When I ask people how they are approaching their job search, a common response is: “I sent my resume to people I know, and I’m on the job boards, but nothing is working.” It’s frustrating and scary. The worry of never finding a job creeps in, and then your critical voice tells you, you haven’t done enough in your search. This keeps you stuck in fear.
Job searching doesn’t have to be that way. You can take control of your job search, and make it exciting. A major component of that is networking. I’m a firm believer that networking is the best way to find a great job, and below are 4 ACTION steps to help you along the way.
In order to move toward something, you need a vision to move toward. If you aren’t sure, be still for a minute and close your eyes, take a few deep breathes and ask yourself what you want your career to look like in a year from now? What role do you see yourself in? What type of company? Still not sure? Start with what you know you don’t want. Once you gain some clarity, start taking action!
Your resume is your marketing tool, and your ticket to an interview. It is, in essence, the story of you. So what story does your resume tell? A resume that is easy to read is more likely to be read. Generally, your resume is getting an initial scan. To make it eye-catching, use buzzwords that speak to the position you are applying to. Keep your bullets succinct, and make your first 3 bullets the most relevant.
Your LinkedIn Profile
Ready to remove the shackles of online job boards? LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool and will make all the difference in your search. You may have a profile set up, but are you using it to capacity? On a basic account, you have the opportunity to be connected with thousands of people in your industry. Word of mouth is the best way to find a great job, and people love helping other people, so use your connections, ask them who is hiring. Continue to build your network, which will not only help you with your job search, but will support you in whatever your next role will be. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t check in on the job boards, just don’t rely on them.
There is a plethora of advice out there around interviewing. Questions to ask, questions to prepare for, research the company, and so forth. While preparing on how to answer interview questions, and having strong questions to ask are important, your mindset around the interview holds a strong determination of the outcome. Confidence is key. Know your strengths, but don’t practice a script. That would sound, well, scripted. Take time to prepare by knowing which of your skills are most relevant to what they are seeking; journal around it. Be prepared to offer succinct examples to illustrate those skills. This will help the conversation flow organically. Also assess if the job is the right fit for you.