School’s out and it’s time to get yourself out of the books and into the job market. Whether you’re applying for your first job or you are preparing to make a career change there is a certain to-to list every job seeker must complete to prepare a.
Keep your resume up-to-date
When the right job shows up the last thing you want to do is waste time updating your resume or seeker forbid – start one from scratch! If there is anything outdated or irrelevant on there, remove it. If you’ve recently completed any courses or have some motivating statistic about yourself to brag about, add it. You will most likely tailor your resume in some way for each job you apply for, but make sure you’ve got the best possible version as a starting point.
Everything we just said about the resume also applies to your cover letter. Except that it must be even more tailored for each specific job. Take the time now before the scramble to review your information so you can figure out exactly how best to highlight your accomplishments and possible contributions to a potential employer.
Review your social media presence
Even if you think you’ve done a pretty good job on your LinkedIn profile it’s a good idea to see what other people in a similar field are doing. How does yours compare? Do you have endorsements from colleagues or professors? Do you post relevant information there? Is it inviting and informative?
Next on your to-do list, have a look at the rest of your social media presence. If you have a stellar LinkedIn profile but your Facebook page is a mess of party pictures and descriptions of drunken escapades you are probably not sending out the message you want for potential employers. You need to ensure that everything anyone sees or reads about your online adds to the image you want to create.
Prepare for upcoming interviews
Once you have a real interview you will spend a lot of time learning everything you can about the company by checking out their online presence. But even if you don’t have an interview coming up, you can still prepare for the inevitable questions, like Tell me about yourself, or What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Some people love networking. Others would rather swim with sharks (partly because that’s how networking feels to them). Even if you are not the schmoosing type, it’s possible to go to a networking event with the intent to speak to just one person. Get through that and next time you could try for two. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to do that, try a conference. You will most likely learn something pertinent to your search and who knows someone might strike up a conversation with you!
If you meet someone at a networking event or a conference, follow up with a quick, nice to meet you message. If you’ve had an interview, follow that up with a thank you letter. Always. Someone took the time to meet with you, that time and effort needs to be acknowledged. Remember the person who came in to the interview after you sent a thank you letter. All things being equal, who do you think is going to make the stronger impression?
Sometimes during a long job search, you can end up feeling hopeless and exasperated. Here are three tips to help you kick those terrible feelings in the face.
If you’re on the job search, life is tough enough as it is. Unemployment is never a walk in the park especially when you also have to consider your budget and expenses. Don’t make your job search any harder than it already is. Avoid these job search mistakes.
Have a Plan
Don’t go head long into your job search with a bunch of resumes and start throwing them at store fronts and receptionists. You need a plan. What kind of job do you want? Where do you want to work? Do you know anyone who has contacts there? Is your resume up to date? You need to address all of these things before you even start your job search.
You’re resume might be impressive, but the quickest way to torpedo an offer for an interview or job is if the hiring manager has to send the invitation to snugglesNhugs42@hotmail.com. Make sure your resume is professional. Something as simple as your first name and last name with a period in between will work.
Tailor Your Resume
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to send the exact same cover letter and resume to each and every job you apply for. You don’t have to have totally different resumes and cover letters, but you should tweak both for each different job. Call out specific skills mentioned in the job ad and focus on the skills you have that are part of the job you’re applying for.
Don’t Focus Only on Posted Jobs
If you only look for jobs on job boards, you’re missing a huge opportunity. As much as 80% of jobs are never posted on online job boards. Take time to talk your friends, former colleagues and even family members to see if they have any leads for you. A personal connection can be key to landing a new job.
Always Include a Cover Letter
More important than tailoring your cover letter for each job, is just including one. Even when the job listing doesn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, include one anyway. The cover letter is a personal introduction and will help the hiring manager get a better sense of who you are.
Research the Company
Chances are, if you get an interview, your interviewer will ask you what you know about their company or why you’d like to work for them. If your answer is a blank stare, you may have just missed out on a great job. Find out what they’ve done, where are they headed, and think about how you could be a part of that.
These small mistakes are all easily preventable. Make sure you’re not making one of them.