How to get a job
There are many ways to get a job. Approaches vary depending on the type of job you’re after, and the industry and competitiveness of the job. Some may find networking and personal connections effective in their job search, but many people rely on the traditional approach of applying to and interviewing for a job. The process can be daunting, but these strategies can help you gain clarity and confidence as you embark on your journey.
1. Reflect on your career aspirations.
While you might try to sit down and apply for any job that you’re qualified for, taking the time to assess your career hopes and dreams can be a more satisfying and productive way to start a job search. Thinking about what makes you come alive can help you narrow down your search to target specific roles and careers.
Read more: How to Answer “What Are Your Career Aspirations?”
Envision your career future. Here are some questions that can help you:
- Are you passionate about a certain cause or industry? (Perhaps you get excited about supporting theatre arts or are interested in finance in emerging markets.)
- Do you want to become a leader of a team or organization, or do you prefer to be a creative and independent producer?
- What salary goals do you have? Do you aspire to earn a six-figure salary?
- Do you value team cohesion and collaboration?
- What kind of lifestyle do you want?
- What skills do you bring to a job role? (For example, do you have a knack for persuading people through spoken or written communication, or are your skills more suited for patient care?)
2. Research potential industries and job roles.
Next, think about the types of industries or roles that you either have experience in or that pique your interest. Research everything you can about the food and beverage industry, for example, if that’s a business area that interests you. Have you considered a career in IT, data analysis, marketing, or UX design?
Say you have a degree in marketing; are you interested in pursuing a career in that field? If so, do you want to work for an agency or in-house for a company or non-profit? What type of marketing do you hope to specialize in—perhaps social media marketing, digital marketing, or content marketing? Drill down in your search to understand the different roles you could play within a field or industry.
If you’re thinking more about your lifestyle, consider remote jobs, jobs that let you travel, or jobs better suited for introverts.
3. Identify your transferable skills.
Once you have a better idea of your career goals and what types of jobs you’re interested in, think about how your experiences can apply to these roles. Identify your transferable skills, including technical skills and workplace skills you have acquired in your personal and professional life.
If you are seeking your first job, your transferable skills might come from extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or daily life (for example, taking care of children or siblings). For those switching jobs or changing careers, you can mine previous work experiences for technical skills like data analytics or data entry, and workplace skills like leadership, creativity, and critical thinking.
Build the right skills for the job you want
Peer into the future. Do the jobs you’re applying for fit into your desired career trajectory? If not, and your transferable skills are not enough to propel you forward, consider building your technical skills to eventually land a job that aligns your skills with your lifestyle and offers a steady paycheck.
With Coursera’s professional certificate programs, you can build the right skills for in-demand jobs in just a few months—no degree or experience required.
4. Build your social media presence.
Now, more than ever, people are finding jobs on LinkedIn. In fact, six people are hired every minute on LinkedIn . A majority of recruiters (around 87 percent) use it during the hiring process, especially when vetting candidates . Your LinkedIn profile should reflect your current resume, along with links to projects, videos, and content you worked on. A professional, friendly profile photo helps recruiters put a face to the name, while a bulleted list of accomplishments using keywords can boost your credibility.
Though posting on LinkedIn is not necessarily going to get you hired, sharing and liking posts creates engagement and can help you get noticed by potential employers. If you decide to post, consider sharing pictures and summaries of projects you worked on, or articles that demonstrate your industry expertise.
You can even reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn by sending a request to connect or messaging them using InMail. When crafting your message, explain who you are, what you’re looking for, and why you’re hoping to connect with them.
Finally, clean up your presence on other social media platforms. Delete any incriminating photos, such as smoking weed, imbibing alcohol before age 21, or any other activity that could be perceived as unprofessional. Keep your pages private for additional security.