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5 Reasons Simplifying Your Job Search Works Wonders

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For those of you who have followed CareerAlley, you will know that I’m a big advocate of getting your resume “out there”. The premise is that the more people who know you are job hunting, the better the chance that you will learn about opportunities.

Like everything else in life, there can be too much of a good thing, and having too many recruiters, job search boards, and automated “job match” emails could dilute the value of your search. One obvious exception is your network, where you will want everyone in your network who can help you find a job to know you are on the hunt.

  • Your resume: Make sure your resume is up-to-date, tailored to the job you’re applying for, and showcases your relevant skills and experience.
  • Your online presence: Many employers will look up your social media profiles and online presence. Make sure your profiles are professional and reflect your best self.
  • Networking: Connect with professionals in your field, attend job fairs, and join relevant industry groups to expand your network and discover new job opportunities.
  • Job search websites: Use online job search platforms and websites to find job postings, set up job alerts, and track your applications.
  • Interview preparation: Prepare for interviews by researching the company, practicing common interview questions, and dressing appropriately. Show up on time, be confident, and be yourself.

So Many Job Search Boards, So Little Time

There is quite a bit of overlap across the major job search sites (especially the job site aggregators), so using more than 3 or 4 job search sites does not add much value. Pick two or three job search boards for your job search.

  1. A job search board that is dedicated or focused on your job/retail, etc.).
  2. Two resources should be in the “top 10” job search boards with at least one job search aggregator.
  3.  Leverage LinkedIn as an alternate source
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Limit the auto email function for jobs that match your profile. While some work reasonably well, others are not even close and are a waste of time, will fill your email inbox, and will not add any value.

Older is Not Always Better

When using a job search site, it’s best to narrow your search to jobs posted within the last 7 days. Job postings that are older than 7 days may have already received a large number of responses, making them less likely to be a good use of your time. If you’ve already explored all of the new job opportunities and come up empty-handed, you can expand your search to older postings. Just be careful not to get carried away and spend too much time on outdated listings.

Long Cover Letters Don’t Work

Your cover letter is meant to be an introduction and should be short (not a bio of your entire cover letter with an explanation as to why you are writing (applying for a job opening, referred by someone in your network, etc.). Next, follow with why you are the perfect candidate. Cover the skills that match the job description and make sure you demonstrate that you know about their company. Close your letter by thanking them for their consideration and indicate that you will follow up with them in a few weeks (and don’t forget your contact information).

Your cover letter should be longer than a couple of lines but don’t waste your time writing a novel either. 70% of hiring managers said the shorter the better. Somewhere between 250 and the 400-word count is a good amount. However, you should focus more on the content than on how many lines on the page you are taking up.

Interviewers Don’t Want to Hear About Your Summer Vacation

When interviewers say “So tell me about yourself, ” they wonder how you will respond to an unstructured question. While the interviewer does want to know what you’ve done that is relevant to the opportunity, they also want to know what you think is important.  This is a perfect example of where less is more.  Keep it short and focus on what you think will most interest the interviewer about you. This should include relevant accomplishments, but leave personal details for the “So what do you do in your spare time?” question.

While you can only be so prepared for unexpected questions, the most powerful tools you can have and use in your interview are your skills and experience.  Before the interview, spend time thinking about all of the challenges and successes you’ve had in your career.

Long Resumes Without Examples of Relevant Accomplishments Get Trashed

Your resume, being the most crucial tool in your job search, should be concise yet comprehensive. It needs to highlight your accomplishments with specific examples, demonstrating your expertise and impact in your field. Additionally, it’s important to focus on experiences directly relevant to your industry, minimizing the inclusion of roles outside your area of expertise. This approach ensures your resume is targeted, relevant, and effectively showcases your professional journey and capabilities.


Simplifying your job search not only makes the process less overwhelming but also more effective. By focusing on quality over quantity, targeting your applications, and streamlining your approach, you increase your chances of finding the right job. Remember, a strategic, well-organized job hunt often yields the best opportunities. Keep these tips in mind to navigate your job search journey with confidence and success.

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