STARTING THE JOB SEARCH: SECRETS TO SUCCESS
Are you ready to start the job search process but feel overwhelmed and don’t quite know where to start? Or, like so many other professionals, perhaps you have been doing everything you can think of to secure your next job but still you are getting nowhere; no offers, no interviews or interviews but no call-backs.
You don’t need to stay stuck in the cycle, if what you are doing in the job search is NOT WORKING then it's time to do something new! Expand your thinking outside of your routine so that you can easily identify what is holding you back from achieving your job attainment goal!
Remember, your progress in the job search hinges on your readiness to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!
Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and experience results?
Great choice, let’s get started by revealing my “secrets to success”, starting with the first 7 things you should do at the start of your job search process. Whether you are a veteran to the job search process or a newly minted job seeker, applying the strategies outlined below will enable you to position yourself as a top candidate in highly competitive applicant pools.
#1 Review your resume: This might seem like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how many job seekers just submit the outdated document they had on file prior to their most recent job when they are applying for a new role.
# 2 Update your resume to reflect your skill strengths: Make sure your resume reflects your most recent and relevant skills. Highlight a summary of your skills in bullet points at the top of the resume document. You should list the key professional and technical strengths that you can hit the ground running with on “day 1” of a new job.
Note: Skill lists do not need to be prefaced with extra adjectives about how you perform those skills. So avoid points like “proficient in digital…” “detail oriented project manager...”, “enthusiastic team leader…”. Just stick to the skill label you want to highlight, “Project Management”, “Digital Marketing”, “Leadership” etc.
# 3 Update your resume to reflect your professional ACHIEVEMENTS: When reviewing the professional roles on your resume, evaluate the bulleted list under each role to ensure you are not just providing your day to day responsibilities like a job description. Instead, your resume should be a demonstration of what you have accomplished in each role. Quantify as much as you can and ask yourself these questions,
“What I have created in this role?”
“What have I built or expanded on in this role?”
“What have I improved in this role?”
For each of those responses, follow with a response to this question,
“What was the overall outcome/impact of my contributions at this job whether to the work, to the department and/or for the company?”
# 4 Audit your LinkedIn Profile: If you do not have a thorough and detailed LinkedIn profile, create one now! You can simply copy and paste the content from your resume for consistency. Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, check out other profiles of professionals in your field/role. See that your profile matches up in terms of depth and presentation. If there are items you can include on your profile that you think will enhance your presentation (certifications, honors, volunteerism, special projects, recommendations) etc. go ahead and add them in.
Note: You can turn off the ability for people to see when you are making changes to your profile in your setting options.
#5 Start the job search: Now that your digital portfolio and resume are up to par, you are ready to get the search started. The “search” is the most critical component of the whole process and typically gets washed over when job seekers fall into the standard operating procedures of the humdrum job search that is all we know. If this is what you are doing, please STOP searching for jobs the way you normally do or think you should!! Before you go on-line or put feelers out to your network, I urge you to step back and ask yourself the following questions.
#6 Identify the roles that match your skills AND interests: Now that you are armed with the responses to the questions from #5, log onto your preferred job searching site, whichever digital platform features the jobs you are most interested in, and search the job titles/roles you want to work in. If you don’t know the job titles exactly, search keywords related to the response you provided in #5A. As the postings come up, cross check the job description and company websites against your priority list from #5D. Select the positions and companies that are most aligned with your priority list and save them so that you can easily link back when you need to.
Note: DO NOT SUBMIT APPLICATIONS OR RESUMES YET-JUST SAVE THOSE JOBS.
Also, remember these jobs don’t have to be jobs you would or can necessarily apply to. Maybe the job role is perfect for you but the company is too far away or the pay isn't great but the company is awesome, save these job posting links anyway. You can use these job descriptions and company profiles as a baseline for your search and a reference when networking.
#7 Explore your digital network: Now that you know the types of jobs that interest you and/or the exact jobs you want to apply for. Tap into your digital network before you start submitting resumes to those company websites. Look up the company on LinkedIn to see if anyone you know works there. Ask around in your existing professional and personal network to see if there are any linkages. Still no connections? How about creating relationships with people who work in that role at other companies to ask for their feedback? Or maybe pinging someone at the actual company you want to work for to let them know you are ready to apply through the website but would be happy to share your resume with them directly as well.
These are only the basics to get your started because you don’t want to get too overwhelmed in the beginning. However, once you scratch the surface by moving through the process above, you can begin flushing out what is important to you and learn how to successfully find the right roles to apply for. As you start honing in on the right roles for you, you will need to go back and reevaluate your resume to ensure that the skills and accomplishments listed, mirror the desired requirements and proficiencies of the jobs you want to apply for.
Lastly, you will need to apply best-practice, digital and in-person networking strategies as well as improve your interview skills so as to round out your “top spot” candidacy for any role you want to work in! You can certainly dive into this endeavor on your own but if you find that you are hitting a wall or getting stuck in the same old patterns of your limiting beliefs around your career goals, you should definitely consider hiring a coach to guide you through the self-exploration needed for this process to be effective!
Just remember that as you go through this process, attitude and behavioral patterns are just as important as “task lists and to-do’s”. You have to stay positive for positive outcomes to materialize.
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ShaynaLee Coaching, LLC
ShaynaLee is a Career Coach and Strategist with 15 years of experience creating and implementing professional development strategies.