A staggering 90 percent of professionals are open to hearing about new job opportunities, however, most people cringe at the mention of searching for and applying to jobs due to the inefficiencies in the job search process. Many job seekers find it challenging to keep track of jobs they’ve saved and applied for. They forget deadlines and end up missing out on various career advancing opportunities.
The way people search for and apply to jobs is constantly evolving. The rise of on-demand services and increased desire to use mobile devices has fundamentally changed the way job seekers conduct their job search. However, even with technological advancements, job seekers are still running into roadblocks. Overloaded with the plethora of information to both find and apply to jobs, many people find the process downright painful.
Here at Rake, we understand the value and importance of conducting a productive job search, so we performed a survey to gain insights into who is currently looking for jobs, how they are doing it, and what they believe will improve their job search outcomes. The survey was conducted in August 2016 and included 404 respondents from the U.S., ranging from age 25 to 44.
Here is a look at what those responses reveal about how job seekers are approaching the search and application process as well as solutions to make the process trackable and more productive for everyone:
How can I make my job search more productive?
Searching for a new job can be intimidating and stressful. Many job seekers find it difficult to keep track of opportunities and applications during the job search process.
A remarkable 87 percent of job seekers find it challenging to keep track of their job search, so it’s no surprise that 75 percent believe having a way to track their efforts would yield better outcomes. Candidates who are able to keep track of their job search are less likely to miss application deadlines, or worse — forget to apply to a promising job altogether.
Therefore, a productive job search begins with a strategy that translates into a trackable plan. All your job search efforts such as searching online, networking, building your personal brand, and identifying target companies will yield new opportunities. This is known as building your pipeline.
However, once you start identifying and generating your leads, it is paramount that you keep track of it, preferably in one place. This isn’t an easy task considering the vast number of career sites, company career pages, and social media sites jobs are posted on.
Saving an opportunity, regardless of where it is found, and organizing it into an easy-to-track system gives job seekers time to focus on the most critical steps of the application process: conducting company research, customizing their resume and cover letter, and networking into a company effectively.
Where did I see and save that job post?
Saving a job post with the intention of applying later is only helpful when you remember where you saw it and, ultimately, saved it. On average, 48 percent of job seekers are searching on four to six job boards or company sites. And while many of those sites offer their own ‘save for later’ options, it’s still a challenge for most to remember what board they saw the job on. So many job seekers resort to emailing a link of the posting to themselves, which gets buried in their inbox, never to be revisited again, or is rediscovered when it’s simply too late to apply.
Job seekers agree they are in need of a better way to track their search efforts. In fact, 74 percent say it’s important or very important to keep track of their job search. The job search can be a lengthy process to begin with, so it’s easy to see how keeping track of opportunities and where you are in the process will cut down on both time and frustration.
If you’re losing track of your job search efforts because you can’t remember when you emailed it to yourself, which desktop folder you put it in, or where you copied and pasted the link, it’s time to start collecting them in one central location. Or what we like to refer to at Rake as one neat pile.
You can try using a spreadsheet, email folders labeled specifically for job postings, or — even better — a mobile optimized job search app to track your efforts on the go (like Rake). When you find a job you like, categorize and prioritize it as soon as you can, either at a free moment you have each day or set a designated day and time each week to clean up your job search results.
How did I miss the deadline…again?
You’ve spoken to many people, scoured over multiple job boards and social media sites for months, and there it is: the perfect job match. You found it on your smartphone while on lunch break at your current job, so you copy the link and shoot a quick email to yourself. After getting caught up in work and life, a few weeks later you come across that link, click on it, and discover the job is no longer available.
This scenario is similar to what job seekers deal with on a regular basis. With over 80 percent of active and passive job seekers already overwhelmed by the demands of their full-time jobs, the need for reminders is crucial.
Often, job seekers find a number of opportunities they want to revisit. Having the ability to apply later is a great option, but not without an effective way to keep track of these opportunities and a system for setting reminders for application deadlines. According to 82 percent of job seekers, receiving deadline reminders on their mobile device would be helpful. So, having a system in place to remind yourself to act diligently on applications is so important.
Since most of us are already attached to our mobile devices, leveraging to-do list and reminder apps are a great way to stay on top of your opportunities – thus increasing the chances of applying on time.
Why not now?
Mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily routines. In fact, most people are constantly checking their phones for new texts, emails, social media, and app updates. In fact, Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer survey found 93 percent of smartphone owners have looked at their phones within three hours of waking up.
Many job seekers are searching for their next career move while on the go — commuting, waiting in line at the cafe, or even while at their current job — which explains why 75 percent say they are likely or very likely to save a job listing with the intent to apply later. Think about it, much like watching tv shows, movies, and so on, the rise of on-demand services such as Netflix, HBO GO, DVRs, etc. just works for our busy lifestyle.
For some, saving the job with the intent to apply later may feel like an unnecessary extra step, but it’s actually a very intelligent move. Because it’s important to use the time between finding an opportunity and applying to conduct research on the company, network with current employees, customize your resume to the job posting, and write a compelling cover letter. In the end, your efforts will yield a stronger application.Saving a #job posting to apply later, lets #jobseekers research and customize each application. Click To Tweet
In addition, take time to review which factors make you a qualifying candidate. This will allow you to really highlight the educational and experience factors that make you stand out among the crowd of applicants.
The job search is like a jigsaw puzzle — without every single piece, it’s left with unflattering holes. This is where networking into the company through current employees completes the picture. Once you’ve identified an opportunity and prepared to show how and why you’re the most qualified candidate, begin to work your way into the company.
When looking to leverage people in your existing network, it is always helpful to be very specific. So knowing what company, what role and, more importantly, what your unique qualifications for that role are, makes it easier for those to help you in making the right connection in the company.
Other ways to informally get on the radar of companies, hiring managers, and recruiters is to share Facebook posts, retweet company Tweets that inspire you, and comment on blog posts to show your industry knowledge and deep interest in the company. If all this seems overwhelming, it’s because it is — hence why finding a way to simplify and track the process is so important.
Finding and landing your dream job is a job in and of itself. To conduct a more productive job search, we believe in the expression “work smarter, not harder.”
As the job market continues to be more complicated and competitive, and forever-evolving technology becomes mobile dependant, managing the job search process is something you can proactively tackle. With the right tools, strategy, and attitude, there’s a better way to bring order to what seems like a chaotic and broken system.
There’s no time like the present to start effectively identifying, tracking, and networking into opportunities that will land you in your dream career, but with a productive job search strategy, you can confidently apply when you want.