As the new school years amps up, some parents will be looking to return to the workforce.
I am one of those parents.
I have not really “searched” for a job since I was in early University (almost 20 years ago) so this all feels foreign to me. After landing my part-time pharmacy job during a University-era summer, I stuck with that for over 18 years, and when I switched over to try my hand as a legal assistant, it was because of connections, and I only moved because the pay and hours were better.
Now I’m starting from nothing. My previous employers don’t have a space for me, and I’m straight up applying to jobs that may or may not actually be interesting for me.
On top of all that I’m doing some freelance writing. Which is absolutely amazing, but it’s not consistent, and we can’t pay bills with IOUs.
If you are finding yourself in a similiar position, read on for some tips on how to have a successful run of job searching.
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How to find a job – 5 easy tips:
Nothing will replace word-of-mouth and networking. This is how I’ve found jobs and clients in the past.
It’s a simple idea: Tell EVERYONE that you’re looking for a job. Your dentist, your child’s teachers, anyone you talk to – even sporadically – and, of course, your friends and family.
Give them a idea of what you’re looking for, and ask them to simply let you know if they see any opportunities.
Write a fresh cover letter for each opportunity you apply to
This is really important. Each job opportunity will require it’s own set of skills. Use the cover letter to show off your relevant skills and experience.
Unsure what to put in a cover letter? Use the job description and write about how you meet each qualification. Add examples of obstacles you overcame or projects you’ve worked on that add value to your application.
If you’re still not sure how to lay out your cover letter, I offer editing and proofreading services specifically for job seekers. Email me for more details.
Related: Working mom pivots skill set during the pandemic
Browse job boards
Job boards are an excellent place to begin your job search. Most boards offer multiple search fields so you can narrow your search to your location and preferences.
I’ve been using indeed.com for my job search needs. There you can save jobs, if you want to edit your resume and cover letter before applying, and they also offer an online resume option. Upload your current resume, make sure it looks right, and then use it for a quicker application process.
Some other ideas for job boards to browse:
- Local post-secondary institution websites – in Kingston Queen’s and St. Lawrence
- Your city’s website
- Healthcare institutions
- Government Websites – Job Bank (Canadian Federal Gov’t)
- Google – search “jobs” or “employment” and “your city“
Use Social Media
This falls into the “Network” option, but it works a bit differently. Social media can be a great way to find like-minded individuals, or find opportunities that may not be listed on job boards.
Follow community groups and local business support accounts – you’ll be surprised how often they share employment opportunities.
Alert your followers that you’re searching for a job, and ask to be tagged in any posts they see. This will further your reach, without as much investment of your time, especially if you have an engaged following.
Apply yourself every day
Job searching is a full time job in itself. It can also be very draining. But by putting in the effort every day, you’ll get results faster.
Apply for a few opportunities each day. Follow up with businesses and recruiters you’ve connected with but have been quiet for a week or so.
Keep your messages short and simple, but don’t be lax with follow up. A simple “I would like to follow up on my application for job title which I applied to on date. Kindly let me know if this position has been filled.” can help you know if you can let go of that opportunity and try the next.
Finding new employment can feel very overwhelming. Job searching while children are at home isn’t easy either. Try your best to spend a few hours a day browsing those job boards, and tailoring your resume and cover letter for each opportunity you’re interested in.
As a writer (and now a seasoned employment seeker) I’m finding it easier to put together cover letters that showcase my skills and experience in a way that is specific to each job description. I can help you with that too.
Do you have more tips to share for those trying to find a job? Tell me in the comments, and I’ll put it to use for my own job searching.
Good luck with your job hunt!