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Six Hot Tips on Smarter Job Searching

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Job searches are arduous, stressful, and sap away energy faster than actually working a job. Like many efforts in life, job seekers should focus on working smarter, not harder. If your search consists of spamming online listings with a single copy of your resume, you're doing it wrong. Productive job searches are all about branching out to the right people and leveraging your skills in a way that will get you noticed. There are just about as many opinions on smarter job searching as there are experts on the subject, but we've collected six hot tips for you below from U.S. News.

1. Find people who can refer you. Consider the companies you'd like to work for, and figure out a way to get introduced to people who work there. This task is made easier or harder depending on who you're already connected with, but don't discount the strength of an internal referral. Reach out to your own network, and see if you can be introduced to someone who can put in a good word and, hopefully, get your resume noticed. If you're starting cold, think about attending conferences, workshops, and other events where industry insiders tend to congregate.

2. Use job search engines. Job search engines are, specifically, online job post aggregators. They scrape as many open positions as they can find on the internet and make them accessible. These sites save time by condensing the number of places you need to check out while looking for jobs. If you plan on applying online, these can be excellent resources.

3. Check your current work for job listings. Sometimes what you're looking for is hidden in plain sight. Can't find any open position with other companies? Check internally for job listings and promotion opportunities. Many employers prefer to hire people they know and trust rather than strangers. If you've performed well in your current roll and an internal opportunity comes up, apply!

4. Use job boards. Job boards tend to have low success rates at turning online resumes into jobs, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful. Your applications still have a chance at being accepted, and they're great places to polish your resume, network, and maintain a hub for your job searching efforts. Don't think of them as one-stop-shops for all your job search needs; they're just another tool to help your chances.

5. Work with third-party recruiters. Many companies hire other companies to recruit new employees. Hunting for jobs is arduous and frustrating, but so is hunting for new hires. Recruiting companies are hired to find the best candidates for a job, and they usually don't want to lose track of strong candidates. You have to know how they operate before trying to work with them; don't bombard random recruiters with emails asking about job leads. They work for the company, not you, but they can certainly help.

6. Check each prospective company's website. Job search engines and job boards don't encompass the entirety of job listings on the internet. Often, larger companies will list positions on their own websites and include application procedures. Targeted job searches tend to be much more effective, so seriously consider the industries and companies you'd like to work for, and start checking.

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