If the process of starting to look for a job stresses you out, you’re not alone. Regardless of your reason to begin job seeking, the process involves a lot of preparation and perseverance to land your desired role. It can be easy to lose motivation without the proper preparation and plan in place for you to be successful. However, by completing these steps in your job search preparation, you will be ready to take on the job market!
Identify your desired job title/position
Although some people know exactly what they are looking for, that is not always the case. You may want to leave your current position, but don’t know what job title you would enjoy more. I recommend researching similar positions to ones you’ve held in the past or starting with a broad search, such as an industry, and narrowing it down to individual positions.
There could be a job title out there that you didn’t even know existed! However, do your due diligence and research your desired industry, positions, and the average salary you can make. Although you may not have heard of a position, you want to be well versed when interviewing for it to negotiate your salary and benefits.
Update your resume
Updating your resume is crucial to receiving an interview and job offer. It’s very common that years go by without a person making the time to update their resume, so I recommend starting as soon as possible to make these updates. I will warn you that updating your resume can be time-consuming when trying to remember what you accomplished in your previous roles and figuring out how to articulate it into a bullet point.
However, take the time to do the proper research on what an ATS-optimized resume is or hire a professional resume writer to write it for you. Ensuring your resume is ATS-optimized is key because companies will use these ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) Systems to sift through resumes based on certain criteria and get rid of any resumes that don’t meet the criteria before a hiring manager or recruiter even looks at it.
Update your LinkedIn
As you can see with the use of ATS Systems, companies are becoming increasingly digital. This means you also need to have an updated LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn should include all of the positions on your resume as well as the ones that could not fit on your 1-2 page resume. LinkedIn goes hand-in-hand with your resume, so it should complement and add to what is on your resume.
Your LinkedIn page should have relevant titles and headlines, a professional summary, professional involvements, etc. If you don’t know where to start with creating or improving your LinkedIn, there are resources as well as professionals who can help optimize your LinkedIn. Remember there are plenty of recruiters on LinkedIn who may seek you out because they’re impressed with your LinkedIn!
Practice common interview questions
Every interview is different, but there is often at least one interview question that is “common” across all interviews. I highly recommend practicing your answers for these “common” questions beforehand by either writing them down or verbally saying them. Even if you are not asked one of the questions you prepared for, one of your answers that you’ve already thought of could apply to one or more of the questions they do ask.
Create a job tracker
When you start applying for jobs, it can be hard to keep track of where you applied and if you’ve heard anything from the company. As a result, it is helpful to create a job tracker in which you include all the information applicable to each position you apply for, such as the link to the posting and when you sent in your application. This is also helpful when you follow-up with your recruiter or company contact in order to ensure that you are contacting the appropriate person for the position.
Networking is extremely important whether you are searching for a job or not. A referral or recommendation provides you an advantage over other candidates who did not utilize their networking skills when applying for jobs. If you are an expert at networking, you may even receive an offer for a position that is not being advertised to the public. The best place to network is on LinkedIn, so connect with people in your desired field and start a conversation.
The hardest step to take is the first one, but once you land your desired role, you’ll be happy you set aside the time to prepare for your job search process. If you’re still feeling lost trying to figure out how to prepare, check out this course for 8 steps on how to be job search ready. Remember there are a plethora of resources to help you in your job search journey, so be sure to utilize your resources and you’ll successfully land your job before you know it!