Starting the job search process can seem overwhelming. It’s OK, we’ve all been there. So, to help you get over that “I’m feeling so overwhelmed” state, we’ve broken it down for you. In just 6 easy steps you’ll be on the way to finding (and accepting) your next job!
1. Take Time to Customize each Resume and Cover Letter
A resume that targets the key skills and responsibilities for a specific job description with a powerful summarization of your achievements is absolutely vital. Taking the time to personalize each resume and cover letter allows you to get past the Applicant Tracking System bots. These systems scan your resume for keywords and skills that match the job description. If you’re resume doesn’t include some of the keywords and skills, your resume is more likely to get skipped over. Finding a job does take time, but in the end, it is worthwhile to take the extra time to stand out from the crowd.
2. Build Your Online Professional Brand
When you apply for a job, a hiring manager may be looking at your social media accounts. No, not just your LinkedIn profile! This means that everything on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest is instantly a part of your application. So how do you manage your social media for career success? Step one is making sure that all public platforms are professional. This can mean cleaning up your public profiles or even making your accounts more private. Depending on your career field, it may even be a good idea to start an online portfolio. This is an easy way to have samples of your work and even your resume in a digital format that is easy to share.
3. Network, Network, Network!
Now that you’ve got your LinkedIn or professional portfolio up and running, it’s time to start using it! The phrase, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know,” is still true in the job searching process! This is the time to look back over your job history and identify those experiences and relationships that will assist you in finding your new job. Reach out to previous employers, friends, or colleagues about your job hunt. You never know who will help you find your next opportunity.
4. Prepare for the Interview
Interviewing is often the most stressful part of a job search. However, if your resume is strong enough to convince the recruiter that you are worth a phone call, you are already a strong contender for the job. You can prepare for an interview in a variety of ways. One helpful way is to compile a list of common interview questions and practice with a friend. This lets you practice with a real person and they can give you questions of the spot! You can also practice by yourself by planning out your answers to common questions ahead of time. But, don’t memorize your answers — make mental notes in your head about points you want to touch on for specific questions.
Are you having a phone interview or video interview first? There are certain things to you need to remember and plan for those too! For example, don’t forget to clean up your background before starting your video interview. It’s also important to remember you still need to dress professionally for a video interview!
5. Don’t Forget to Follow-Up
Once you finish your interview, it’s always a good idea to follow-up afterward and thank everyone you met with. Also, reiterate your interest in the position and remind the hiring manager why you’re an excellent candidate for the job. This makes you seem like an interested and engaged candidate.
6. Remember That This Takes Time
A job search is not something that usually happens overnight. It’s going to take time and effort. Don’t get discouraged when you feel like there is nothing out there, or you aren’t getting any interview requests. Your application has to get the attention of busy recruiters, hiring managers, and yes, some robots. It can be exhausting. But the more effort you put in, the greater your chances of getting that interview. And don’t forget, take a break if you need to!