woman on couch working on laptop that sits on coffee table

Job hunting is not easy, even during the best of times, but staying focused and motivated in your search is key to setting yourself up for success. Remember, there are job opportunities still available. For example, if you’re just entering the job market, there are currently 1.5 million entry-level jobs open in the U.S. on LinkedIn, and there are things you can do now to prepare and stand out to recruiters.

Here are four ways to stand out in your job search.

Signal to recruiters that you’re open to job opportunities

First, there’s a feature on your LinkedIn profile that lets recruiters know that you’re open to new opportunities. Simply switch that on so that some of the jobs will come to you. Don’t forget to set up job alerts so that job listings that meet your criteria will be sent to you within minutes of posting, which makes you 4X more likely to land the job.

Brush up on and expand your skill set

In this environment, no matter your background or industry you have experience in, being flexible and focusing on learning skills that can be applied across industries can help. Employers are looking for skills like communication, problem-solving and project management right now, and LinkedIn Learning is offering free courses to help you build them. This includes topics like Digital Body Language, Project Management Foundations, and Communication Foundations.

Make sure to list your skills on your LinkedIn profile to be discovered in recruiter searches. You can also validate your hard skills with Skill Assessments, a quick way to demonstrate your expertise, which makes you up to 30% more likely to get hired.

Reconnect and reach out to people you know

One thing that I think people underestimate when job searching is the power of your professional community. At LinkedIn, we’ve found that applicants are nearly 4X more likely to get a job at a company where they have connections, so invest in your professional relationships and ask for help. Though traditional networking methods like meeting up for lunch are temporarily off the table for a lot of us, there are easy ways to do this virtually. Email and check-in with a former colleague. Schedule a virtual coffee date with a mentor and ask for guidance, and if you don’t have a mentor, try reaching out and asking for help -- you might be surprised at how many people are willing to offer their advice.

And if you’re a new graduate, it may not feel like you have a network, but consider your friends, family, former professors, roommates or coaches. These are people who likely know you best, can speak to who you are as an individual and your work ethic. Check out more tips to engage your LinkedIn community.

Get ready for virtual interviews

Virtual interviews are likely here to stay for the time being, so make sure to prepare well ahead of time and formulate answers to questions that might come up based on the role for which you’re applying. You can also practice with LinkedIn’s interview prep tools which offer answers to the most common interview questions, and get instant feedback on your recorded answers.

If you just graduated, check out LinkedIn’s 2020 Grads Guide to Getting Hired to learn about the industries and companies hiring for entry-level jobs and internships right now, the most in-demand entry-level jobs, the most transferable skills across industries and free LinkedIn Learning courses to build them. For more tips and resources for job seekers, visit opportunity.linkedin.com.

Source: https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/may/june/5/virtual-job-hunting-tips