Frustrated With Your Job Search? Here's What One Expert Says You Should Start Doing
Career & Money

Frustrated With Your Job Search? Here's What One Expert Says You Should Start Doing

Recent LinkedIn findings have confirmed a few telling things about Black job seekers that many of us can probably relate to. Things in the realm of work and career advancement efforts have been shifting for Black professionals, with a majority (90%) considering a job move this year for more money (30%) or a better work-life balance (23%).

In these times of economic uncertainty, Black and Latino professionals are the most likely to consider a job move in 2024, but more than half of Black and Latino professionals “believe that looking for a job is frustrating.”

Despite the challenges, 62% of Black professionals, specifically, are changing their job search strategy to keep up with the changes in the new world of work, and they’re also the “most inclined” to want to find a job that aligns with their values and meets their criteria, the report further indicates.

I caught up with Tyrona Heath (@tyronaheath), director at LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, about strategies to shift your job search approach, what red flags to look out for when it comes to scammy postings, and how LinkedIn’s tools can be helpful in networking and landing your dream gig.

Job Search Tip 1: Don't be shy about marketing yourself and creating a story around whatever it is you offer to the world.

Heath shares that, when approaching your job search, the key is to stand out and be remembered. Candidates have to tap into highlighting what they can uniquely bring to the career opportunity they're pursuing. "Your brand is out front speaking for you when you’re not in the room. An active online presence, especially on LinkedIn, is crucial, as it helps create a natural identity that pulls people in and fosters lasting relationships."

"Use LinkedIn to message connections, have informational interviews, set up alerts, and follow people and companies to stay in the loop," she added. "Just like marketers deliver brand messages, tailor your updates and content to showcase what you know and contribute to the ecosystem. Employers are looking for people with skills to solve problems and identify the next opportunities.

She also noted that 70% of Black professionals "emphasize skills over degrees when job hunting, highlighting the importance of practical abilities increasingly outweighing traditional qualifications."

"Embrace your skills, and don't be afraid to go for those opportunities that might seem a bit out of reach. I always urge people to be really strategic in their search, using filters to narrow down the best roles, but also to make sure candidates aren’t undervaluing their professional experience.

Job Search Tip 2: Take the next step and invest in premium or membership upgrades on job-seeking sites.

"If you are still stuck on what to say to your new connection, LinkedIn’s AI Networking Tool for its premium members helps them craft a personalized message when reaching out to your connection for the first time," Heath said. "After you’ve used some of these tools to make an initial connection, it’s important to continue to tend to your LinkedIn garden. It's not just about planting seeds; it's about nurturing and cultivating relationships over time. Effective networking involves refining your connections and focusing on those that truly matter. By consistently investing in your network, you allow it to flourish and yield fruitful results over time."

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Job Search Tip 3: Research prospective employers thoroughly to avoid getting scammed or wasting time applying for a fake job.

"Sadly, more and more job scams appear every day. They are feeding on the increasing innocence of job seekers as the job market continues to fluctuate," Heath said. "To help avoid being a victim to job ghosting, email phishing, and fake remote work opportunities, it is important to research the companies thoroughly and conduct thorough research. With the help of LinkedIn Pages, you can find out the credibility and information about the company, its values, and its commitments.

LinkedIn also has integrated verification directly into job posts, she added, which helps to ensure job seekers are able to get verified information about a company and job poster. "Most importantly, don’t ignore your gut feelings. If you’re getting asked for personal information like your social security number, bank information, or being asked to pay for things yourself, it’s probably a scam," she said. "Receiving an offer after just one interview is also a red flag. Legitimate companies have thorough processes, so if it feels too good to be true, it probably is."

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Job Search Tip 4: Still hitting walls? Keep networking with authentic motives, take the focus off the pressure of the process, and find ways to expand your support system.

"I have deep compassion for those who constantly do everything they can do in their power and come up short. You start to feel helpless, and you find yourself stuck in a rut. What you’re feeling is real. We are seeing a tightened job market compared to the past few years," Heath said. "Before, we saw two jobs for every applicant; now it’s the complete opposite. One of the best things to do is expand your circles, relationships, and communities. Not only does this make for a great support system, but it also allows for the potential for opportunities you may not have uncovered otherwise. Your next job could be brought to you by your connection’s connection’s connection."

You can use platforms like LinkedIn to see who's connected to whom and become industry friends of friends (so to speak) with the network of someone you're already connected to.

Job Search Tip 5: Lean into the right timing for responding to applications, and be flexible. Achieving a big goal can start with consistently achieving a few smaller ones.

"While it’s easy to get hung up on finding the 'perfect' dream job, it’s important to remember that most jobs are vehicles and not destinations," Heath said. "Instead of focusing on this, try to think about what skills you’ll gain from each opportunity and how you can apply those skills and experience to your next opportunity."

She also encourages candidates to be quick on the draw when it comes to responding to job openings. "Applying within the first 10 minutes of receiving a relevant job notification can increase your chances of hearing back by up to four times, so don’t underestimate the importance of being the first to apply."

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Featured image by Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images




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