Landing your next job can be seriously tough, and growing your career once you're hired isn't always easy. Luckily, there's a way to make sure you're a great applicant when applying to new jobs and a strong contender for promotions and raises once you're hired.
Through years of research and working directly with job seekers, professional career coaches, and recruiters from some of the best companies in the world we've developed a process that can help your job search and career – guaranteed.
The best part? You can start using this process today.
It doesn't take any special tools or websites – not even ours – and will make you not just a stronger, more successful applicant but will reduce the stress of landing your next job at the same time.
Why is applying for jobs so hard (and exhausting)?
Landing jobs is getting harder and harder for everyone. Most people will apply to dozens if not hundreds of jobs before landing one. Competition is getting more intense: each open position receives an average of 250 applications.
The interview and hiring process is also long, often taking over 3 weeks from first interview to offer. The slow process means you can be waiting for weeks to hear back about an application and that the lines to apply just keep getting longer.
On top of all that, a resume with any errors or one that isn't scannable by Applicant Tracking Systems will get you automatically rejected by over 60% of companies. Using the same, generic resume for every application is a quick way to sink your chances as well, but we all know re-writing your resume over and over again is tedious and exhausting.
Put all this together and landing your next position is just plain tough. Job search depression is very real and can affect us all. In our research at Savviest almost everyone has gone through bouts of job search depression at some point during their careers.
But here's the thing, it's not your fault. It's the fault of a system that's fundamentally broken, stuck in the past, and which prioritizes employers over job seekers. We've seen countless innovations in hiring for companies willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, but little mind paid to us the job seekers.
We started Savviest to change that.
We started Savviest to give the power back to the job seeker. To make the process faster, easier, more successful, and more fun.
And after years of research, we've developed a method that anyone can use to reduce the pain of job seeking and ensure they land their dream job faster.
You can use it without any special tools. It's not tied to our site or any other (though we've built savviest.com to directly support these principles).
We call it The Savviest Method.
What is The Savviest Method? How will it help with my career?
The Savviest Method is a series of 5 steps that will land you your next job faster and help you build an incredible career:
- Stop thinking of yourself as a resume.
- Tailored applications are the only ones that work.
- Your network wants to help you succeed – use it.
- Career coaching is the future, use it to boost yours now.
- Use data to grow your career faster and make more money.
Let's dive in to each step to see how you can use The Savviest Method to boost your job search today and your career into the future.
1. Stop thinking of yourself as a resume
You're an incredible, complex person that is so much more than what can be summed up in a single resume. You've had more experiences in one week at a job or at school than could be included on 10 resumes.
The problem is, the hiring system is so focused on that single piece of (digital) paper that it's easy to start thinking of yourself that way. It's easy to limit your professional experiences to what fits on a page or two.
And it's easy to start thinking of your professional worth as what's on that resume.
It took me years of work in this space and hundreds of conversations with job seekers and coaches to realize that I was making this mistake. It's difficult to see and the consequences can be so far removed that you wouldn't know this was the root them.
By thinking of your professional self as what's on your resume, you don't give yourself credit for everything else you've done. The time you put in getting to know your coworkers, the small projects you picked up to help your team, the thousands of tiny things you did that garnered you favor with your boss for that last raise. Hundreds of assignments turned in on time in school.
When you think your resume is all that you have to convince your next employer to hire you, you inevitably limit your potential:
- You don't apply for that job that seems a little out of reach.
- You don't interview with full confidence.
- You don't realize how much you can change your application for each job (see #2).
- You don't enjoy the process of finding your dream job, because you're worried that that you aren't perfect.
Resumes did this to me, and they do it to job seekers in every industry and at every stage in their career.
Step #1 of The Savviest Method is to break out of the resume mindset.
Instead, imagine yourself as a vast collection of experiences, knowledge, and skills that make you unique.
Every single conversation you had with your boss, coworker, and teacher have made you even more ready to tackle this next role. Every project and assignment gave you more experience that you can tap into when you need it next.
No one does a job the same way, and you'll bring your amazing talents – all of them – to the next place you go.
- Keep a list of everything you've done at each job, and I mean everything. Small projects the same as big ones. Anything that made you proud even for an hour, a day, or a month. You never know when you'll be applying to a job in which a previous project or success is the perfect fit but you can't remember the details.
- Apply for the stretch jobs! This becomes even easier if you've recorded all of your accomplishments in step #1. You'll realize you're qualified for a lot more jobs that you thought, that you have a wider variety of skills, and that you've managed more than you realize.
- Interview with confidence. You're incredible, don't limit yourself to talking only about the biggest projects or the few line items on your resume. Talk about what made you proud, what you were passionate about, or how you helped your team. Your authenticity and energy will be what gets you hired. Remember, they already have your resume, so they want to get to know you.
- Have fun. You won't hear back from every job and that's ok. With a longer list of your accomplishments you'll realize that you're a catch and that any job that doesn't hire you isn't a place you'd want to be. You're going to land an incredible position before you know it.
Savviest makes it easy to store all of your experiences and accomplishments, and then use them to help with everything from job searching to resume writing.
You can use this model however you'd like though – keep a list of your accomplishments in a Word or Google doc. Keep the document always open on your work computer and make a habit of checking it at least once a week. Make sure you add at least 1 thing to your list every time you check it. Before you know it, you'll have a base to pull from for any application.
2. Tailored applications are the only ones that work
This may sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not. Applicant Tracking Systems are becoming more and more common, and will automatically weed out any candidates whose resumes and cover letters aren't close enough to the job description.
Even if you're a great candidate, it's very likely a human won't even read your resume until it's made it through their ATS first. As ATS get smarter, the successful candidates are the ones who are tailoring their resumes more and more.
Even if your application does get through the ATS, recruiters often don't know more about the position they're recruiting for than the qualifications listed on the job description. If they have two resumes, one where all of the most relevant information is front and center and one where it's scattered around the resume, which one will they choose? And when they only have 7 seconds to decide?
Yup, they're going to choose the resume that prioritizes the same keywords that the job description uses.
Don't limit your chances. Use a tailored resume for every application.
This may seem like a lot of work. I get it, I thought the same thing.
In fact, at one point in my career I spent months sending the same resume to hundreds of different positions in multiple industries. I didn't hear back from a single one.
Only then did I realize that I had wasted countless days applying for jobs that I wouldn't get so that I could save hours not having to re-write my resume.
I had to hit rock bottom in my job search before I put in the effort to craft a tailored resume. Trust me, I didn't want to do it any more than you do.
But when I did, magic started happening. I started getting calls back from recruiters and booked my first interview within a week. I could have saved so much time if I had just tailored my resume in the first place.
Here's how to do it:
- Keep a list of all of your accomplishments (Savviest Method #1). Once you have the list it's easy to pick and choose what you need.
- Read the job description carefully. Find the 5-10 most important keywords and phrases, and then find words and phrases that are as close as possible in your list of accomplishments. Use Ctrl-F to search for them if your list is very long.
- Find a single resume templates you like and stick to it. Then paste in the the most relevant experiences for each job. It'll take a few minutes, but you'll save an immense amount of time in the long run.
Savviest makes this process ridiculously easy. Once you've added your Building Blocks, Savviest can auto-tailor resumes to job descriptions. Just add a job to your Job Tracker and build a resume from there. Savviest will choose the most relevant information from your Building Blocks and create a brand new resume in seconds.
What about cover letters?
All of this is true for cover letters too. It's easy to tell when a candidate is using the same cover letter for each job, and it's as bad as not sending one at all.
But here's the truth: you don't have to fully re-write your cover letter every single time.
Instead, break your cover letters into paragraphs, and save each paragraph as you write it. Soon you'll end up with a library of paragraphs much like your list of resume accomplishments. Once you have a few, you can start mixing and matching the ones that are most relevant for a given job.
Sure, you'll need to tweak them each time, but if you have a large enough list to begin with you can cut your writing time in half when putting together a new letter.
Be sure to save these paragraphs over the long term too! You'll be able to use them again for professional intros, in requests for promotions, and in future letters (see Savviest Method #5).
Savviest works for cover letters too! Add paragraphs to your Building Blocks, and when it's time for a new cover letter just click the Build button in your Job Tracker. Savviest will choose the most relevant paragraphs and will even automatically insert the name of the organization you're applying to and the job title.
3. Your network wants to help you succeed – use it
Your personal network is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal when job seeking, and one that truly wants to help!
The problem is that most of use don't want to bother people, especially at a time in our lives where we feel less than. It can be hard to ask someone for help or advice during the job search. We're so tired of hearing "no" from employers that we sure don't want to hear it from our friends, family, and network.
During one job search I spent months telling everyone around me that it was "going great". Every time they would ask I had another excuse for why I wasn't working yet or why the last application just wasn't for me.
It took a mentor of mine asking me how I had been supported by my network to make me realize that I hadn't let them support me. They were asking how things were going because they genuinely cared.
Your network wants you to succeed. You would help them in their career, and they will help you.
Here's what's important to remember: Networking isn't just about talking to people who will hire you.
Even if you don't know someone in upper management at the company you want to work at doesn't mean that you don't have a strong network. Everyone you know has something to offer.
They may have advice about a particular career path. They may be able to introduce you to someone. They may be able to help you craft your resume or cover letter. Maybe they're great at motivating you. Or maybe they can be there to just chat over a cup of coffee to decompress and feel better about the whole process.
The more people you tap to help with each piece of the career puzzle the more successful you'll be. But don't do it willy-nilly. Think about the people around you and what their strengths are. By asking them targeted questions you can make the most of your time together and land that dream job even faster.
- Write down a list of 5 people you know who can help with different aspects of the job search. You can add more over time, but make sure you get at least 5 people off the bat to show yourself the power of your network.
- Assign each person a role in your job search. They could be a Connector that helps introduce you to people in their industry. They could be a Writer who can proofread your applications or help you with your list of accomplishments (see Savviest Method #1). They could be a Confidant who you can be open and honest with about the difficulties of the job search. Or they could be a Peer who's going through the same thing and you can work together to stay motivated.
- Reach out to them immediately. It can be as simple as a quick email, text, or call. Be honest and let them know where in the process you are. You'll be amazed by their response and support. Try to find a time to meet or talk with each one soon, the faster you start networking the sooner you'll see the results.
- Be open to helping others as your network helped you. Whether it's now with someone else who's going through the job search or later when you're comfortably in your career. Help the people around you be successful. It feels great, and is likely to come back around to help you in the future.
Savviest makes working with people in your network a breeze. Share links to your resumes and cover letters with an advisor or friend to get their feedback and comments.
4. Career coaching is the future, use it to boost yours now
Professional career coaches and resume writers exist for a reason – they can make a big difference to your application and success. They can help you:
- Discover what careers and activities you're most passionate about.
- Find jobs that complement your interests and skills.
- Write and review resumes and cover letters.
- Practice for interviews.
- Develop a tailored track to land you in your dream job.
Many people think of career coaches as being expensive, inaccessible, or only for executives, but the truth is that there are coaches for everyone. There's never been a better time to work with a professional coach, whether it's for a single resume review or a series of deeper discovery sessions.
If you're not ready to dive in to a full coaching session, we recommend taking advantage of a new trend: micro-coaching.
Micro-coaching sessions are narrow, tailored ways to get feedback on one part of your job search from a professional coach without breaking the bank.
You can sign up for a 15 minute chat to get answers on your specific questions. Or you can book a quick 30 minute session to do a mock interview to prepare you specifically for a particular interview you have coming up.
Don't need a full resume re-write? Micro-coaching allows you to get a professional review quickly and cost effectively.
Many coaches are moving to this model, and it's absolutely something you should consider for your own job search. For the price of a burger and fries you can make yourself a significantly more effective candidate and give yourself the confidence to rock your next application.
All that said, working together more deeply with a coach can be one of the most impactful things you can do for your career. They can help you discover new fields that fit your interests, help prepare for interviews, and give you the confidence to nail every part of the application.
Here's how to make use of the new generation of career coaching services:
- For micro-coaching, find a coach online who is willing to do quick sessions. Choose a very specific topic for each one and come ready with questions.
- When you're ready to take the next step, use a coaching platform that can match you with a coach based on your background.
Savviest makes it easy to find coaches, dive deep, or get targeted, specific feedback during your job search and throughout your career. Choose from a series of tailored experiences to answer exactly the questions you have, get detailed feedback on your resumes and cover letters, and more.
5. Use data to grow your career faster and make more money
This is one that I never even considered before my work at Savviest, and I'd be willing to bet you haven't either.
Data isn't just for big companies, it can be your superpower when it comes to growing your career, getting raises and promotions, and accelerating your success.
But what does "data" mean exactly? Data is the information you have about yourself or your industry that you can turn into actions that benefit your career. Some examples include:
- Your full list of accomplishments from The Savviest Method step #1.
- Your knowledge of industry standards for pay, raises, promotions, and more.
- Your network's knowledge of pay, raises, promotions, and more.
The more you know about yourself and your position, the better off you'll be when searching for jobs and asking for promotions.
Keeping track of your list of accomplishments will show you that you can apply for that stretch job. And keeping track of your accomplishments while you're employed will help give you concrete reasons that you deserve that promotion or raise.
I spent years of my career assuming that my bosses new best when I was ready to be promoted. I could not have been more wrong. Even the best managers who care about you are busy worrying about their own careers and are being pulled in many different directions.
It's up to you to measure and record your successes and accomplishments, and it's up to you to come to your boss asking for that promotion. You'll be infinitely more successful if you have that list of things you've done. Don't wait until you want the raise to start writing the list either, you'll forget so many of the amazing things you've done.
Keep the list up to date weekly, and then don't be afraid to use it when talking to your manager.
But how will you know when it's the right time to ask? Two ways:
- Research industry averages for career growth and salaries. There's increasing information online about what you should expect from your position in your area.
- Most importantly: Trust yourself. If you think you deserve the promotion, you probably do. If you see coworkers getting raises, you need one too. Take the industry averages from #1 above and consider yourself even better. Ask for the promotion or a larger raise sooner than you would expect.
Asking for a raise or promotion, especially sooner than you may otherwise, can be intimidating. Don't let that stop you. It shows you have initiative, are career focused, and know your worth. You have your lists of accomplishments, you're prepared, you're ready to make moves.
You won't always get the promotion right then and there, but you'll be on your manager's mind from then on out. They'll know that if they don't reward you soon you'll leave and find a better position.
Now you have the power. All because of a little data.
To recap, here's how to use data to advance your career even faster:
- Keep a list of your accomplishments throughout your time working. Don't be afraid to use that list as concrete examples of successes when talking to your bosses. You can remind them of your work in regular meetings throughout the year, and when it's time to ask for a promotion or a raise come ready with a well-written list of all you've done.
- Research salaries and job titles at similar companies using online tools and databases. The more you know, the more confident you'll be asking for what you deserve.
- Even with that research, you deserve more than you think! It's in company's best interests to limit salary information and downplay what they pay others. Assume that you should be getting paid more than the averages you find online and that you should be getting promoted faster. That mindset will allow you to ask for what you deserve easier, and you'll find that you're often right.
Savviest makes keeping your list of accomplishments easy. Keep a Savviest tab open and add your recent successes, projects, and more to it each week. Then when it's time to ask for that promotion Savviest can generate a report about all that you've accomplished in your time in that position (currently available in beta).
How does savviest.com come into play with The Savviest Method?
The Savviest Method is meant for everyone, no matter what tools they use.
You don't need anything fancy to take advantage of what it has to offer. If you follow it correctly you'll be just as successful no matter how you go about writing your accomplishments, tailoring your resumes, engaging your network, talking to career coaches, and asking for raises.
But that's not to say that following each step above is easy. We built Savviest as a way to make The Savviest Method simple, fast, and so much easier than using any other tools.
Adding and tracking all of your achievements through Savviest is easy with Building Blocks. We then use those Building Blocks to help you find positions that are a great fit, automatically tailor your resumes and cover letters to each job, and give you insight into your career growth and when to ask for your next promotion.
Savviest also makes it easy to engage your network by creating your career's Board of Advisors and working directly with career coaches in dedicated, tailored sessions.
If you're serious about landing your next job quickly or growing your current career faster there's no better way than The Savviest Method.
And there's no better tool for The Savviest Method than Savviest itself.