The Minimalist Job Search

April 26th, 2011 | Job Search | No Comments »

The biggest side effect of the job search is anxiety.

It’s that weight on your shoulders and the reason why you can’t sleep. Enter the job search, and you’ve entered into chaos, because there’s just too much to do and too much going on in the job search world to maintain your sanity.


At first glance, yes. There are millions of people going through it right now this second.

But you don’t have to be one of them.

The minimalist job search may sound counter intuitive at first, but minimalism is about eliminating the clutter in your life, and that is exactly what your job search needs.

De-clutter your job search, and that anxiety will wither away and the only path left is the one leading directly to your next awesome career step.

The Biggest Step

Quit the job boards. We’ve talked about it before, but job boards are highly tempting, and giving them up is a scary thought. Ultimately, though, this is creating the most clutter in your job search.

There are hundreds of job boards out there, boasting thousands of jobs, to which millions of people are applying. It is so tempting to take a quick glance every day to see if there’s anything new and appealing, but before you know it, that quick glance turns into hours of poring over the same old job postings.

With all the hundreds and thousands of postings and applicants out there, it’s no surprise that the number of people who land their dream job from a job board is miniscule. The fraction is so tiny that it’s just not worth the time you put into obsessing over them.

So, as tempting as it is and as easy as it appears to be, the only way to minimalize your job search and find your dream career is to quit the job boards. Take a deep breath and say goodbye. The minute you start focusing on job search tactics that actually work, the closer you are to your next career step.

So what’s next?

The advice to quit job boards often leaves people asking where, then, will they ever find companies that are hiring.

The key is, job boards cost employers money. So usually, the first place they will post those open positions is on their own website, followed by free social media outlets, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

How do you find these companies? Find yourself a company directory. LinkedIn is a great resource for company directories, and you can define your search by location, industry, company size, and more. Plug in your basic desires, and you’ll find a list of companies that could fit the bill for your next career.

From there, click through these companies’ websites, find their career pages, take at look at their social media accounts, or connect to their employees via LinkedIn. The process may seem slow, but chances are, you will find more relevant job leads this way than you would with hours of job board browsing.

Cutting through the clutter

As un-minimalist as it seems, it can be helpful to create more than one email account. Have one that you only use for your job search, to cut away all the clutter that is not related to your job search.

If you want to take it to the next level though, try to minimize the number of emails you send. You’ve heard about the resume black hole before, and it’s no lie that employers’ inboxes are filled to the brim with applicant emails. So cut through that clutter and make a direct phone call to the people you need to speak to in order to get that job.

Avoid general HR departments, as they’ll often just direct you back to email. Call a good recruiter or find the name of the person in charge of the department you’re interested in. These people get a lot of calls too, but significantly less than the number of emails they get, so put yourself in the smaller category.

The minimalist job seeker stands out

The next step, of course, is to actually apply to the places and people you find. Make sure your resume is clutter free, focused only on the most important aspects of your experience, skills, and accomplishments.

If you have a cover letter, keep it concise, and make it abundantly clear what it is you and you alone can bring to the table.

Customize each resume and cover letter to each company you apply for – a minimalist job search is not about mass mailing your resume to all the leads you find.

You will find in the end that by eliminating the clutter in your job search, you’ve applied to quality leads, instead of massive quantities of them. And this, in turn, should lead to the one dream job for which you’re a perfect candidate.

So not only will you have found your next career step by minimalizing your job search, you’ll also have eliminated that job search anxiety. Say hello to a restful night’s sleep.

Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis

Related Links
Quit Job Boards
Quality Over Quantity
Job Searching Burnouts: 24 Ways to Refuel Yourself

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