Here is a list of tried-and-true strategies to prepare yourself for your job search.
Job Search Preparation Guidelines
1. Update your résumé.
While ideally your résumé is customized for a specific job, having an up-to-date Master résumé is the next best thing. So if you are continually doing more at work, or if you’ve changed your career direction, or obtained additional credentials, now is the time to review the various options available at www.market-connections.net, as listed on the Start Here page. (And if you don’t have a résumé at all, now is definitely the time to put one together! Market-Connections Résumé Services can help!)
2. How solid is your LinkedIn presence?
There are distinct differences between a LinkedIn profile and a résumé… While they are not the same thing, your LinkedIn profile complements your résumé. Hiring managers and recruiters routinely conduct searches on LinkedIn and find suitable candidates for almost any and all kinds of professions. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you and forward your LinkedIn profile URL. So make sure you have a LinkedIn profile — and make sure that it’s updated. (Yes, this is something Market-Connections Résumé Services can help you with.)
3. Know what you’re worth: conduct salary research.
One of the most often-cited reasons to consider a job search is to increase your salary. But how do you know what you’re worth? There is more salary research data available than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com can help you see how your current salary and benefits package stacks up. There is also a salary calculator tool on this website from PayScale. You can find it here.
4. Build your network.
It’s estimated that 40-80 percent of jobs are found through networking. Networking effectiveness is not just about quality — although that’s important. It’s also about quantity. It’s not just about who you know. It’s about who your contacts know. Many times, it’s the friend-of-a-friend who can help you land your dream job. Grow your network both professionally and personally. Learn how to network your way to your next job. You never know who will be the one to introduce you to your next job opportunity.
5. Manage your online reputation.
More and more hiring managers are checking you out online before they interview you. What will they find when they type your name into Google? How about if they check out your Twitter profile? Or find you on Facebook? Now is the time to audit your social media presence and clean up your online profiles.
6. Define your ideal job.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That line, from Alice in Wonderland, is important to remember in your job search. This is when a career roadmap is essential. If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it? What job title and responsibilities are you interested in? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you? Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position.
7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to work for.
Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider include: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, franchise, family-owned, nonprofit, etc.). Once you’ve made your list, look for companies that fit your criteria.
Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.