Photo Credit: gfdnova1 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: gfdnova1 via Compfight cc

As my readers know, I rarely run guest posts for 2 reasons: I have a specific viewpoint about job search that is not always shared by others, and I have high standards in terms of content and writing. So it’s a pleasure for me to run this guest post. I hope it is useful!

Essential tools to help you land the job you really want.

Back in the day, the bulk of job searching (and recruiting, for that matter) was conducted through terse newspaper advertisements or word of mouth. Luckily we’ve come a long way since then. Today’s job seekers are fortunate to have a vast amount of resources available at all times in many different channels, making job placement more thorough and candidates more well matched to their positions. But with so many options, it can be confusing to determine which of these job search tools are really worthwhile. Here are a handful of the top contenders:

1. Personal marketing materials

This set of materials will communicate your personal brand in a concise and cohesive way, typically in the form of resumes, cover letters, business cards, and sometimes websites. To make the most out of your materials, maintain an up-to-date electronic version as well as hard copies on your person at all times during the job search—you never know when an opportunity will present itself!

2. An active LinkedIn presence

These days, lack of a social media presence can be a red flag for some employers. However legally speaking, this cannot always count against you and it may be worthwhile to read up on the issue from a job recruiter’s standpoint before you review your social media presence. Nevertheless, it’s a great idea to be proactive with maintaining a professional LinkedIn profile that demonstrates your engagement with a larger community, vocational reviews and verified skills, and broader professional interests—the scope and details of which may be difficult to communicate on your personal marketing materials.

3. Inner circle connections

Take advantage of the organizations you belong to, such as a university alumni group, sorority/fraternity, or other such group in which you can network and research. Having already built relationships with other group members, you’ll be in a good position to find out if your companions can help you land an introduction or interview. Depending on the organization (like a university alumni group), you may also be able to integrate it with LinkedIn’s tools, allowing you to see mutual connections and network outside of the rare in-person gatherings.

4. Industry specific job boards

Most job seekers are already aware of the big job search databases like Indeed or Monster. But for those who have become specialized in their career, the bulk of highly relevant jobs may actually be on a smaller-but-niche job board. For examples, job seekers in the health economics field may find better potential employer matches at’s career listings than more generalized sources.

5. Educational development websites

Landing the job you want can take some time, and it’s not unheard of to spend several months stuck in a cycle of apply-interview-repeat. And while that cycle will take a lot of your free time (it may even feel like the search is a full time job!), you should also avoid having unexplained gaps in your work history. This is when it’s a good time to enroll in a course to further develop your skills. You’ll be using your time wisely while also making yourself even more hirable. And don’t worry—we don’t mean you need to go and enroll in a costly full-degree program. Even one class will do. Have a look at some of the highly reputable course listings at edX (or Coursera) or find out if your local community college offers web-based courses. You can even gain a similar experience by opting for a volunteer position in a relevant field to grow your skills.

Throughout your job search process, it’s also important to set reasonable goals to keep yourself motivated and on track. Aim for a certain number of applications submitted per week or a certain number of career development activities per month. And don’t sweat the rejections you are likely to get—they’re a natural part of the process and often are not a reflection of shortcomings. So with a little perseverance and these five tools, you’ll be much closer to landing your dream job!

Jessica Gust is a Marketing Assistant at– a new postcode finder. She is passionate about new marketing strategies, she is always eager to share her ideas through blogging.