No matter where you are in your career or what profession you are pursuing, job hunting can be a stressful, tedious process. Being proactive and developing your search strategy can help alleviate some of the stress involved. You’ll be surprised to learn that there are several ways to help cut out some of the unnecessary time and frustration that’s usually involved. Here are some of our best tips for job hunting.

1. Update Your Resume and Online Presence

Your physical—and online—resume is one of the most critical tools of a job search. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile highlights your skills and work experience while also showcasing tangible, quantifiable achievements—not just responsibilities. Bonus tip: Tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to the specific type of job you are seeking.

2. Have a Clear Direction

The next step is to dedicate some time for self-reflection. Answering the questions outlined below can help you streamline your searches on job boards and LinkedIn, saving you time and energy. Questions you’ll want to ask yourself can include:
  • What specifically am I looking for in a new job or position?
  • What strengths can I bring to a new role?
  • What responsibilities or tasks do I dislike in my current position?
  • What is my ideal lifestyle?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What are my salary requirements?
Using a journal or notebook to jot down these answers can help you stay on track. The rapid dry gel ink and weighted, luxurious barrel of the G-350 Gel Retractable Pen will help you write down these notes confidently. Learn more about how you can Choose Different with your pen choice.

3. Research Companies and Utilize your Network

Once you know what type of job you’re looking for and you identify job listings you’re interested in, the next step is to research the companies. Review the company’s website and social media profiles to learn about its missions, values, and company culture. Remember that you’re looking for a job where you are a fit—but also where the company is a fit for you. For most jobseekers, a large and strong network of contacts can result in more job opportunities. Networking with your professional contacts can help you identify other job opportunities that may not be listed yet and get your foot in the door. Don't be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn, and if you know someone working at a company that interests you, ask for a referral.

4. Prepare for the Interview

Once you start applying for jobs, that means interviews are (hopefully) right around the corner. Begin preparing for interviews as early as possible. This may include writing down questions you want to ask about the position or company, or thinking through your answers to commonly asked interview questions. On the day of the interview, make sure to bring a reliable pen with you. Use a stylish and smudge-free pen like the Sarasa Grand Gel Pen to keep your notes smear-free and help you stand out. Looking for a pencil that won’t break under the pressure? Try the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil. With its no break lead technology, it will be there through the whole interview.

5. Write a Thank-You Note

After the interview is finished, a quick note of thanks that re-emphasizes your interest and fit with the job will help you stand out from other jobseekers. If time is of the essence, an email can be a great way to share your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration. However, a handwritten note written with a trusty pen can be yet another secret weapon in your repertoire. With thousands of job postings online, it can be challenging to sort through the clutter and find the best fit for you. Use these tips to fine-tune your job-hunting strategy and grow your career. For more tips, check out 5 Tips for Acing Your Virtual Job Interview.