Looking for a new job can end up feeling like a full-time job itself. Since the job search can be notoriously difficult, it’s important to get a good start on your search and stay organized. Here are some things to focus on as you start of your job search:
Always make sure you have an updated resume. If you are looking for slightly different jobs or jobs in different industries, it may be worth having multiple resumes with subtle differences to highlight more relevant skills and experience. For some jobs, it may even be worth tailoring a specific resume. Avoid color, artistic flair, and serif fonts. The last are sometimes not read by the computer software that most companies now use to screen resumes.
Not everyone has a portfolio, but if your job involves writing, graphic design, or some other proof of quality, then a portfolio may be required before the interview. If you don’t have a typical portfolio, it can’t hurt to compile some information on successes in former positions that may not have fit on your resume. Portfolios are also great if you are looking for an extra side gig.
You probably have a better job network than you think you do. Treat every interaction as a potential opportunity. Many positions are filled without any actual advertising through these connections, and you might miss out if you don’t network.
Make sure there is nothing on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social network that could potentially cause problems or limit your hireability. Double check your privacy settings to ensure that nothing questionable is visible. It’s a good rule of thumb to simply avoid posting anything that might cause problems at all, as privacy settings are not always reliable, and many companies have ways to see your social media regardless.
Before beginning the job search, think about what you’re truly looking for. You may have specific companies in mind, or your desires may be more general. It’s worth making a list of the things that you really want out of your new position, as well as any deal breakers. Even smaller considerations, such as length of commute, could be an important factor. Although you may have to be flexible on certain items, it helps to narrow down your search. Make a list of dream companies you want to apply to, positions you’d be open to, and other elements that you are looking for.
Contact the people you intend to use as references and give them a heads up. You may, unfortunately, have to avoid telling your current employer if you haven’t told them that you plan to leave. If you have people you want to list that you can safely tell, getting their permission ahead of time is a good idea. Always alert references before giving their contact information so that they are prepared to respond and not surprised by the call.
A good web search can result in endless opportunities, but you need to know what to search. Some terms, like “manager,” are simply too broad. Figure out what terms make the most sense for your skills, potential positions, and industry.
As a note, if you are targeting a specific company, go straight to their website. They may have positions there that they are not listing anywhere else. Some online application systems can also tell where you came to the site from. Going directly through their website will show that you really care about working for them specifically. By using the list of things you want, you can narrow your search by industry and location.
Knowing what you want is important, but you should also keep your eyes open for opportunities you may not have considered. If you are in a position where you have to take a job for which you are overqualified, consider what kind of things you might be able to do on the side, or even start thinking about the idea you had a few years back for your own business.
If it’s been a while since you interviewed and you’re a bit rusty, practice. Touch up your interview techniques and remember that team interviews are very common these days. If you haven’t been on the market for a while, it’s worth doing quick research to see how much a typical job interview has changed. Consider practicing your interview techniques with a friend or a professional recruiter. Go over common questions and answers and consider how your answers may have changed since your last interview.
The job hunt can take a while. Avoid feeling as if you have to spend every second of your time looking for a job and nothing else, even if you are getting worried about the bills. This may be a good time to learn a new skill, catch up on your professional development, or pick up a hobby. This will help you not come over as desperate when you do get an interview.
Job hunting is a lengthy and stressful process, but if you follow the steps above, then you will be able to start your job hunt without too many problems and may be able to find the right position faster. If you need help finding the right position for you, contact Atlantic Group Recruiters by completing the form below. Our team can help you navigate the stressful field of the job search.