An effective job application must be customized to the opportunity to be found in the applicant tracking system, so applying for jobs can take a substantial amount of time. But, even if you’re happily employed at a stable company, or just landed a new position, there’s still plenty you can do to make your next job search easier. It’s better to be proactive in your job search than be rushing when the time comes. Here are three strategies to prepare your next job search and make it a successful change.
1. Keep track of your accomplishments and projects
Get in the habit of jotting down your accomplishments and projects you are a part of. It’s also a good idea to keep track of important numbers and statistics to reinforce your accomplishments. One of the hardest parts of updating your resume is trying to remember what you’ve done. Getting in this habit will make updating your resume easier when the time comes. Not only will you be grateful for it a year-end review, but it’ll come in handy if you leave the company abruptly and don’t have access to your work email.
2. Network, network, network!
Your current job is a networking goldmine. Take advantage of these opportunities to connect, and look for ways to interact with people outside of your department. Making lasting connections is helpful for when you have to provide professional references. Similarly, it’s important to keep a good relationship with your manager. When the time comes for a job change, it’s easier to ask for a reference from somebody who you have a connection with.
As you build relationships, connect with people on LinkedIn. No need to wait until you kick off a job search to connect with co-workers. With these connections in place, you can easily keep in touch if you — or others — leave for a different company.
3. Learn new skills
Is there any opportunity to learn a new skill or program? Even brushing up on important soft skills can be important for your next job search. Take advantage of these opportunities that will make you more marketable in your next job search. Hiring managers will appreciate a candidate who is willing to learn or who does not need as much training as another candidate.