News & Events

Job Search Skills and Strategies: A Guide


Employment & Learning

14Job search strategies and skills can be categorized into three parts:

  • Practical steps that you can take to improve your chances of getting a job
  • Tools and tricks that a job seeker can use to increase interview chances
  • Positive psychological attitudes and outlooks that can help to reinforce the process and keep it going


  1. Traditional Job Search Skills

The foundation of a successful job search begins with traditional skills. These are the skills that existed before the advent of the Internet, instant communication, and online profiles. They consist of scanning newspapers, using the phone, walking into establishments with your own two legs, and generally having a hard-nosed sense of purpose to find employment. You may be wondering why it’s important that you practice these skills in these modern times. In short: because they still work, and they leave a strong impression on hiring managers.


Scanning Newspapers

Scanning newspaper classified job ads for employment is still a key method for finding a job. Not all establishment owners are web savvy, nor do they need to be. Many are older and more traditional — therefore, the classifieds job section in your local newspaper is still worth looking through.

  • Get a pen, and circle jobs that look relevant to you
  • Choose jobs that are below your pay expectations. Throw out a broad net.
  • Choose jobs that are above your pay expectations. You may surprise yourself and end up in a better position than you could have imagined.
  • If there is a phone number, give them a call directly. Even if there’s also an email attached.
  • Send a resume and cover letter via the email address given.

Telephone Cold Calling

Cold calling can create too many opportunities. These are the benefits of cold calling:

  • You can clarify the application process, if it is unclear
  • You may be first in line if the company has just decided to hire new employees
  • You’ll leave a strong impression on the hiring manager, who is likely to be surprised by a confident cold call
  • You can cold call any company you want — especially the ones that could give you your dream job

Legs: They’re Made For Walking

The potential is even greater when walking into an establishment to ask about employment.

  • Dress up to make a smart impression
  • Bring copies of your resume and cover letter
  • Do your research, and ask to speak to the hiring manager by their specific name

Make sure you’ve done your research on the company before walking in. There is a possibility that you will get interviewed on the spot, if you’re qualified and lucky enough. You don’t want to stutter and look foolish, having walked into an establishment without knowing its purpose and cause for existence!

Leverage Your Network

Did you know that the #1 trait of successful people is that they ask other people for help? Many people generally like to be helpful. Ask your friends, friends of friends, and family if they are aware of any employment opportunities. With luck, that person will recommend you directly to the hiring manager, which will almost certainly put you on a short list for an interview, given that you are qualified enough.

Tip: You may wish to send out a letter of interest to companies you are impressed by, even if they’re not advertising. You can use any contacts you have in the company to put in a good word for you


  1. Modern Job Search Skills

Modern job search skills are quickly becoming an absolute necessity to successfully apply to modern types of business. By “modern” we are, of course, talking about the Internet and its various jobs search tools and aides. Currently, the defining characteristic of Internet-based job search tools is how rapidly they change. Fortunately, this has largely been for the better — generally there’s been increased ease of use. However, the rapid evolution of the Internet means that you’ll need to constantly brush up on your skills. Here are the major tools you’ll need to succeed in the current era:

Job Search Engines

Job search engines are great because many of them now aggregate job postings from other websites, providing a huge collection of postings from around the web. There are several online job search engines you can use to seek out employment. When used correctly, search engines are a great boost to any job hunt.


Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Center can be found at:

You can view the full original article by Jessica Chen / Resume Genius, at: