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9 Hacks to Make Your Job Search Less Stressful

Bonny Calfy | June 30, 2023

Frustrated with your job search? You’re not alone.

A whopping 73% of job seekers are stressed out by the process, according to a CareerBuilder study. Between AI resume reviews and ghost job listings taking up applicants’ time, it’s easy to see why.

Finding a new job is no easy feat, and if you’re like most applicants, you could use a few tips and tricks to alleviate some of the stress.

That’s where this blog comes in.

Use these nine proven job hacks to help make the most of the application process, reduce stress and help you secure your next career opportunity.

1. Look at multiple sources for job postings

If it feels like you’re stuck in the mud, you probably are. Don’t glue yourself to the same old job board — look at multiple websites to make sure you don’t miss job postings.

Job openings posted on LinkedIn might not be on Monster. The same goes for Indeed, CareerBuilder and all the other mainstays. To go a step further, try narrowing your search to industry-specific resources, perusing staffing agency job boards, or even keeping tabs on the websites of your dream employers. Doing so will help ensure your ideal job doesn’t fall through the cracks.

2. Don’t limit yourself

The best way to not get a job? Disqualifying yourself before you even apply.

Say, for instance, you have a degree in English, but the job description asks for a degree in journalism or advertising. Don’t limit yourself because of one minor detail. Apply, apply, apply. Who knows; you might have all the skills and experience they’re looking for, which could be enough to offset any perceived shortcoming.

3. Tailor your resume

Sending the same resume to every company saves time, but 32% of hiring managers say an overly generalized resume is a deal breaker, according to Top Resume. So in reality, a one-resume approach is likely hurting your cause.

By tailoring your resume to the role you’re applying for — or even plucking keywords directly from the job description — you’re far more likely to stand out. In a crowded applicant field, every little advantage helps.

4. Find a job search mentor

The job hunt might feel isolating at times, but you don’t have to go it alone. Applying for jobs in a silo — without any help whatsoever — is akin to sailing across the ocean without a route plan or first mate. (In other words, it’s not a great idea.)

Simply finding a friend to share your struggles with, proofread your resume and practice interview questions with will help make the job search less daunting. And if you have some extra money to spend, many career services offer resume coaches or mentors to help you level up your job search.

5. Practice your introductions

First impressions are everything, especially when attention spans are short and everyone’s competing for a recruiter’s time. It might seem simple, but having a solid introduction can put you several steps ahead of the competition.

One of the keys to an effective elevator pitch? Concision. Learn to succinctly introduce yourself and hit all the major bullet points in 30 seconds or less. This shows you’re not only confident in your answers, but you value the interviewer’s time as well.

6. Write out your interview answers

“I’ll just wing it,” said no successful applicant ever. Don’t just wing it. Prepare.

Preparation is an essential component of any successful interview, and writing out your answers to common interview questions is a great way to project confidence in an otherwise unpredictable setting. Research common interview questions, reflect on your responses, and write out your answers to make sure you fully understand the interview questions.

7. Impress an interviewer with smart questions

Your big interview isn’t the time to ask about PTO. But it is an opportunity to understand the team’s culture, the ins and outs of the position you’re applying for, and the nature of your potential at the company.

Before you interview, research the company you’re applying to and document any questions that arise. Pay particular attention to company culture, newsworthy events and press releases, and any language about career growth. Thought-provoking questions in these areas are sure to impress your interviewer.

8. Write a thank-you note

It’s one thing to leave a great first impression, but what about a lasting one? Wrapping up the process with a thank-you note is a great way to show your gratitude in a memorable way.

Don’t take our word for it, though; 68% of hiring managers and recruiters say a thank-you note or email influences their hiring decision, according to TopResume research. And while an email is better than nothing, a handwritten note will show you’re willing to go the extra mile and help you stand out even more.

9. Evaluate and move on

If you get the job — or even if you don’t — evaluating what went well and what didn’t will allow you to learn from the process in a way that’s constructive and likely to improve your candidacy moving forward.

Though you won’t get every job you apply for, the important thing is that you learn and improve. And remember, there’s a job out there just for you — one that matches your skills, passions and values. But to separate yourself from the pack and land an offer (and relieve all that unwanted stress), you’ll need to put in the effort.

Ready to put these job hacks to use? Apply to Paycom today.

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s employer brand supervisor, Bonny Calfy oversees all recruitment marketing and employer brand efforts nationwide. Her brand awareness efforts extend over 10 years and have included launching the Paycom Careers blog and social media channels and producing recruitment videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside work, Bonny enjoys reading; fishing; and spending time with her husband, children and friends.