Your job search crash course this year.

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Photo by Dark Rider

How to use this list

A job search tip a day keeps the recruiters away closer…

This isn't a calendar. You want your job search to be as short as possible, so don't even plan on turning this into some kind of “job seeker tips of the day” desktop calendar that you're still flipping through months from now.

This also isn’t a checklist.

Some of the tips only apply to job seekers of certain kinds, such as graduates, older job seekers and employed job seekers.

Put differently, no one should try to apply all the tips in one job search.

Instead, use it to create your own job search checklist:

Which of these bad job search habits has hurt you most?

Free bonus: Download a categorized version of this list for easy reference, where I've highlighted effective tips that job seekers tend to not know.

Did you spellcheck and proofread your resume and cover letter? Try Grammarly free Proofread your resume & cover letter with Grammarly

All your job searching tips for 2022…

  1. Don't put off your job search
  2. Better to job search while you have an income
  3. Don’t get distracted
  4. Be a giver before a taker, you never know where it can lead
  5. The best networks really are built before needed
  6. Start by auditing your situation
  7. First decide what you’re looking for
  8. Focus on the right things
  9. Leaving options open makes you lazy
  10. Internal moves are smarter than job hopping
  11. Review which job search websites can help
  12. Find 10 people who have the job you want and model your job search on theirs
  13. Get career path inspiration by researching people on LinkedIn with your credentials
  14. Get career ideas by taking personality tests
  15. Get career ideas by job shadowing
  16. Get career ideas by interning
  17. Showing your skills grows self-confidence
  18. If you don't qualify, don't apply
  19. Note one thing you’re grateful for happening today
  20. Gather career materials before leaving a job
  21. Only approach recruiters when it’s relevant
  22. Don’t refer to yourself in the 3rd person online
  23. Have a daily routine
  24. Prepare stories for your job interview
  25. Ask 5 people who trust and know you about career path
  26. If you attract the wrong recruiters, your resume has the wrong content
  27. Bad Facebook and Twitter comments can haunt you
  28. Know how to correctly pronounce your interviewer's name in advance
  29. Know when to talk salary first
  30. Use fewer pronouns (I,my,me) in your cover letter
  31. Make sure your resume is focused on your direction
  32. Aim for companies who hire by audition, not resume
  33. Don’t lie on your resume
  34. It’s ok to omit resume information that doesn’t help you
  35. React well to job rejection
  36. Reject recruiters well too
  37. Say the salary you’re seeking, not the one you’re making
  38. Your resume should not be a PDF, unless it’s required to be
  39. Before job interviews, practice walking into the room
  40. List credentials (PhD, MBA, etc.) at resume top
  41. Group barter hack to get a job with your friends
  42. Know how to find a hiring manager’s contact info
  43. Beware of suspicious companies
  44. Use personal business cards
  45. Relax more
  46. Learn to negotiate
  47. Older job seeker? Find a younger mentor
  48. Don’t make yourself look older than you are
  49. Pay attention to what you envy to discover work that you love
  50. Have a job? Always be prepared to leave
  51. Always be on time
  52. Learn how to strike up a conversation
  53. Use rejection-response letters
  54. Don't spam hiring managers
  55. Highlight job duties instead of job titles
  56. Remember names, not just faces
  57. Call your alma mater’s career services
  58. Get attention with a personal job search website
  59. Search for recruiters before jobs
  60. Use a word cloud generator to focus your resume
  61. Find leads via forum networking
  62. Follow job listing instructions perfectly
  63. Get a job search buddy
  64. Follow-up with your own contacts
  65. Know your competitive advantages
  66. Learn to think like a recruiter
  67. Aim for hidden jobs first
  68. Job fairs aren’t a waste of time
  69. Not every job fair is for you
  70. Talk job search at parties
  71. Avoid looking jobless
  72. Research companies on LinkedIn
  73. Leverage contacts’ contacts
  74. Being flexible opens you to more jobs
  75. Don’t print your resume at work
  76. Online resumes are trusted more
  77. Follow up post-rejection to learn from mistakes
  78. Keep a plain-text version of your resume handy
  79. Be a better listener
  80. Learn how to be creative
  81. Use guest posting to get exposure
  82. Blog your expertise
  83. Don’t look for a job, look for a company
  84. Impress employers by demonstrating skills they need
  85. Don't make employers download your CV
  86. Be authentic
  87. Make eye contact often
  88. Don’t wait for job ads to appear
  89. Avoid job postings that look too good
  90. Use LinkedIn events to find networking opportunities
  91. Stand during phone interviews
  92. Use external recommendations in cover letters
  93. Add video to your LinkedIn profile
  94. Know the right way to email people for requests
  95. Address being overqualified before they ask
  96. Being first runner-up can mean being next in line
  97. Follow up later on recently-closed job openings
  98. Use a resume benefit statement if you have too much to list
  99. Talk to insiders before taking a job
  100. Stay in touch with ex-bosses
  101. Never say you're perfect for the job
  102. Interviews are for you to show you’re perfect for the job
  103. If an interviewer tries to sell you on a job, let them
  104. Use positive words when making salary objections
  105. Prepare a cover story if you want to change careers
  106. Avoid recruiters that won’t forward job descriptions
  107. Prepare a “why hire me” story for interviews
  108. Don't use your work email address
  109. Help other people find jobs too
  110. Look for ways to increase your perceived value
  111. Prepare a references list in advance
  112. Choose references who are ok to be contacted
  113. Gather recommendation letters in advance
  114. Arriving too early is as bad as arriving late for interviews
  115. Use video to improve your interviewing
  116. Always bring a good mood
  117. Drive interviews to questions for which you have great answers
  118. Scan your resume files for computer viruses
  119. Show you have a proven success record
  120. The older you are, the more you need to be up-to-date
  121. In a recession, don't read the newspaper
  122. At interview end, ask for the next steps
  123. Roles may take months to fill, so apply to older ads too
  124. Fully understand the contract before you sign
  125. Summer job search doesn’t end when summer starts
  126. Get your resume as close as possible to the hiring decision maker
  127. Only send updated resumes
  128. Bring resume copies to job interviews
  129. Bring resumes to job fairs
  130. Bring resumes to networking events
  131. Never badmouth anyone in interviews
  132. Less popular job boards mean fewer competitors
  133. Check resume links aren’t broken
  134. Use popular job boards to gauge demand
  135. Schedule interviews for time of day when you’re best
  136. Quantify your achievements as much as you can
  137. Be prepared to back up your resume claims
  138. Never say you’re “willing to do any job”
  139. Failing interviews doesn’t mean you’re a failure
  140. Job search doesn’t end with your interview
  141. Job search doesn’t end when you get an offer
  142. Always give companies the impression you’re interviewing elsewhere too
  143. If you blog about work, include it in your resume
  144. Move where there’s the most demand
  145. Put your LinkedIn url on your resume
  146. Job listings specify salary to filter out candidates
  147. Dress for success with colors you look good in
  148. Spend half your day looking, half your day improving your skills
  149. Choose references who have great things to say about you
  150. Aim to be referred internally
  151. Be gracious
  152. Know your compensation priorities besides salary
  153. Let companies bring up salary numbers first
  154. Tell friends about your job search
  155. Tell ex-colleagues about your job search
  156. Tell ex-clients about your job search
  157. Tell family about your job search
  158. Stay in touch with updates until you stop looking
  159. Volunteer your work skills to get experience
  160. Don’t flirt in interviews
  161. Keep your job search secret if you’re employed
  162. Use a dedicated job search email address
  163. Don’t use your personal email address for job search
  164. Respond to job ads with point-by-point cover letters
  165. Know your market value before talking salary
  166. Aim for multiple job offers
  167. Don’t send out more resumes than you can track
  168. Connect with targeted companies on social media
  169. Spellcheck your resume
  170. Get someone else to proofread your resume
  171. Get someone else to proofread your LinkedIn profile
  172. Only apply to companies you’ve researched
  173. Only apply to companies where you have the recruiter’s contact information
  174. Email recruiters with attention-getting subject lines
  175. Keep work jargon to a minimum for HR
  176. Remember names by using them out loud repeatedly
  177. Freelance consult on the side while looking
  178. Be ready to justify resume gaps
  179. Ignore spam titled “I would like to offer you a job!”
  180. Date your resume in the footer
  181. Treat job interviews like company consults
  182. Check if past bosses want you back
  183. Say you’ll follow up and do it
  184. Make a work portfolio
  185. Resumes should include language proficiency
  186. Mention having other offers when it’s true
  187. Ask for interviews in cover letters
  188. If you’re not a good fit, give the job lead to someone who is
  189. Ask recruiters for resume feedback
  190. Prepare interview questions in advance
  191. Practice with questions they’re likely to ask
  192. Follow online job search forums where experts hang out
  193. Include relevant keywords in resumes
  194. Answer one work-related question online per day
  195. Know your weaknesses
  196. Know your strengths
  197. Follow forums where industry recruiters hang out
  198. Don’t blast resumes
  199. Don’t use resume distribution services
  200. Use a job search organizer
  201. Check that your email address isn't considered spammy
  202. Ask people how they found the job you want
  203. One page resumes are best
  204. Exercise regularly
  205. Sleep well
  206. Chase stress with a good laugh everyday
  207. A cover letter’s goal is to get your resumes read
  208. A resume’s goal is to get interview invites
  209. The more targeted a message, the more likely to be heard
  210. Every time of year is job search time of year
  211. Job listing language is the one to communicate in
  212. Newly-funded startups tend to hire
  213. Venture capitalists can recommend you for their portfolio companies
  214. Don’t do free work as part of the interview process
  215. Job interviews are about how you can help the employer, not vice-versa
  216. Be careful when copying other people’s resume templates
  217. Do what you need to stay positive
  218. Only apply to companies you’re passionate about joining
  219. Keep track of your successes with numbers
  220. Include your best LinkedIn recommendation on your resume
  221. Know the signs of job search depression to avoid it
  222. Resumes should have no more than 3 font sizes
  223. The biggest text on your resume should be your name
  224. Google yourself before companies do
  225. How your name appears on your resume is how companies will google it
  226. Create social media profiles to improve Google results
  227. Use LinkedIn as your online CV
  228. Use Twitter to network and share advice
  229. Use Facebook to reach out to people after-hours
  230. Use Reddit to answer work-related questions
  231. Use Pinterest to pin images of your best work-related tips
  232. Use Instagram to show pictures of yourself in action
  233. Use YouTube to show yourself in action
  234. Use SlideShare to post presentations given in action
  235. Always follow up after interviews
  236. Always send thanks after interviews
  237. Follow up again later, such as when you have an offer
  238. Learn to recognize bad employers before applying
  239. Never include ‘references available upon request’ in your resume
  240. Sharing expertise online attracts jobs
  241. Don’t only job search online
  242. Don’t only job search offline
  243. Your resume filename should be Firstname_Lastname_resume.docx
  244. Store resumes online where they can be easily shared
  245. Keep resume copies on your smartphone
  246. Ask an ex-boss for a practice interview
  247. Never assume it was discrimination
  248. Use LinkedIn to prove if companies hire people like you
  249. Only apply to companies that have hired people like you
  250. Propose creation of a role by showing how much revenue you would generate
  251. Propose creation of a role by showing how much money you would save employers
  252. Be wary of signing anything that isn’t a contract
  253. Get help if you’re depressed
  254. Research companies by talking to ex-employees
  255. Keep in mind industry resume standards
  256. Talk with your partner before accepting anything
  257. Unemployment is not a good time to start a company
  258. Make your job search viral with a bounty
  259. Get inspired by guerilla job search tactics
  260. Free-to-post job boards are mostly worthless
  261. Persistence does pay off
  262. Don’t wait for recruiters to respond
  263. Get recommendation letters before your last day of work
  264. The best time to research companies is before applying
  265. Track resume views with tools like
  266. Interview dress should be one level above what employees wear in company photos online
  267. The moment you feel comfortable in a job is the moment to start thinking about your next one
  268. Mention your full-time availability in your email signature
  269. Mention your full-time availability on your social media profiles
  270. Never accept the first offer (really)
  271. If a company rejects you, ask them if they can refer you to partners or clients
  272. Resume testimonial > summary > objective
  273. Check company news headlines before applying
  274. Target no more than 5 companies at a time
  275. Join a job search club
  276. Your LinkedIn profile can include everything your resume couldn’t
  277. Optimize your LinkedIn headline to get more views
  278. Optimize your LinkedIn profile for referrals
  279. Take advantage of free job search consults for second opinions
  280. The more you target a company, the more likely you are to get their attention
  281. Do as many information interviews as you can
  282. Speak at industry meetups to gain exposure
  283. Speak at startup conferences to position yourself as someone to hire
  284. Treat recruiters as you’d like to be treated
  285. Plan to be in a quiet place for phone interviews
  286. Record phone interviews on your smartphone for analysis later
  287. Test your computer setup before video interviews
  288. Model your resume on a targeted company’s employees’
  289. Learn at least one new work skill for which demand is growing
  290. Improve your soft skills that recruiters want you to have
  291. Volunteer your skills for organizations that might be able to hire you
  292. Aim to apply to as few companies as possible
  293. Use positive action verbs in resumes
  294. Show promotions on resumes
  295. Resumes should focus on achievements, not responsibilities
  296. Use Facebook Ads to target people directly
  297. Use Google AdWords to target people directly
  298. Manage your job search like a marketing campaign
  299. Look for ways to get around gatekeepers
  300. Ask your alumni association for help
  301. Ask chambers of commerce which companies are arriving and need to hire
  302. Replacing employees on maternity or sick leave gets your foot in the door
  303. Gauge skill trends with industry job boards
  304. Be polite unless being rude will help more
  305. Be someone people want to work with
  306. A resume hobbies section makes you relatable
  307. Prepare a 30-60 second elevator pitch
  308. Fax machines are barely used anymore but still checked
  309. Dumbing down your resume will make you bitter
  310. Consider adjacent roles if they’re more in demand
  311. Propose trial-by-freelance as an audition for both sides
  312. Target employees at companies that reward them for referring candidates
  313. Contribute content to a company blog or social profile
  314. Keep in mind teleworking and remote jobs
  315. Career changes are easier when employer-driven
  316. Ask for leads in non-work settings
  317. Ask recent hires what worked for them
  318. Ask recent ex-employees why they left
  319. Better to reschedule than be late
  320. If you’re going to be late, call ahead asap
  321. Keep video testimonials on your smartphone
  322. Warn references when you think they’ll be contacted
  323. Don’t answer when a recruiter calls unless prepared
  324. Always give supporting examples in interviews
  325. Only apply to companies you can legally work for
  326. Rehearse your interview stories to make them as compelling as possible
  327. Post videos of yourself in action
  328. Volunteer online by joining an active open-source project
  329. A good excuse to follow up is to confirm resume reception
  330. A good excuse to call a company is to check if an ad is still open
  331. Practice a winning handshake
  332. Be polite when you can’t shake hands
  333. Accept all interview invites so you can get practice
  334. The more leads you have, the less nervous you’ll be
  335. Quality of boss is most likely to determine quality of work life
  336. It’s ok to walk into a company and ask point blank about openings
  337. Look for ways to help a company before applying there directly
  338. Attracting job offers leads to better results than searching for them
  339. Do NOT vent online after a bad interview
  340. Use a creative resume as a way to demonstrate relevant skills
  341. Your personal website should showcase achievements while providing downloadable resumes and full contact information
  342. Never pay to submit your resume
  343. Managing an industry job board is a great way to hear of openings first
  344. Use Google’s Advanced Search to find job listings that have been buried
  345. Post a job wanted listing on Craigslist
  346. LinkedIn job listings signal if you’re connected to anyone at the company
  347. Stock screeners can tell which companies are growing
  348. Reply asap to any inquiries about your resume and status
  349. The interview starts when you arrive on site
  350. Use social media to teach recruiters how to hire people like you
  351. Network with industry recruiters online
  352. Network with industry influencers online
  353. Be someone that industry recruiters want to follow online
  354. Get a smartphone with a data connection so you can react quickly
  355. When asking for recommendations, provide a template to make responding easier
  356. The more placeable a candidate, the more likely a placement agency will help you
  357. Get a recruiter’s attention by helping them
  358. Ask friends to bring along relevant contacts for coffee
  359. Attend events to meet specific people
  360. Always personalize messages when contacting strangers online
  361. Send a recruiter a memorable gift
  362. Know your industry’s biases
  363. Ask random industry people out for drinks
  364. When thanking, gift > phone call > handwritten letter > email > social media message
  365. Learning to code is a hot skill in any industry
  366. Don’t give up
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  • The tips have been categorized for easier reference
  • In every category, I've highlighted effective tips that job seekers tend to not know
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WATCH: Job Search 2022 | 12 Secret Tactics to Find More Opportunities

Question of the article

Which tip have you never heard before? Tell us in the comments.

READ NEXT: 🛠 150+ Awesome Job Search Life Hacks You Need To Try

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Pingback: Supercharge your job hunting…with Jacob Share [PODCAST – EP 37] | Mildred Talabi | Speaker, writer, blogger

  2. Courteney Douglas

    Jay, this is such a great list for job seekers. As a resume writer, I enjoy helping job seekers analyze their strengths, so I especially love 196. For 189, asking recruiters for resume feedback is great, but resume writing services created by recruiters can be even more resourceful!

  3. Nissar Ahamed

    Great compilation Jacob!!
    I love the lists you make. My favourite is ofcourse #1 – Don’t put off your job search.
    If you are unemployed or recently laid off, the best thing you can do is to dust off your resume, and immediately start your job search. The sooner you start, the sooner you can get interviewed, the sooner you can get an offer,etc.

    1. Jacob Share

      Thanks Nissar 👍

      Conversely, I like telling people something I learned in the IT world but which applies in general: the longer you wait to fix a mistake, the more costly it’s going to be typically.

  4. Antony

    Some of these rules are great, others are debatable. I really like every tip related to LinkedIn. Some of the cover letter tips are quite odd, for example using external recommendations or avoiding personal pronouns. The cover letter is your personal document where you indicate your own motivation. The best rule about the cover letter is that it should be a targeted one. Let the employer feel their uniqueness.

    1. Jacob Share

      They’re all debatable 😉

      Those two cover letter tips are related- the idea is that chosen wisely, other people’s words about you can carry more weight than your own.

      And you’re right- targeting is absolutely critical but I’ll take it further – you need to target throughout your entire communications with a company, not just the cover letter.

  5. Rich

    A minor point. 2020 is a Leap Year. You owe us one more…!

    1. Jacob Share

      Great attention to detail, Rich! I remembered just after hitting Publish, and I hoped no one would notice, but you got me.

      Challenge accepted. I’ve now added one more tip, but I didn’t just tack it onto the end of the list. You’re going to have to work to find it 😝

  6. Andy Wood

    Yes, reading and learning need commitment and hard work. And during your first job, you may feel that you need leisure, fun and excitement, but be grounded. If you want to make your mark in your career, you need to learn continuously. And the best time to start is during your first job.

    1. Jacob Share

      You always want to start good habits, and it’s not easy, but you’re right: you always want to be learning and progressing

  7. Drew Skaarson

    I think your linkedin profile should more up to date than your actual resume. However, if you need to build a good resume quickly for an available opportunity, don’t waste your time on computer. In its place, simply export your linkedin profile into an eye-catching resume.

    1. Jacob Share

      The context is important. Most of the time, you’re not actively job searching and fewer people are likely to see your resume than your LinkedIn profile, so keeping your profile updated would be more of a priority, you’re right. However, while It’s true that you can export your profile to PDF in a pinch as a quickie resume, it won’t be a good one for most people: the more experience you have, the less focused, and the longer that resume will be. Also, it won’t be targeted to any employers and most people don’t know how to edit PDF files so they’ll be stuck with it.

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