5 Pro Tips to Jump-Start Your Job Search

Updated 04/18/19
job search tips
Harper and Harley

It’s time you start looking for a new job, but thinking about the process gives you butterflies in your stomach. That’s no reason to stay at your current role when you know you’re ready for something new. So how do you begin to start looking? First, you need to tell everyone you know (and everyone they know). After that, it’s up to you to be the master of your own destiny.

You know the deal: You need to have a go-to interview outfit ready, invest in nice résumé paper, and keep luxe thank you notecards on hand (we like this metallic style from Milly, $30). Other than all of your typical job search activities, there are a few things that you can add to your repertoire that will allow you to completely jump-start the process. We’ve rounded up the top five professional tips guaranteed to make your job search a breeze. Scroll through to see our favorites.


Everyone knows you need to have an up-to-date résumé on hand at all times (plus, it never hurts to have a printed hard copy with you for when the opportunity presents itself). But a résumé is not the only thing you need to begin job searching anymore. Revamp your LinkedIn profile (including marking that you’re open to new opportunities), have a basic cover letter ready to go, and keep a desired salary top of mind. Although you’ll have to make some tweaks for each role you apply for, this will give you something solid to start with.


It’s no fun when you receive an email asking for a career favor out of the blue, so keep that in mind when you’re calling on your own personal connections. It’s best to keep in regular contact with your professional network so when you begin the job search again, it doesn’t look like you’re constantly asking for favors. It’s wise to always check to see whether you have a connection at a company before applying online; all you may need is a recommendation to get your foot in the door.


Speaking of getting your résumé to the right person, it’s best to do a little research before just applying online (and having your application get lost in the shuffle). “Why approach human resources in hopes that your résumé makes it to the hiring authority?” says David Parnell, a legal consultant. “Just get it there yourself. Be careful to use tact, respect and clarity during the process, but nevertheless, go straight to the decision maker.”


You need to be professional, not bland. Remember that at the end of the day, everyone wants to hire someone they generally like to be around. If you stay too rigid with your cover letter and initial email correspondence, those who are hiring may doubt whether you’re being genuine.


On a more technical note, it may be a good idea to pepper your résumé with buzzwords from the job posting you’re applying to. This may take quite a bit more work than just sending your résumé out for each job, but it’s worth it in the long run. Reddit users love Resume-Marksman, a free website that analyzes a job posting and suggests adding new buzzwords to your résumé.

Be sure to read five things to know before leaving your job, and tell us your top job search tips in the comments.

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