1. Define your ideal job
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That line, from Alice in Wonderland, is important to remember in your job search.
If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it?
What job title and responsibilities are you interested in? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you?
Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position and keep your search on track.
2. Build and leverage your network
It’s estimated that the majority of jobs are found through networking and referrals. According to Jobvite’s survey, the vast majority of positions are filled through referrals and not job boards:
“Job boards have a .4% effectiveness and employee referrals have 5.2% effectiveness.”
In addition, friends and professional connections are proven to be the ‘go-to source’ and job seekers’ jackpot for new opportunities:
Networking effectiveness is not just about quality — although that’s important. It’s also about quantity. It’s not just about who you know; it’s about who your contacts know. Many times, it’s the friend-of-a-friend who can help you land your dream job.
Grow your network both professionally and personally. You never know who will be the one to introduce you to your next job opportunity. Here’s more on how to network your way to a new job!
3. Update your resume
An up-to-date resume is a must. Create a solid ‘starter’ resume which can be easily customized for each application, avoiding the stress of writing your resume on the fly when the right role pops up.
If you’ve taken on additional responsibilities in your current role, changed your job target, or added new training or educational credentials to your portfolio – your resume should reflect this.
Of course, if you don’t have a resume at all, NOW is definitely the time to put one together! Don’t wait until you see a posting to start putting this critical file together. A solid resume takes careful consideration and loads of investment. Read some of this year’s important resume trends.
4. Strengthen your LinkedIn profile
A LinkedIn profile doesn’t replace the resume…it complements it. Someone looking for a candidate with your skills and experience can easily conduct a search on LinkedIn and find you. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you and forward your LinkedIn profile to a hiring manager for consideration.
With this in mind, a strategically created and fully populated LinkedIn profile is a must.
Ensure your profile showcases who you are, what your top skills are, and what specific industry/occupation you are targeting. When developing your profile, keep these top mistakes front of mind and ensure your headline is perfectly polished.
5. Know what you’re worth: conduct salary research
One of the most often-cited reasons to consider a job search is to increase your salary. But how do you know what you’re worth?
There is more salary research data available than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com can help you see how your current salary and benefits package stacks up.
Jobvite’s survey stresses that just 1/3 of job seekers’ negotiated salary, but of those that did:
“85% report receiving higher pay”.
Are you prepared to negotiate salary from a position of strength when the time comes?
6. Manage your online reputation
More and more hiring managers are checking you out online before they interview, or hire, you. What will they find when they type your name into Google? How about if they check out your Twitter profile? Or find you on Facebook?
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey:
“Seven in ten employers (70 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates during hiring process.”
Now is the time to conduct a social media assessment and clean up your online profiles. Google yourself before others do and work to clean up any potential ‘digital dirt’ or online snafus. For example, if someone has the same name as you – consider ways you can differentiate yourself or establish a solid presence of your own well-branded material.
Present yourself professionally across all platforms.
7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to work for
Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider include: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, family-owned, franchise, nonprofit, etc.).
Once you’ve made your list, look for companies that fit your criteria. By identifying right-fit criteria you can ensure you avoid accepting a job that’s a bad fit.
Visit me online at: www.CareerImpressions.ca to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.