After experiencing a time of skyrocketing unemployment numbers, the thought of looking for a new position, even if you’re unhappy in a job situation, can lead to skyrocketing anxiety.
Whether you’re playing the role of passive or active job seeker, just starting out or re-entering the workforce, coming into a job market where opportunities are lacking makes for stiff competition. So, how can you set yourself up to stand out and succeed in your job search?
Consider What’s Important
Go into your search with a specific goal in mind and think of important things to you. Don’t apply to every job you come across, instead be strategic. Does a job mean finding your passion project or getting a paycheck? Whatever the case, search for it and don’t settle. You spend too much time at work to be in a situation that’s less than ideal.
Do the Research
Before even hitting submit on your search, research the average pay or compensation for your ideal job. At the same time, make sure your ideal job is still your ideal job. Job roles can change over time, and certain environments can drastically impact that. It will benefit you to do your research with the current job market in mind. Once your job searching is up and running, the last bit of research that needs to be done is the companies you are considering. Learn about a company’s culture before applying, and make sure your career goals match up with what they can provide.
Optimize Your Resume
Personalize your resume to showcase the qualifications you have that match your ideal role. On the top of your resume, include a quick, personalized summary that proves why you would be the best fit for the job you are applying. As you’re putting together a resume, consider which search terms hiring managers use to find potential candidates. By no means do you want to keyword stuff, but it’s a good idea to include applicable search terms or phrases when it makes sense. Bonus Tip: When showcasing your qualifications, mix in numbers or metrics. For example, if you achieved a certain growth percentage or hit a specific forecasted goal in your previous job, include it. Numbers further prove your value.
In our virtual-first networking world, you should already be using social media to connect with people who are associated with the job you’re looking for or the company you want to work for. Add virtual events to your networking mix if you haven’t done so already. These events will connect you to like-minded people you might not have otherwise had access to. Then, figure out who you know, who they know, and who you want to or need to know. As you develop relationships, ask people to network on your behalf and connect you with others.
Send Cover Letter
What might seem like an antiquated practice to some actually holds a fair amount of value. Most companies won’t ask for a cover letter, but taking the time to provide it can help you stand out. Some communications experts say this is a great way to get the attention of HR and an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the pack. The primary purpose of a cover letter is to humanize yourself to the person in charge of hiring. Considering 95% of resumes never get read, this is your chance to prove why someone should screen your resume.
In the middle of a less-than-ideal job market, what other ways can you stand out from the competition? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Lessons From 2020.