Land Your Dream Job
Careers that help you move from intention to action

5 Ways To Give Your Job Search A Boost

April Greene profile image

April Greene

A Black woman with a blonde afro sits at a desk in her neat living room as she looks at an open laptop screen and writes in a notebook. There's a blue mug on the table next to her, and she is wearing a patterned blouse.

We’re taking a stroll down memory lane this week and revisiting some career posts you might have missed. Here, we share some tips for how to strengthen your job search. This article was originally posted here earlier in the year.

The holidays have passed and resolutions have been made: now is a perfect time to capitalize on the fresh-start momentum all around you and get the jump on finding a great new job this year. Here’s a five-step plan job seekers of all stripes can use:

1. Know what you want

Take the time to accurately assess exactly who you are and what it is that you want in your career. Knowing yourself and what you’d like to accomplish is the foundation of a successful job search and, ultimately, a fulfilling career. And since your career path can be a long journey of discovery, committing time early on to figuring out the direction you’re moving in, and why, can really help to sustain your efforts along the way.

To start, try the career tracks exercise to get a better sense of the kind of work you’d like to do.

2. Know what’s out there

Once you have an idea of what you want, start getting a sense of all the organizations doing the work that interests you—not just the ones that are currently hiring. While you can research organizations in many ways, here are some suggestions for making the process most effective:

3. Explore ways to become a stronger candidate

There’s no such thing as a perfect candidate, but while you’re searching for a job, you’ll do well to work on strengthening your candidacy. While you may not know exactly which skill, qualification, or experience will get you that job offer, it’s a safe bet to try a diverse range of efforts. Here are some ways you can give your job search a boost by improving your candidadcy:

4. Learn how to present yourself on paper and in person

The more time you spend recreating your cover letter and resume for each position you apply for, the sooner you’ll snag job interviews and, eventually, a job offer. Research the positions you’re applying for and the organizations hiring for them: really examine who they are, what they’re asking for, and what you’ve got to offer them. Then tailor your cover letter, resume, and interview talking points to best translate your experiences for the hiring team.

5. Use Idealist to find opportunities

Idealist offers many free resources to assist you in your job search:

  • Sign up: Create a free profile and start connecting with other professionals and organizations that interest you.
  • Save your job searches: Found a job listing or organization you love? Save your search and Idealist will email you similar opportunities.
  • Explore more career resources: For more job search tips and tricks, visit our Career Advice blog to give your job search a boost whenever the feeling strikes.
April Greene profile image

April Greene

April Greene is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY providing superlative editorial services to noble nonprofits and righteous social enterprises.

Explore Jobs on Idealist