5 Tips for a Successful Job Search

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These days, you need more than a resume and cover letter to land the job—you need to stand out. And that’s just what you’ll do. We’ve broken down the successful job search into five simple tips that’ll help you land the job.


Focus on quality, not quantity

Anyone can send out 100+ applications and use “Easy Apply” on LinkedIn, but a smart job seeker targets the right positions. Take time to research companies that are hiring and look for roles that are a good match for your skillset and experience. Evaluate each job you apply for and focus less on the number of applications you submit and more on the effort you put into each application. By being selective, you narrow down your options to roles you’re qualified for and increase your chances of receiving a response. Keep in mind, the “right” number of job applications is different for everyone.


Personalize your application

Employers read dozens of templated job applications a day that begin with “To Whom It May Concern” and end with an impersonal conclusion. Stand out among the other applicants by finding the name of a recruiter or hiring manager at the organization you’re applying to. Using their name at the beginning of your cover letter is more personal and shows you did your research. But whatever you do, skip the template. 

Templates can be vague, generalized, and impersonal. Instead of submitting the same resume and cover letter with minor changes to every job application, spend time creating targeted applications that match each job description. Highlight the work experience that is most relevant to the job you’re applying for, sprinkle keywords from the job description into your resume, and tell a story in your cover letter.

Pro tip: Have your Leadership Coach review your resume for grammatical errors or typos; mistakes in your application can get you tossed into the reject pile.


Utilize your network

Don’t underestimate the power of “who you know.” Professional networks can help you get your foot in the door and lead you to more business opportunities. Your likelihood of landing a job with a cold application is 1 in 152 — with a referral, it goes down to 1 in 16.

Your network includes former coworkers, managers, professors, classmates, teammates, family, friends, and all of their connections. It’s not just about who you know—it’s about who your connections know. A good place to start is talking to your 1st degree LinkedIn connections and telling them what roles you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask them to introduce you to their connections. Just remember to be sincere when networking both online and in person.

Pro tip: Reach out to professionals in your desired industry on LinkedIn and ask them to meet up for an informational interview!


Build your online persona

If an employer were to Google you, what would they find? Would they find links to your social media accounts? Publications? A portfolio? Make sure you “Marie Kondo” your Google results and adjust your privacy settings before sending out applications. Most employers vet job applicants so it’s crucial that you do a thorough check to ensure all web results are appropriate.

After doing your cyber cleanse, spend time updating your LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and any online portfolios with your best, most recent work. These are great channels for building your brand and optimizing your online persona. Don’t have a LinkedIn account yet? Not a problem. Check out our article on how to leverage your LinkedIn!


Prepare for your interview

Practice may not make you perfect, but it’ll put you in a much better position than if you were to “wing it.” Even if you don’t have an interview yet, it’s still a good idea to start preparing. 

Review articles on interview tips, popular interview questions, and common mistakes to avoid. Research the company and learn where they stand in comparison to their competition. Create an outline of interview questions with answers tailored to the role you’re applying for (you can keep it in front of you and quickly refer to it during a phone interview).

Pro tip: Use our Ultimate Interviewing Guide to prepare for upcoming interviews with your Braven cohort!


With these successful job search tips, you’ll be ready to conquer every application and interview that comes your way. Just remember to choose quality over quantity, optimize your network, and build your online brand. Oh, and don’t forget to prepare. Happy job hunting!