Using keywords to target your job search

Learn different tricks to search for the right job for you.

In the process of searching for a job, do you find yourself spending countless hours reviewing jobs you are not interested in, not qualified for, pay too less or are too far away? Using keywords will help narrow your search, save you time and energy by finding postings that meet your criteria.

The site

When starting your job search, it is important to find the best sites that may have what you are looking for. Sites like Michigan State University Career Service Network, LinkedIn, Monster and Indeed are good places to start looking for jobs. However, there are other places you can look to find some jobs that may not be posted on these sites. CoolWorks.com, for example, is a site where people can search for summer and seasonal “jobs in great places.” Search jobs by category, season or state to find opportunities that may be waiting at your door. Many jobs include positions available at National Parks.

The search

Now that you have found the site you would like to use, try searching by keywords. There are many different ways to search for a particular job. Searching by location, position, title, qualifications or company can help narrow your search to your specific interests. For example, if you want to find a job that incorporates writing, some of the basic search terms to start off with include “writing,” “editing,” “proofreading.” However, keep in mind to search for all forms of a word. For example, instead of just searching for “writing,” you should also search “write” and “writer.” It is important to realize the different effects of different search terms. Your job is to recognize that a specific person wrote this job posting; you must cover all bases of keywords.

Also, recognize that a basic search can be easily turned into a more personable preference. For example, if still seeking a writing job, you can also search for “assistant writer,” “writing internship,” “communications manager,” “assistant publishing coordinator,” etc. Developing different interests and specifying the position may help in searching for the right job for you. However, don’t feel discouraged if these types of searches do not return the results you want. If this occurs, make your searches a little broader to incorporate more postings.

The find

When you finally find a position you are interested in, congratulations! Make sure you keep a record of your searches and the results to keep track of what you found. If you are interested in a job posting, always save it and the contact information of the recruiter so you can reference the posting at other times.

If you decide you want to apply for the position, re-read the posting and make sure you cater your application and resume to the specific traits and skills they are looking for. Design your résumé and cover letter with the job posting in mind in order to successfully present yourself as a contributing candidate.

For additional trainings, articles and resources to help people prepare for their career, check out the Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development websites.

With these tools and tips in mind, good luck in your job search!

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