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 If there is anything outdated or irrelevant on there, remove it.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?