Do's and Dont's of Navigating Your Next Job Search

Author: Victoria Cohen

We’ve all been there. Navigating the job search process can be daunting, stressful, and even discouraging at times. Whether you’re a recent grad, wanting a career change, recently got laid off, or have gaps in your resume, we’ve created this guide of do’s and don’ts to help you in your search and guide you toward successfully landing your next job.

 Do: Make a list of your values, must haves and deal breakers

Before even starting your search, take some time to reflect on your values. Consider aspects such as your interests and talents, pay rates, benefits, commute times, company culture, hybrid or remote flexibility, and room for growth. Determine what is truly essential to you in your search and remember that you will most likely have to compromise on at least a few aspects in your job search (see our blog post on Essentialism to help you with this process!) With so many jobs on the market, doing introspective work will help you find clarity in what you truly want and need before applying to jobs that are way off target.

Don’t: Pigeonhole yourself

While it’s important to outline your values before hunting down your next job, staying open minded will exponentially increase your opportunities. With everything in life, there’s always a trade-off, so chances are you won’t find a job posting on LinkedIn that perfectly matches your criteria. Did you find a job opening at your dream company, but the position doesn’t fit your interests or background? Reach out to them anyways to see if they have any upcoming opportunities that are a great match for you. Did you find a job you’re really interested in but the pay is lower than you need? Still apply! Many times, especially for salaried jobs, you can negotiate the pay based on your skills and level of experience. The key here is to remain open minded, flexible, but still firm on your absolute essentials.

Do: Polish up your resume

Once you’ve determined your career goals, it’s time to edit and update your resume. Create your base resume with all the essentials including your work experience, education, technical skills and contact information. Make sure to highlight your accomplishments and that all of your information is concise, relevant, and spell-checked. It always helps to have a couple of trusted professionals in your network to look over your resume, but don’t sweat too much over it. Once you have your base resume, you can easily tailor it to the specific jobs you will be applying to, by changing out a few key words (shoutout to the algorithms!) or focusing on certain accomplishments and experiences over others.

Don’t: Ruin the first impression

First impressions are everything – especially while interviewing for new jobs. Did you know that you’ve already begun making your first impression from the time you send that first email, LinkedIn message, or hit submit on that job application? When sending emails or messages, make sure to be prompt with your response times – this indicates both interest level and respect to the person on the receiving end. Also, don’t be afraid to personalize your conversations – take some time to research the interviewer and company beforehand so you can make a personalized connection that feels genuine, and one that makes a lasting impact.

Do: Network

Did you know that 85% of jobs are secured through networking, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics? yes, you read that right….(see reference)

Or that over 70% of job openings are never formally posted online? (see reference)


The truth is most jobs are secured through networking. If you’ve found yourself clicking “easy apply” to hundreds of jobs only to be ghosted time and time again or glaring at your resume until your eyes start aching, it’s time to leverage your professional, and even personal relationships. Reach out to old friends, colleagues, mentors or even acquaintances from undergrad and invite them out for coffee. Consider “cold calls/messages” to employees at companies you’re interested in and see if you have a common connection or went to the same school. Remember that networking is all about building genuine relationships, and it’s a two-way street. Prepare some possibilities of what you can offer them as well, even if it’s just a cup of coffee. You truly never know who, or what they know, and taking that leap might just land you your next job.

Don’t: Give up

We won’t sugar coat it; the job search process can be exhausting. Whether you’ve spent weeks perfecting your resume, months without an offer, or been told the classic “We need someone with more experience,” we hear you, and many of us have been there. The bottom line is, don’t give up. Oftentimes with no luck on your job search, it turns out there’s a way better job out there for you, and you’re that much closer to finding it. All of the work you’re putting in is not only developing your resilience, it’s also getting you that much closer to the finish line.

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