Career Advice

I Need a New Job: Where Do I Start?

need a new job

If you’ve lost your job, are trying to leave a toxic workplace, or simply want to start a new career you may feel a bit overwhelmed. In your panic, you may think “I need a new job and don’t know what to do!”

Take a deep breath and stave off the anguish. There are four simple, yet effective steps you can take to find a great new job. This post breaks them down. 

What Is The First Step For Finding a New Job?

Start your job search by creating a plan of action. Make a list of your career goals and objectives first. Then do a tally of your most marketable skills and core competencies. 

Next, gather contact information from previous employers and references. Your goal at this point is to create a job search mindset that will be an asset in getting a job. Also, with all of the important information on hand, you’ll be able to navigate the rest of the job search process with ease.

How to Get a Job: Step-by-Step

You’ve got everything you need. Now it’s time to jump in and take action. Follow these steps, for a purposeful approach to finding a great job.

1. Update Your Resume

Chances are, you’ve developed new skills, gained lots of experience, and formed some new career goals since you last looked for a job. Your resume should reflect all of these changes. Remember that information you gathered about past employers? This is where you’ll use it. 

Start by updating your work history and education as needed. Don’t just focus on new entries. Update old ones as well. Take out information that isn’t interesting, and add in items that show your achievements

Don’t forget about the format of your resume. Does it look clean and professional? Is it easy to read? Have you paired it with an amazing cover letter

Also, remember to add contact information and social media links. This includes GitHub if you’re a tech pro. Do you have an online portfolio? Consider sending a link to that as well.

Check these resources for extra resume writing help: 

2. Prepare Your LinkedIn Profile

Your job search efforts are incomplete until you create a professional LinkedIn profile. There are so many hiring managers and recruiters that use LinkedIn to connect with potential employees. So without a profile, you miss a ton of great opportunities! 

However, like your resume you want your LinkedIn profile to truly stand out. That means you want others to be able to find your profile and be motivated to connect with you.  Add a new headshot, attach your resume, and write a great LinkedIn profile summary

Of course, you’ll get even more positive engagement if you can get a few recommendations — public endorsements of your abilities and professionalism within a certain field, made by coworkers, former employers, mentors, etc. 

You will find that most people are absolutely happy to write a recommendation. Still, there are best practices for making a LinkedIn recommendation request

3. Reach Out to Recruiters

You may wonder if it’s worth contacting recruiters. After all, can’t you just rely on job sites or simply contact companies directly?

You can, but the truth is that recruiters have the ability to connect you with job opportunities that will never be advertised publicly. There are many organizations that simply never use job boards or other online platforms. Instead, they rely on recruiters and other professional networks for their staffing needs.

Learn to reach out to a recruiter in a way that is effective, and respectful of their time. If you have the right qualifications, a recruiter can truly accelerate your efforts to find a new job.

4. Send Customized Application Packages to Every Job

In your desperation to find a new job as quickly as possible, you may be tempted to send out as many resumes as you can. Don’t do that. Instead, slow down and consider each opportunity carefully.

Generic resumes very rarely get good results. Instead, you will want to personalize your resume for each job opening. Here’s how to do to it: 

  • Create a unique professional summary for each position 
  • Adjust your highlighted skills, based on the job description 
  • Add relevant keywords to each section of your resume  

Also, don’t forget a personalized cover letter. This should be unique as well and addressed directly to the hiring authority. You’re more likely to get called in for an interview if your application package addresses the company’s needs.

tailor resume and cover letter to job application

If you are struggling with both, be sure to check our growing collection of working resume examples and sample cover letters for different industries and professions. 

Final Thoughts 

Don’t let panic or eagerness derail your efforts. The right job is out there, and you can find it quickly if you take an organized, methodical approach. Gather the information you need, update your resume and social media presence, get in contact with people to help, and give each opportunity the consideration it deserves. Do these things, and your skills and professionalism are sure to lead you to the perfect job.


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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