job search

3 steps to kickstart your job search

Whether you are graduating soon and looking for your first job or currently working and ready for a change, starting your job search can feel like the first step of your ascent up Mt. Everest. Between school or work, you might feel like you don’t have time to also look for a job.

We have worked with thousands of people to successfully and quickly land their dream jobs, so we wanted to provide the first 3 steps to kickstart your job search.

1. Figure out what you want

There are so many different types of jobs available, so take time to think about what you want in a job before getting started with your search. This will help make sure that you are focusing your search.

  • Do you want to work at a big company or a small startup?

For small startups, try looking for jobs on AngelList or VentureLoop. For bigger companies, try LinkedIn or Google Jobs. Review our list of the best job boards to help you even further.

  • Does your experience or interest lend itself to a specific topic within your field?

It is always better to narrow down your search. Searching for “software engineer” on LinkedIn yields hundreds of thousands of results, versus “machine learning engineer,” which has only a few thousand results. A smaller search means that you have fewer uninteresting or unwanted positions popping up at the top of the list. 

  • Are you looking to collaborate with others or do you prefer working on your own?

A good look at your work style is helpful when reading the job descriptions for positions you are considering. Eliminate roles by knowing what you want and don’t want in your job search. 

2. Optimize your resume and online profiles

Once you have determined the types of roles you’re interested in, it’s time to optimize your resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile.

  • Don’t be afraid to tailor your resume to specific positions. Match your previous job titles and keywords to what you see in the job description, if you can. Exact matching is important if companies are using applicant tracking systems
  • In the content of your resume, make sure you highlight the impact of your work and quantify your results. Even if you did not get the results you thought you would, showcasing the numbers behind your work will help impress the importance.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn is completely up-to-date and beef it up with links to your work. These links help the recruiter and hiring manager fully realize what you did in your previous experiences or at school. Allowing them the opportunity to explore your websites, apps, and GitHub profile will give them more tangible items to remember you.

3. Know how to look

To optimize and expedite your job search, we recommend utilizing an x-ray search so that you can avoid scrolling through positions that are not interested in. This is a way to cut through the noise and create your own job boards. By searching for exactly what you want in the right format, you can see everything in your results.

Examples: (“Ruby” AND (“programming” OR “code”)  “Arizona State University” “San Francisco” (“college recruiter” OR “university recruiter” OR “technical recruiter”)  AND (“engineer” OR “engineers” OR “Python”) AND “Texas”

Photo of how to kickstart your job search


Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, our fellows find jobs, on average, in 3 months.

If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with kickstarting your job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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