6 Tips for a Successful Job Search
It’s January 20: your holiday buzz has officially worn off. And now that oh-so-familiar feeling is creeping back up on you every time your alarm goes off at 6am: dread of going to work, grinding it out in a job where the magic, unfortunately, has disappeared. What’s an ambitious Career Girl to do now? It’s time to put your shape-ups on and start pounding the proverbial pavement. But just where do you get started on your New Year’s job search?
Follow these six tips for kicking off a successful job search:
1) Update Your LinkedIn Profile
The first step in any successful job search these days begins with LinkedIn. Recruiters, both internal and agency, are using LinkedIn all day, every day, to find the best talent. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and keyword optimized so recruiters are able to find you, and be impressed enough to contact you.
For some smart tips on updating your LinkedIn profile, check out fellow Career Girl Kristen J. Zavo’s article “5 Fast Tips to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile.”
2) Update Your Formal Resume
LinkedIn is great, but it is still no substitute for a good old-fashioned resume. Polish yours up, have a few trusted friends and mentors review it, and have it ready to send off at a moment’s notice—you never know when that recruiter at the company you’ve always dreamed of working for may reach out after finding your stellar LinkedIn profile.
As an added note, consider tailoring your updated resume to the specific job/company you are applying for every time you send it out.
3) Google Yourself
In this digital age, it is more important than ever to ensure you have a clean “digital footprint.” I mean, who hasn’t Googled an ex to see what he’s up to? Ensure it’s all positive press for you out there. And if it’s not? Start working on the clean-up process right away.
Check out these online reputation management strategies recently published in Forbes to get started:
4) Begin Networking — and then Network Some More
Even in this digital age of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, never underestimate the power of in-person networking. If you aren’t active in organizations within your field already, now is the time to join some networking groups. Are you a finance professional? Try Financial Executives Internation (FEI). In the marketing field? Try joining your cities’ local chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA). Whatever your niche, find a group, join, and start meeting the leaders in your area.
Job hunting is a numbers game – the more people you meet, the more chance at success you’ll have in your job search.
5) Don’t Site Idle: Make a Plan and Stick with It.
It is very easy to make a resolution, but quite another to make a plan for it to come to fruition. Don’t make empty promises to yourself, but instead construct an action plan and truly resolve to make it happen. If you resolve to find yourself a new job, give yourself a deadline for when you want to start that new job and begin a list of actionable steps: update your LinkedIn profile and your resume, and set aside time daily to devote to your search.
A plan without action is like planning an island vacation without purchasing an airline ticket—you’ll never get there without the right vehicle to transport you.
6) Find a Friend to Hold You Accountable
Procrastination is many a man’s enemy. Without accountability, it is too easy to set your resolve aside and think “I’ll get to that later.” To work around this rather common habit, find a friend or mentor who will check in with you regularly and hold you accountable. Set up a schedule before hand with your friend, asking her to check in with you every couple weeks to see where you are in your job search—giving you a compelling reason to move forward (and a good reason to get together over coffee or drinks).
A job seach can truly be a daunting task—one easily laid out on paper but not so easily conducted in reality. Up your chances of success by following the advice above, and then finding a friend or mentor to help you see it through to fruition. And when you do, you just might find that buzz of holiday joy return as your begin a new and exciting venture.
Best of luck in your search, Career Girls!