When you enter the job market, whether or not voluntarily, you may be overwhelmed by advice, options, and technologies. You may be panicked by the need to find a job—any job—quickly. You may experience difficulty matching your qualifications and goals with the positions available in the marketplace. Here are four steps you can take to bring a chaotic job search under control:
- Write down the skills and accomplishments you have acquired in your most recent position. Begin this process before you leave your most recent position if at all possible. Use that two weeks of notice to gather up as much information, as many testimonials, and as many facts as possible about your role in the company and the company itself. For example, a sales resume might say, “Contributed to growth of $5 million company.” Do you know how large your company is? How many employees it has? The number of states where it operates?
- Research online job postings in other companies in your industry to get a general idea of (a) what types of jobs are available; (b) the requirements of those jobs; and (c) the way your skills and accomplishments fit with the advertised jobs and the requirements. You may find out that your skills, education and accomplishments qualify you for jobs you never considered; that similar jobs appear under very dissimilar titles; or that you have gaps in your qualifications that need filling. Make sure your resume matches the expectations of hiring managers and recruiters. Prepare yourself and your resume for the job market that actually exists.
- When you have a new, updated resume share it widely. Send it to friends and business associates so that they know you are looking and feel confident about their ability to describe your strengths. Networking is one of the best ways to find a job, and the best networkers have your resume at hand.
- Start a file of information about jobs you are applying for. Either online or on paper, track these items: the company contact information; the job requirements; the version of the resume that you sent; and the dates and time of your contact(s). Set up a dedicated calendar to remind you of any follow-up actions you want to take.
With these four basic steps, you will take charge of your own job search and be prepared to respond quickly to any opportunities that arise. If you find yourself stalled at any stage, please contact Robin’s Resumes®. I am a professional and certified resume writer and a certified Job and Career Transition Coach. I can help.