A new year often brings a rush of hiring as companies put their eye on the next fiscal cycle, and 2022 looks to favor job hunters more than ever. The Great Resignation has left companies in desperate need of skilled workers, and many employers are willing to offer considerable incentives to attract new talent.
A recent survey by CNBC found that 55 percent of Americans are looking to change jobs over the next year. If you’re in that number, there’s never been a better time to start. But you owe it to yourself to make the most of your chances, and the right plan plus a few general job-hunting hacks will tip the scales firmly in your favor.
Sizing up the market
Whether you’re looking to change careers or just seeking greener pastures in your current field, now is the time to go job hunting. With so many people looking for better opportunities, the chances of landing that ideal position have never been higher. But to seal the deal, you need a solid plan—an actionable strategy for evaluating your chances and the level of competition for the position in question.
Good preparation starts by examining those jobs and looking for the kinds of skills required. That sets a baseline for what you can expect. From there, you can assess your own experience, and how it measures up in comparison. This should be as objective and fact-centered as possible.
While you shouldn’t puff up your work history to hide any gaps, neither should you ignore real and meaningful qualities that would make you a good fit for the position. That should include things such as a technical skill that might not be common among your competition, or non-work experience that provides pertinent expertise (such as management).
Power tip: Listings on job boards can number in the hundreds, or sometimes thousands, and with hybrid workplaces making remote work more of an option than ever, you can expand your job search like never before. That’s where Web Clipper comes in handy. Use it on desktop or mobile to save postings of interest in Evernote and find them easily when you’re ready to apply.
Cast a wide net
Job boards and similar sites have long been sources of potential opportunities, but most job hunters are on those sites en masse, which means that exploring alternate options may lead to fruitful positions that haven’t been so thoroughly picked over.
Cast a wider net by exploring opportunities through other channels, like joining a professional network or reconnecting with friends and colleagues. For example, make a point of meeting a different old coworker or friend every weekend for lunch. At some point, you can mention that you’re on the hunt for a new job and find out if they know who’s hiring.
Power tip: Making connections can prove useful, which is why Evernote connects with your Google Calendar. For every interview or networking event you attend, create a note with background info such as job details and attendees, and link it to the calendar event. That way, it’ll pop up at just the right time so you can walk into your next meeting prepared for anything.
The more intel, the better
When job hunting, it’s important to do your research. Learning everything you can about the company of interest ensures that (a) your prospective employer has the qualities you want, and (b) you have a better understanding of what they might expect of you. That begins with checking out the company in question on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, but as mentioned above, such sites are often well-traveled ground.
Good job-hunting goes deeper. Make sure your intel-gathering process extends beyond the usual suspects and takes in other channels so you can crush your interview. You may need to do a bit of sleuthing or “undercover” work to ensure you’re well-prepared.
Try scanning the news—especially local news—and trade magazines for stories and snippets about the company, looking at things like aggregate salaries and employee retention. If anyone in your network has experience with the company or knows someone who does, talk with them about their experiences. The more objective information you have about the company, the more your confidence will grow, and the better you’ll be positioned to determine how well your skills mesh with the job specs.
Power tip: Evernote templates are an excellent way of staying on top of all those details while job hunting. You can use them to keep track of your applications, the pertinent details of each company, the various skills and experience needed for the job, and your own strengths and areas for improvement.
The hunt is on
The changing world of work has already reached a tipping point. With the job market continually expanding and new opportunities opening up, now is the perfect time to think about your next step.
Whatever stage you’re at in your career, take a step back and consider how you want your career to evolve. Ask yourself: Where do I want to be? What’s important to me professionally? Do I want to continue on the same career path or pivot to something new? With these questions in mind, it will be easier to come up with a career advancement plan.
Once you have that plan, make sure you’re taking the right steps along the way. By arming yourself with knowledge and putting in the effort to make your skills stand out from the crowd, you’ll increase your chances of landing your dream job. That might mean researching current trends, increasing your networking, and attending events focused on reaching your goals. But if you’re motivated, flexible, and organized, opportunity will come knocking.