See if this sounds familiar: you made the decision to start hunting for your next opportunity, but just thinking about the work that goes into a job search has you overwhelmed. Where do you start? Should you update your resume? Do recruiters use LinkedIn anymore? How can you be sure to land an interview? And most importantly, how long is this going to take?
These, and many more questions, will likely go through your mind as you evaluate your next move. So to prepare yourself, go through these steps so you’ll have a less stressful—and more effective—job search.
1. Evaluate Your Experience and Core Skills
Since starting your current job, you may have gained some new skills and experiences. Conduct an inventory of these items. Have you implemented a new system or process? Managed a budget? Obtained a certification or accreditation as a result of the need to conduct project work, e.g. Project Management Professional (PMP), or Six Sigma? Maybe you’ve worked with a multi-site business or an organization that is global? These items should be included on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
When a recruiter or hiring manager reviews your resume and LinkedIn profile, you have less than 10 seconds to make an impression. Make sure you are identifying the achievements and key skills that set you apart from others. And be sure to use your LinkedIn profile to augment your resume; they should not be mirror images.
2. Identify Your Story
Once you have documented your successes and achievements, compose your story. Determine how you will concisely share what you have contributed to your organization, why you have done it, what resources you used, and anything you learned from your experiences. Whether or not an interviewer is asking behavior-based interview questions, they want to know how you have gone about doing your work and determine if your skills align with their organization’s needs.
Another part of your story involves your reason for seeking another opportunity. In recent years, it is common that positions are impacted by a divestiture, a purchase, or merger/acquisition related business. If that is the case, that is part of your story. When this isn’t your situation, be clear about why you are looking for a new role and be careful not to disparage your current manager or employer.
3. Have a Plan
Before you start your search, set a strategy. Identify what you need in your next role; not just the job title, but the full scope of the position, how it fits into the organization, how you want to contribute, and how you need to be compensated. This involves taking some key actions, such as:
- Igniting your network of trusted colleagues. Let them know you are starting a search and how they can support it. Identify industries and organizations to target and research them.
- Setting designated times for your search. Without a schedule, it can consume our days and nights.
- Keeping track of your applications. Don’t make the mistake of being unprepared or confused about which company you’re interacting with when they reach out.
- Being prepared. When you get called by a recruiter, be prepared to answer initial questions or to schedule a convenient time to talk.
Be confident in your skills and abilities, make sure your resume accurately reflects your core strengths and contributions, be able to clearly articulate your accomplishments, and be ready to tell your story. Once you have these items prepared, you should be set to begin researching companies and potential opportunities—and landing that crucial first interview.
If your company needs help finding the right talent, contact us today! For more career tips and advice check out Versique’s blog.
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