With a job market and economic landscape that seems a bit unpredictable as of late, you might find yourself looking for a job this year. Perhaps you were part of a recent tech layoff, see this as your opportunity to transition into a different industry, are looking for something more stable, or want to move up the career ladder.
There are a few steps you should take before starting a job search.
- Evaluate Your Career Goals – Take a look at where you are and where you want to be. Do you see yourself in your current role for the foreseeable future?
Would a more senior position, a different company, or a change in industry better suit you? Answer those questions and then put together a 5-year plan that will get you there. Include any additional training or resources you need to seek out to enhance your skills or qualifications. Create SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals. Not sure how to come up with these? Ask yourself these 4 questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Where does this take place?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Embrace Technology – Digitally, there are so many resources you could use to seek out employment opportunities. When searching for a job on social media or across job boards, sign up for customized email job alerts to save time by getting curated jobs sent directly to you. In addition, it’s worth researching if job boards have mobile apps you can download to apply or search on the go. Before jumping into technology headfirst, update your LinkedIn profile to appear how you want a future employer to see it. Then, start hitting submit on your applications.
- Revamp Your Resume – Most of what’s included on your resume will be submitted in every application you hit send on. However, it’s also important to customize your resume to make it stand out from others. For example, if a company prefers to hire someone with experience in a specific field, lead with that skill or qualification if you have it. Look at what skills, requirements, or preferences an organization has and highlight your compatibility. Give skills a certain level of prominence on your resume and sell them.
- Do Your Research – Once your digital footprint and resume are ready, start looking into the companies you’re considering. One place to start is by determining if the company culture is a good fit for you. Then, think of the type of job you want to have. Is it one where you can work from home, hold a management title, have entry-level responsibilities, or at a company whose specific vision and mission you believe in? As job posts pique your interest, take the time to Google the companies, check their websites, and search for reviews or testimonials.
- Connect and Ask – If you’ve been less than stellar at networking, get back in touch with your connections. As you reconnect, mention you’re looking for a new opportunity, and if anything comes up at their company or they hear something through the grapevine, to keep you in mind. You must stay in touch with these people. Don’t drop the bomb about looking for a new job and then ghost them. Instead, nurture the relationships and be consistent with your networking.
- Prep for Interviews – You must prepare how best to interview on the phone, over video, and in person. Before any interview, look up common interview questions, review your resume, and seek out a trusted colleague, friend, or family member to run through a mock interview with you.