job search tips

There’s some truth to the saying that its easier to find a job if you already have one. Businesses are more willing to take a chance on someone who is clearly an asset to their current employer. On the other hand, unemployed people have the advantage of free time. They can use it to concentrate on their future career prospects. Here are some practical job search tips for people who are not currently in work.

Let all of your contacts know that you’re looking for a particular type of job. You may feel self-conscious about publicly revealing the fact that you’re unemployed. However, the more people you tell, the greater the chance that someone can help. Use social networking sites to get the message out to former classmates and colleagues, distant relatives, fellow club members and friends of friends.

Look for jobs advertised on the websites of major employers. Many retail chains, non-profit organizations and health care providers list vacancies on their sites which are not advertised elsewhere. You can search by location to find out if they are hiring in your area. These sites often have facilities for uploading your resume for future consideration, even if there are currently no openings.

If you are a former college or university student, you may be eligible to use the career services available at your educational institution. Some offer lifetime career development help for graduates. Career services offices maintain links with a variety of companies and organizations. Their online databases are accessible by password and contain information on paid internships as well as jobs.

Tailor your resume to match the position you’re applying for. Employers should be able to tell at a glance that you are a suitable candidate. Include a ‘skills’ section to show that you have all of the required and some of the desirable skills listed in the advertisement. Include a ‘relevant experience’ section rather than simply listing all your previous jobs in chronological order.

Keep on working in some capacity while you’re looking for permanent employment. Even if you’re receiving very low or no pay, you’ll have up-to-date experience to add to your resume and something interesting to talk about at interviews. Do volunteer work that relates to the kind of job you’re looking for. Take on freelance projects. Show your entrepreneurial spirit and start a small online business.

Consider taking classes to improve your skills or give you a qualification in a different field. If you can’t afford tuition fees, you may be eligible for some form of grant or funding. Browse the websites of local community colleges or universities to find out about the adult education courses offered and whether financial aid is available.

One of the most important job search tips is also one of the simplest. Be persistent. It’s natural to become discouraged after a number of rejected applications. Keep in mind that the more applications you send out, the greater the likelihood that one will fall into the right hands. Establish a daily routine of looking through job advertisements and corresponding with potential employers.


  • Nick Jones is a professional Head-Hunter with over 20 years of experience working all over the world.  He specialises in out-of-the-box job search strategies to get your CV directly to the hiring manager, thus skipping any ATS portals or recruiters who think they're important and making sure you get your dream job.  All of Nick's advice can be found at