How to Find a Job: Tips to Expand Your Search

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Set yourself up for success in your next job search with these tips.

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A job search typically refers to finding employment by looking for open roles and applying to those that feel like a possible fit. While online job boards like LinkedIn, Naukri, TimesJobs, Monster, and Indeed remain popular tools for finding work, many other resources are worth exploring. In this article, we’ll go over several ways you can conduct and expand your job search.

4 ways to find your next job 

You have many options for finding a job—each potentially expanding the number and types of roles you discover. Let’s go over four main ways to find your next job.  

1. Online searches  

Searching for job postings online is a common way to find a new role. While many potential candidates rely on job boards, that’s not the only possibility. Here are three places you might look for appropriate openings:

Company websites  

If you know certain companies you’d like to work for, monitor their website's “Careers” section to see when relevant postings open up. Many companies offer you the option of subscribing to alerts, so you’re among the first to know about new postings.  

Social media

Employers, recruiters, and employees sometimes post about job openings on social media platforms in the hopes of connecting with followers. Look at platforms such as Twitter or Facebook for announcements—or use them to search for any relevant openings in a particular line of work. You may also want to explore relevant industry groups on Facebook to hear about openings and connect with others. 

Job boards

Online job boards or career sites like LinkedIn, Naukri,  and Indeed post a lot of new job openings daily. They remain a popular way to find out about open roles. You can use these platforms to refine your search by filtering by location, employment status, seniority, salary, and other factors you’re looking for. 

Companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to collect, analyse, and categorise resumes. Getting past an ATS can help optimise your resume, reformat, and tailor your materials. 

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2. Networking 

Building a professional network can be an excellent way to find—and get—a new job. While many people tend to apply online through a career site, amazing job opportunities can come through networking. Connecting with other professionals, employees, or employers usually requires being proactive and developing your network in advance. That way, when you come across an exciting job opening, your connection can alert the hiring manager about your application—or even refer you directly.  

Informational interviews

Whether you want to learn more about a job and what it entails or hope to expand your professional network, informational interviews can be an excellent opportunity to learn more about an industry, job, or person. Before researching the best people to contact, clearly understand what you want to gain from an informational interview. Be respectful of their time by limiting your conversation length and remaining focused.

Placement agencies

Placement agencies often spend their time identifying talent to fill open roles. Reaching out to placement agencies can be a way to alert them about your interest and experience. Before doing so, it’s best to ensure your professional profile is current and that you’ve researched the company to explain your interest in working there. 

Referrals 

Companies typically like referrals because they tend to lead to high-quality candidates who get hired faster and stay longer, according to a study from LinkedIn [1]. If you’d like to apply to an available job and know someone at the company, ask if they’d feel comfortable referring you. If you don’t know anyone, take time to expand your network. Use LinkedIn or other professional networking platforms to find and connect with relevant employees for informational interviews.   

3. Career prep 

Beyond applying online and networking, you can take advantage of specific opportunities to strengthen your skill set and help you gain professional experience. 

Internships 

An internship can be an excellent way to try different jobs, gain relevant experience, meet new people in an industry, and even transition into an entry-level job. Whether you’re still working on your degree or recently graduated, look for internships in a field that interests you or at a company where you’d like to work. 

Job fairs 

Job fairs bring together many companies that are currently hiring. They’re an opportunity for you to explore industries, companies, and jobs and meet with recruiters or representatives who can discuss your experience.  

Mentors

A mentor can help you at any stage of your career, whether you’ve just graduated or been working for some time. They are people who offer valuable feedback aimed at helping you grow in your professional efforts. A good mentor has information that can help you develop and is willing to invest time in a professional relationship. Seek out a mentor, but as with informational interviews, be clear about your goals in working together. 

4. Career counselling

You may experience times when you need extra guidance about your career path. Career counselling is an opportunity to meet with a professional, reflect on your needs and goals, and align your search to meet those larger goals. They may be able to offer insight into the types of jobs you should explore or the kinds of industries that value your skill set.

As part of your job search, it may be helpful first to identify your career goals or develop a career development plan. Both can focus your search efforts by clarifying what you’re looking for and want to achieve from your next job so you can tailor your resume and cover letter to reflect those goals. 

Once you have a better idea about what you’re looking for, taking time to work on your application materials before you search for available jobs can also be beneficial. If you’re looking for your very first job, you may want to spend time formatting your initial resume and listing out valuable transferable skills you have. You can also enhance your resume by adding key action words to describe your experience and highlighting important skills employers value. 

Lastly, if you want to change careers, work on your resume objective or begin outlining your career change cover letter. Focusing on your resume and cover letter before applying can help you develop standard documents you’ll eventually alter for each application.

Explore further  

No matter where you are in your job search, build in-demand skills with a Professional Certificate on Coursera. Explore data science, cybersecurity, IT support, and project management options from companies like Google, Meta, IBM, Salesforce, and more. 

Article sources

  1. LinkedIn. “Reasons Why Employee Referrals Matter to Small to Mid-sized Businesses, https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/resources/pdfs/new_employee_referral_programs_FINAL.pdf.” Accessed March 12, 2024.

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