Job Hunting? Do This First!
Updated: Feb 17
Whether you are actively searching for a job or you’re in the beginning stages of deciding to leave your current role, the overwhelming tasks involved in job hunting can put people off and it’s often is the reason people stay in jobs that aren’t fulfilling.
Having been through the process of job searching a few times myself, coupled with the fact that I’m now settled as a Recruiter, I’ve put together a list of things that you can do to ensure that you’re well-prepared to find that new role ASAP.
1. Figure out what you want. It’s particularly difficult to find your next role if you haven’t created both short and long-term career goals. Planning and assessing your career will help you to define what success means to you. Once you have a clear understanding of where you want to be, it will help you create some SMART Backward Goals, which will help steer you toward your next step. Each career move should lead you ONE step closer to your ultimate goal and while that goal may change throughout your journey, it’s important to be on your way ‘somewhere’ in order to feel fulfilled.
Developing your Backward Goals will help to decrease the amount of time you’ll spend applying to jobs that won’t make you happy and lead you toward your dreams. There are dozens of articles on the worldwide web that will help you plan your career properly, here are a few to peruse: try this, or this, or THIS. Once you’ve finalized your goals, you can use them as a guide to compare job opportunities matched with your values so that you’re making the best decision for your future.
2. Update your resume. Each resume you send out should be tailored to the job to which you are applying; even if it means spending two hours on each application. Your resume will be one of the most important marketing tools for your job hunt. You only have 7 seconds before someone has made a decision on your resume/profile. The main factors to consider when updating your resume are:
a. Mirroring key words or phrases from the role you’re applying to (usually a job description or company page)
b. An applicant Tracking System, or ATS, is a software that sorts the hundreds of resumes companies receive every day. The majority of candidates don’t make it past the computer screening process. An ATS is hyper-sensitive so make sure you include key words from the job description, very simple & easy to read fonts, and save your files as either a .docx or a .pdf.
c. With only 7 seconds to make an impression ensure the vital information is at the top: the main point you should be trying to get across is, Why you?
d. Sell yourself, not the business you work for.
e. Avoid listing exact years of experience or adding a photo – your age or charming good looks are irrelevant.
3. Find the right recruiter to work with. Recruiters spend the majority of their work hours searching on LinkedIn and job boards for the right candidates for their clients. Recruiters know what types of roles are in demand, they understand the market, and they have connections on a much larger scale than most job seekers. They are an AMAZING resource whether they’re reworking or writing candidates resumes, coaching candidates through the interview process, or negotiating on behalf of their candidates for better pay. The best recruiters are usually specialized, so you’ll have to reach out to a recruiter that works in your field.
A few ways you can determine whether someone is the best recruiter for you is by asking yourself: Are they willing to have an in-depth conversation with you (more than 30 min.)? Do they actively listen to your story, ask appropriate questions, and ask about your career goals? Are they are a specialist in their field? Can they answer your industry questions and concerns? The relationship you build with your recruiter is an intimate one, and ultimately they’re your biggest advocate, so choose well.
4. Clean up your social media. Before you even think about applying for a job, make sure that your social media accounts are work-appropriate. It’s true that certain companies are utilizing Google, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to evaluate potential candidates. For the sake of your next job, leave your bad decisions off of the internet. If you’ve already made lousy decisions, confirm that your accounts are private.
5. Don’t take it personal. Job hunting can be really discouraging. Every company’s parameters for a role is completely different than the next. It can be confusing and frustrating. Remember, it only takes one company that sees your worth (after your awesomely unique resume makes it through the company’s ATS screening) for you to score your next gig. Somewhere there’s a hiring manager looking for someone with your exact skillset. I know that applying to dozens of jobs and not hearing anything back is a confidence killer, but keep going. Keep tailoring your resume. Keep asking for help. And soon enough, your effort will pay off.