Job Search Checklist: Do These 7 Things to Improve Your Chances

New and refreshing jobs are always in demand. Whether you’re looking for a higher role, increase pay, or better benefits, looking for and landing a new job can be the perfect way to check off all those boxes. Now we just have to do what’s in our power to compete against the dozens, sometimes hundreds of applicants going after that same position.

If you’re in search of a new career opportunity, it’s time to dust off the tools tucked away in the back of your digital folders. Below are seven things you should do to improve your chances of landing your dream job.

Make a list of dream companies and roles

Before you start applying for your dream job, you have to identify who those dream companies are. Create a list of your top 10 companies and the roles you’d like to land within each of them. Making this list will help you narrow down your search and get a clearer idea of what it is that you want.

Look for existing opportunities

Once you’ve created the list of dream companies and roles, it’s time to start looking for those existing opportunities. Although some companies might not have those roles currently available, this is a good time to start introducing yourself to professionals in a similar role in the company. LinkedIn is a great tool to make these introductions and connections.

Level up your LinkedIn profile

Speaking of LinkedIn, don’t begin your job search without spending some dedicated time on your profile first. This is a great opportunity for you to make any edits or revisions to your profile. Change things you’re not excited about and add things that you’re proud of. Don’t forget about your profile picture, banner image, and summary, just to name a few.

Update your resume

One of the most critical tools you have in your favor (or against it) when it comes to your job search is your resume. Resumes are summaries of your job history and experience. They let the employer know what you’re capable of and whether or not your training is relevant to the position they’re looking to hire for.

Create a custom cover letter

Although a resume should also be custom to each company whenever possible, customization is never more important than in a cover letter. When it comes to cover letters, generalizations will not work, so spend some time researching the company and making a unique cover letter for each position you’re applying for.

Draft a follow-up email template

It would be amazing if all employers followed up with applicants after receiving their resumes. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most employers. This is where a template follow-up email will come in handy. If you have the email of the HR contact, don’t be afraid to follow up with them to check in on the hiring process. If nothing else, you’ll learn if you weren’t a fit for the position and if it’s already been filled.

Track your applications and follow-ups

If you’re serious about landing that dream job, consider creating a spreadsheet where you outline each job you applied for, including date, company name, position title, and whether you already followed up or not. This spreadsheet will help keep you organized and accountable as you move through your job search and continue on the hunt for your dream job.