How to Find a New Job When You Have No Idea Where to Start

How to Find a New Job When You Have No Idea Where to Start

by Kim Pinnelli
Senior Contributing Writer

Updated September 14, 2020
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The start of a new year brings the desire for new choices and change for many. If you’ve been out of the job market for a while or you’ve just been at the same job for many years, it may all feel foreign to you today.

Where’s the Best Place to Look?

These days, you must be willing to use the Internet. It’s your best bet when looking for a new job. Not only will you find more job listings, but you’ll be better able to network with many more people than you could possibly do in person.

The Best Online Job Boards

As you peruse the Internet, it’s easy to get lost in the vast number of online job boards available. While there are numerous ‘good’ job boards, there are a few tried-and-true boards that have been around for many years and have proven trustworthy and effective for many:

What About Networking?

Networking is much easier today, thanks to the Internet. Using sites like LinkedIn create a professional profile that recruiters and potential employers can see. Think of your networking page as your ‘brand.’ Make your profile as professional as possible, highlighting your skills, achievements, and professional desires.

Make sure you reach out to as many contacts as possible. Connect with everyone – even people you don’t think could have an impact on your job search. You never know who they know that could link you up with your dream job. Networking online takes a matter of minutes and doesn’t require your in-person presence, which makes it much more effective and less time consuming than attending fairs in person.

Where to Get Help With Your Resume

Before you set up your networking profile or apply for jobs, you must update your resume. If you struggle with coming up with the right words or the right format, you may want professional help. If you’re unemployed right now, paying for another service may not be in your budget. Fortunately, there are free and low-cost alternatives available too:

  • College career office – If you are a current college student or alumni, your school’s career office may have resume writing services. Using a career professional can help you get your resume noticed much quicker.
  • American Job Center – Find your local American Job Center, sponsored by the Department of Labor. Each location offers different services, including resume writing and improvement services.
  • Monster Resume Writing Service – Simply upload your resume to Monster’s Resume Writing Service and you’ll receive feedback via email within 2 days.

Working With a Recruiter

If you struggle to find a job on your own or you just want professional help, a recruiter can help speed the process along. Before you choose just any recruiter, consider the following tips:

  • Look for recruiters that specialize in your niche. Have you narrowed down your job search to a specific niche? If not, consider doing that before looking for a recruiter. At the very least, narrow it down to an industry, as many recruiters work for specific industries, or even specific employers.
  • Interview recruiters yourself – Potential employers pay the recruiters for their service, which means they work for the employer. Make sure you interview potential recruiters yourself, determining whether they are a good fit for you, especially if you haven’t narrowed down the position or type of work you’d like.
  • Let the recruiter do the legwork for you – If you commit to working with a recruiter, let him or her do the job fully. This means setting you up with an interview, asking the employer questions, and even negotiating your salary if they offer you the position. Trust the recruiter’s abilities and let him or her do the hard work that would otherwise stress you out.

How to Stay Organized

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you are searching for a job. Between sending in applications, setting up interviews, and looking for newly posted jobs, it can be overwhelming. Before you let yourself get disorganized, consider the following tips:

  • Keep track of the jobs you apply to – Whether you work on Excel, Google Sheets, or Trello, start a spreadsheet that includes the company’s you sent applications to, the date you sent them, and the response you received. You can also include interview dates (if any), follow up you did, and any miscellaneous information you want to include. It’s also a good idea to save a copy of the listing you responded for future reference.
  • Set up job alerts – Automate your job search by setting up personal job searches when you find a new job online. Choose whether you want individual updates, daily, or weekly updates and receive the latest listings in your email that match your requirements.
  • Keep a folder and notebook – If you are ‘old fashioned’ and love pen and paper still, set up a filing system that keeps your sent resumes and cover letters as well as a log of your applications sent. Keep careful notes of everything you’ve done thus far so that you don’t send an application twice or miss an interview.

It can be overwhelming to look for a new job at first, but with a little practice, you’ll find yourself right back in the groove. Whether you are currently employed and want to know how to change jobs or you’ve been out of work for a while and need to get back into the swing of things, there are many ways to simplify the job search today. Many people find a new job online today, but don’t discount the value of word-of-mouth too. The more you can get the word out there, the better your chances become of finding your dream job.

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