Alexis has worked in human resources and assisted several individuals in finding gainful employment.
Kickstarting Your Job Search
Whether you’ve been laid off, fired, recently graduated college, moved to a new town/city, or need to leave your current jobs, you’re likely going to invest a lot of time into your job search. Things aren’t the way they were 40, 30, 20, or even 10 years ago when it comes to job hunting. Job hunting has become an art, and the phrase “it’s about who you know” is an increasingly valid point. While knowing the right person is a good way to get into a company, there are also headhunters looking for you (regardless of job status).
Regardless of your job search status, once you’ve decided to get started, then you’ve come to the right place! Hold onto that resume and hold off on those job applications though, before you even think about sending them out, you have a couple of things to take care of in order to maximize your chances. Below I’ve compiled a list of five things you need to do to kickstart your job hunt and maximize your potential.
1. Update Your Resume
It’s likely your resume hasn’t been updated in a while. Now is a good time to start tweaking it with your current/previous position and any extra skills that you’ve obtained since you last updated it. Once you make a good, solid, general resume, you can have something in hand to give out. If you’re looking in more than one industry for a job (i.e., Computer Tech & teaching), it’s good to have more than one resume. Be sure to have a friend or two look it over who works in Human Resources or hiring to make sure it’ll glow.
Tip: Generally, I update my resume every six months, regardless of my job in order to save myself additional stress down the road.
2. Make a List of Potential Jobs and Employers
With websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, finding jobs has never been easier. These sites also make it easier to find out which potential employers will be best (and as I’ve learned, glassdoor is full of truth). Once you map out cities you want to pursue jobs in, start researching what industry(ies) you’re interested in and make a list. Next, make a list of companies in those industries that would be a good fit for you or that you’ve heard good things about. As you go along, you’re likely to add to the list, but for now, you have a good starting point!
3. Reach out to Your Network
If you’ve been laid off or fired, it’s important to take some time to absorb what happened, just not too long. Once you’ve processed, start reaching out to people. This can include connections on LinkedIn, former colleagues, friends, etc. Even hitting up a local networking event can be very beneficial.
When I was laid off, I immediately started talking to people I knew who had a large network and within three weeks I had a job. Odds are someone you know knows someone who has your next job!
4. Create/Update Your LinkedIn Account
If you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile, now is a great time to create one. If you already have one, you likely haven’t been keeping up with it on a regular basis. After all, if you’re employed, it might look fishy if your manager sees that you’ve been adding a lot of new connections and tweaking your profile.
There are dozens of articles out there on how to maximize your linked profile. Here are some of my favorites:
- Connect with recruiters or professionals in industries and cities you’re interested in
- Join groups and participate
- Use the trial period for a premium account
- Turn on your ‘job hunting status’ if not employed to alert recruiters
- Have a friend who works in HR and/or has strong job hunting knowledge review your profile
Bonus Tip: In the future, check up on your LinkedIn profile every month and tweak anything that might need tweaking or add a professional connection. It won’t look suspicious and will make things easier for you when (or if) you find yourself hunting for a new job in the future.
We’re not just talking about researching potential employers (which you should absolutely do!) We’re talking about researching what the job market is like. One thing that I sometimes fail to consider is all the questions you’re likely to have as you search, such as:
- How do I schedule interviews when I work full-time?
- Should I list an employer I’ve only been with for only 6 months?
- How do I make a career change resume?
- How do I job hunt when I live in another city?
I highly recommend checking out job hunt forums, talking to those in Human Resources, and checking out websites like askamanager.com.
It Takes Time!
Job searching often involves a lot of time investment and work. By doing your research, having a well-done resume, a glowing cover letter, and the right connections, your job search will be easier than most. We do live in a digital age where job hunting is easier in terms of finding jobs and applying, but more difficult because one job is getting 200 applicants. By following these tips, you’re guaranteed to stand out.
And most importantly, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of good employers looking for you. You just have to meet (or connect!)
- Askamanager.com: Run by a long-time manager and a fantastic resource.
- Indeed.com: Great for uploading your resume and finding jobs
- Glassdoor.com: Features reviews of companies and lists job openings
- LinkedIn.com: A professional networking site that recruiters frequent.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Alexis