and your job search.
- Upscale your brand by joining or getting appointed to non-profit boards.
25. Are you protecting your privacy? In 2023, you’ll need to protect it like your real estate. You’re as vulnerable as your protection in finding jobs online. I wrote an article on Lensa where I spell out how critical it is to your job search and how to avoid “jobfishing,” a scammer pretending to be an employer to get your private data.
Consider these actions to take to level up the protection of your data:
- Since employers want you to apply on their site, please don’t assume it’s safe. The Better Business Bureau uses its BBB Scam Tracker watches for scammers. If the site has its seal, there is an assurance of a secure site. There are others out there you can research, but apply with your eyes wide open.
- Having a Virtual Private Network for your laptop and phone is essential. Here is CNET’s list of recommendations for VPNs.
- Anti-virus, malware, and other privacy-invading software are still essential in 2023. PCMag still publishes the better software to install.
- Brave and Tor are excellent browsers to help protect your privacy while on the Internet.
26. Listen to my show with Karen Wickre on networking. Here are some valuable tips below from the show:
- Lots of connections are less useful than quality connections. You must define quality.
- You’ll enhance your networking if quality is the primary requirement for connecting.
- Read the person’s summary of a person’s profile. A good headline and summary will get good visibility.
- Weak ties (3rd or 4th connections) are often discarded, but people often find their next opportunity through them.
27. If the only calls you receive are cattle calls (or mass interview calls), your online profiles and resumes contain unclear content. One of the best places to start is your LinkedIn profile or create a free About.me page.
28. I know. Only some people want to be on LinkedIn. But an online presence is a necessary tool in 2023. Consider Blinq.me.
29. Video is becoming essential, yet, some people say, “Just do it.” Does it place you in front of the people you want to reach? Answer that question first.
30. Hashtags are on Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter, and every social networking platform. You can use my list of hashtags for all social networks.
- It would help if you also read this article from Susan. It will give you an entire perspective on Personal SEO.
- Your goal is to associate your name with your career choice and the value you offer.
- Find one version of your name and use it for all online visibility, badges for meetings, business cards, etc.
- Submit your job applications, resume, and Linkedin profile under the same name.
- Standardize terminology and use current terms with your name.
- Think of your LinkedIn headline as a billboard, not just to name valueless titles.
- Recruiters use specific language when searching for talent, not generalized, such as “A seasoned professional with 20+ years…”
32. Stop leading with 15/20/25+ years of experience. Recruiters and employers go blind after seeing it on someone’s profile, so they tell me. Your years of experience matter to them, but tell them WHY!
33. We have discussed post-interview communication with employers on the blog, emphasizing thank-you letters/emails or cards. Do them, but also consider offering more essential reminders of the value you provide.
34. If someone you know referred you, thank them after you send a thank you to the interviewer. Whether you’ve known the person for years or met them recently, continue the relationship. How about sending them a $5 Starbucks gift card?
35. Email them a list of 25 ways you can add value to their company to keep you on top of mind after not hearing from them two weeks after an interview (Thanks, Donn LeVie Jr.)
36. Send them a PDF(s) of your articles, press mentions, or white paper (Thanks again, Donn LeVie Jr.). Somewhat old school, but I bet your competition is doing it. Peer-reviewed white papers are still a thing. Nothing says expert than a white paper in a credible journal or library resource.
37. The interviewer will likely take exception if you didn’t research the company. If they asked you what you know about their company, and you couldn’t answer, it could be a deal breaker. One thing that must be evident in your presentation in an interview is your understanding of the company. Here’s my friend Hanna Morgan’s excellent article on how you research company culture.
38. Dr. Lizette Ojeda said, “We are all conditioned to have assumptions.” Job seekers are also guilty of this when they are looking for opportunities. Only assume something, but research once there’s a definitive answer.
39. Ageism is alive and well, yet, it still needs to be easier to navigate. My friend Marc Miller says it takes work for older workers to transition to corporate positions. Listen to our show.
40. So, you’re an older worker going back to work with workers who are significantly younger than you. Here are a few points for your consideration:
- Younger workers are far less sentimental about their employers and will move on without yearning. Today’s employers don’t engage in yesterday’s workplace loyalty. Neither should you be sentimental about your employer.
- Your job satisfaction looks different than Gen Z’s. While your past crowning achievement is longevity, theirs having options. They’ll consider a three-year marriage to an employer an accomplishment, while in your mind, you’re just ramping up. Theirs fit more of how employers act on layoffs and hiring today. While it’s not true across the board, employers have more options.
In an article last year, I wrote, “Use LinkedIn to connect, foster new relationships, and revitalize old ones. Older workers have taught young people about networking. But now, younger professionals treat online relationships as genuine connections. Older workers should imitate that spirit and create a seamless experience for their contacts. (Lensa, 2022)
41. Storytelling for your career is expected, yet it may contain movie drama and is not an option. Your resume is like an introduction to prominent characters. Linkedin is where the plot is shared, and if you have a blog, the epilogue. Your resume can be the epilogue, too, if it fits. No matter the platform, the scene sequence has to make sense to its reader.
42. Updates are essential to your story as a whole. Tangents to your account are fine if you return to the plot. Like most people, the plot is ongoing, and that’s OK. Your career is a current plot with several adventures, chapters, and conclusions.
43. In addition to Googling, DuckDuckGo-ing, and Bing-Ing your name, you should do searches on Twitter and Facebook. Users mention non-users all of the time. Try Googling “Your Name” on twitter.com to get a few results. You can also use your Twitter account to search your name to view results. You always want to monitor what others are saying about you. Employers do it before you apply, if not when you apply for jobs with their company.
44. I mentioned using Google Alerts and Talkwalker to monitor what others say (if anything) about you on the web. Consider expanding your search to include your name, social media name, and numerous variations. You can have search results delivered to your email box once a week.
45. AI and ChatGPT software is all the rage right now. People are trying to see its potential, especially in writing resumes, cover letters, social media posts, etc. Destiny Lalane and I had a great conversation recently to get a recruiter’s perspective.
Here are some ways job seekers can use it:
- Get resume and cover letter advice
- Get interview tips:
- Explore career paths
- Learn about job search strategies
- Job seekers can ask how to evaluate a job offer, negotiate salary and benefits, and decide whether to accept a job.
46. It’s good to know and follow recruiters, talent acquisition professionals, and human resource professionals on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. There are so many to follow, and for those who would engage through comments and respond to questions, here is an overall view of how they can help:
- Understanding the hiring process.
- The importance of networking, especially for those who specialize in a specific industry.
- Resume and cover letter tips. I’ve seen their feedback help many people benefit from their insight.
- Interview preparation in the form of intel about the hiring manager, company, and company culture.
- Negotiating job offers.
Remember, when they call to interview you, these professionals work for the company, not for you.
47. The first reaction for most responsible job seekers and working professionals is to apply to as many jobs as possible when laid off or when layoff possibilities are announced. Many will do this without the help of their network, family, or friends. There are obstacles to keeping them from getting results, and some are self-induced. I wrote an article explaining the following challenges:
- Lacking preparedness for multiple stops
- Unprepared and surprised by wishy-washy companies
- Forgetting today’s job search is more competitive than ever
- Not deploying critical thinking
- Not seeking feedback
- Lacking follow-up skills
- Giving in to discouragement
- You’re a ghost online
- You fight novel and adaptive thinking and career agility
- Online salary discussions get you in your feelings
48. Anytime in any economy is an excellent time to future-proof your career. Layoffs are possible anytime, especially when the job market appears saturated with opportunity. When mass layoffs exist in any industry, all others are watching but are not endangered by job losses. Career development must be a constant or a lifestyle for you to pivot or adapt to imminent layoffs quickly.
Consider these strategies and embed them in your thinking:
- Your mobile phone is your 24/7 learning hub. There are many places for asynchronous learning to gain new skills, certificates, degrees, or mastery.
- Apply new knowledge and training quickly through volunteer work, online collaborations, and professional organizations.
- You control your career growth by investing time, money, and space to hone your skills. Don’t depend on or wait for your company to facilitate your career advancement efforts.
- Grow unsentimental about your current company, mainly if they have provided you with substantial career growth. Sentimentality about an employer can stunt your career efforts and goals.
49. In Every move you make in business or employment, follow-up is the cornerstone of creating opportunities and change. Today’s job search success is contingent on follow-up. It’s rare when it’s not needed, and your desired results will likely fail if you don’t.
A good part of your job search must include follow-up in all areas:
- Follow up with the application you submitted online.
- You are reaching back out to a colleague with an important contact. There are several layers to contacting the right person, so it starts at the bottom of your weak ties.
- Have a conversation with someone to discuss how they got into their field. Afterward, thanking the person is appropriate, either an email, a phone call, or a card.
- They are contacting a former boss with whom you had a mutually admirable relationship. Former bosses come through at times, especially if they liked you. Even if they have since changed industries, it’s a valuable relationship.
- Contact your boss’ superiors if they know you and you communicate well with them.
- Follow up with other professionals (your hairstylist, etc.) who said they wanted to introduce you to someone who could be a reference or a lead.
- Call a relative who retired from one of your ideal companies to work. Maybe they didn’t work for your department, but they know someone who does, or they can tell you about the company culture.
- While talking to a former coworker, you find out they’re moving on. Find out why (even if they wronged you once).
50. I wrote an article on how to “successfully” job-hop to advance your career. Understandably, doing it during a volatile job market requires more audacity. Still, it is one of the few ways to get promotions, advancement, experience, and salary increases without relying on a single employer. I explain in detail a few strategies in this Lensa article.
Below is an excerpt from the article explaining how job-hopping is most effective when there is clarity:
You use what you’ve learned through part-time jobs, contracts, freelance, or volunteer work.
You are clearly articulating your thinking with every move you make.
You’ve established and demonstrated subject matter expertise.
Even after a mishap, you’ve shown it was an anomaly and moved on.
BONUS: I’ve written a lot of advice on salary negotiation and tactics. While many platforms have extensive strategies and advice, I wanted to provide an additional perspective when seeking a raise from a current employer.
I received a little help from Kwame Christian, Esq., M.A. a few years ago who offered these tips:
· If you work in a growing industry and you see your company increase hiring and/or your responsibilities. Once there is an increase in responsibilities, ask for a raise, but don’t forget that window closes if you allow too much time pass.
· Christian says good performance reviews are the perfect time to capitalize on those good vibes, especially after receiving appreciation or accommodations for your performance. That’s an opportunity to ask, “What’s your vision for me in the future of this company? Where do you see me going?” It’s an excellent opportunity to transition into a more in-depth conversation at that point.
· Good financial health signs are announced by managers, company newsletters, annual reports, and sometimes the media. The timing could bring the desired result if you’re asking for a raise when these announcements are celebrated.
I hope in the comments, career professionals will add their take on a few of the tips I’ve provided. I only touched on what’s needed to succeed in today’s job search. May this list provide a beginning and a roadmap to guide you through this or any job market.
Let me know if any of these tips resonate with you.