How bad is the job market in 2018? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings between April and May 2018 reduced from 6.8 million to 6.6 million. This means that there are fewer jobs today than there was yesterday. But giving up on your job search is not a smart move. The more you wait, the harder it might be to secure a better job, and when you do find one, you are likely to take a hit on your salary. It is imperative that you improve your job search tactics and strategy now! Here are five hacks that can help you get your dream job.


  1. Let your online social network work for you

Social is now a trend and companies are using social networking sites to search for potential job candidates. In fact, a national survey revealed that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. That’s why, it’s imperative to have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, you must be careful about what you post on social media as it might lock you out of a potential job. You don’t want hiring managers finding questionable or inappropriate content on your profile. What are companies reviewing when looking at your social network profile?


  • What other individuals are posting about you.
  • Information that supports your qualifications for the job.
  • If you have a professional online persona.
  • High-quality connections.


  1. Let headhunters know of your availability

Nearly every job-seeker will tell you a story of being mistreated or ignored by HR folks. So, how do you get in front of people who matter? Make use of headhunters. There are plenty of ethical and professional headhunters who bridge the gap between brilliant job-seekers and forward-looking hiring managers. Working with a headhunter comes with several potential benefits such as:


  • Provide a clear path to the HR manager’s inbox.
  • Provide insight into what a firm is looking for.
  • Provide tips for a successful email.
  • Advice on salary negotiation.


There are two types of recruiters in the job search world, contingency and retained recruiters. Contingency recruiters are hired by job seekers to scout for job openings with employers. Typically, they submit the candidate’s resume and hope he/she is hired. On the other hand, retained recruiters (headhunters) are firms hired by an employer to find talent that can fill a key opening. Getting on a headhunter’s radar dramatically increases your chances of landing a job.


  1. Brand yourself for the job you want

What is your brand? Think through how you present yourself. The two branding elements on your resume are your title and how you introduce yourself to the hiring manager. A junior individual can present themselves as energetic and quick to learn. They are looking for a job that doesn’t rely too much on experience and will say yes to most candidates. However, people who are more senior brand themselves as strategic, experienced, accountable and focused. They know what they want and are not afraid to mention it. If you are a mid-career or senior professional, don’t brand yourself as a junior. Don’t underestimate your accomplishments. Tactics for successful career branding include:


  • Have a distinctive career brand.
  • Get your social media profiles in order.
  • Invest some time in managing your reputation.
  • Start a blog or write a book.


Regardless of where you are in your career, you have a story to tell. Let your brand reflect who you are. If you are unsure about your resume writing skills and how to brand yourself, follow this link to seek the help of a professional:


  1. Understand your culture

Every job is unique. Always ensure that you tailor your resume and cover letter for each job that you apply. Even at the entry level, companies consider more than just the skills to do the job when looking for the best candidate. One factor that HR managers consider is a fit with the company’s culture. Is the candidate comfortable or adaptable with what it’s like to work at an organization every day? To improve your chances of getting hired, be aware of your personality traits. Take a personality test to understand yourself better and get to know the mission and vision of potential employers. You must also determine how their culture can affect the day-to-day work environment and how you can fit in the company.


For instance, consider a company that evaluates employee performance on a monthly basis and the top performers are rewarded whereas those that perform poorly are dismissed. Such a company will have a culture and internal processes that focus on competitiveness, no-nonsense candor and ruthless execution. Would you fit in such a company? Take a step back for your benefit and that of your potential employer and evaluate your culture as well as that of the company.


  1. Stay updated in your industry

The worst mistake you could make when job searching is to allow your skills and knowledge to stagnate. For starters, be well-informed regarding industry news, indulge in reading blogs and even follow social media accounts of managers and companies you want to work for. Social media has become a convenient way for organizations to highlight and share things that matter to them. Don’t get stuck in a rut visiting job boards on a daily basis when you can search for real-time information on social media and revive your job search. In addition to staying abreast of trends affecting your industry, it is imperative that you remain relevant professionally. Here are tips to help you keep up-to-date:


  • Take charge of your education.
  • Make friends across generations.
  • Make relevance a priority.


Staying updated will help you answer questions such as: what are the most prominent current industry trends? Who are the biggest players? What are the industry predictions for the next couple of years?


While job hunting is not a walk in the park, it doesn’t have to be a prolonged and daunting process. Take control and commit to your professional growth. By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, job searching candidates can increase their chances of landing a job.


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