It’s hiring season! Are you ready? The summer is long since over and this is the time of year where employers hire talent to create and/or implement strategic plans that will ensure that next year exceeds expectations. Many companies are gearing up to hire the right people and allocate resources to capitalize on opportunities presented in the current market. So that means there are great opportunities out there for you! Are you ready for the next big job?
12 ways to ensure you are positioned to make your next move
Write Down Your Achievements
Inventory your achievements, skills and wish-list criteria for your next role. What have you accomplished this past year? The past five years? What skills do you have that are most marketable and that you want to continue using? What do you want in your next position? The answers to these questions will be the basis of your resume update (or creation), targeted job search plan, and your interview dialogue.
Update Your Resume
Create or update your resume. Ensure it uses a branded resume format with accomplishment-driven language. This will allow you to easily customize the resume for each position you apply for without having to do extensive rewrites each time.
Know What You want
Start with a list of companies that you are interested in and find out their mission, organizational plan and where you can fit in. This will help you devise a targeted job search plan and allow you to have an active approach to your search—no waiting around for jobs to be posted!
Design a Cover Letter Template
Design a cover letter template for yourself. Don’t just download a template, create your own that you can, again, customize for each position without having to start from scratch. Ensure it will cater to the needs of the employer and not simply be a prose (aka “look-at-everything-I-did) version of your resume.
Leverage LinkedIN Connections
Amass LinkedIn connections from ALL aspects of your professional and personal life. LinkedIn says a minimum of 50 connections is needed to have the search capabilities produce significant search results to help develop your targeted job search list. I actually like to see upwards of 300 connections. The more contacts, the wider the net you are able to cast for opportunities!
Set Clear Goals
Set measurable and achievable goals for job search activity. How many new contacts will you make per month? How many networking events will you participate in? How many LinkedIn status updates will you make per week to keep you top of mind within your network?
Speaking of networking--do it! Nurture your existing network! Call your friends, have coffee with former supervisors and co-workers, and reach out to former classmates. Reinforce your circle BEFORE you need it. And offer help to those who need it. Good karma is always a good rule of thumb!
Build a Support System
Look for peer support. Seek-out like-minded job seeker friends or join a job search support group to keep you accountable. No need to go it alone! And you never know, someone may give you a lead that can be your next job!
Stay up-to-date on what is happening in your area of work and enhance your network. Join professional associations affiliated with your field. Get yourself into industry-related user groups to see what is being said by technically-savvy people in similar professions. This will help generate ideas on where job activity is happening….and where it is not.
Develop your Elevator Speech
Develop an “elevator” speech—be able to confidently and succinctly answer the questions: “What do you do?” , “What do you want to do?”, and “What are you looking for?” Conversations can continue or end based on how well you handle answering these questions.
Shore up on certifications or continuing education that will enhance your resume and keep your knowledge current.
Practice Interviewing Techniques
Practice behavioral and situational interviewing techniques, but don’t memorize answers to questions. The most important thing to know on an interview is YOU--so study your own background and your achievements. You certainly need to research the company and job, but everything comes down to how effectively you communicate to the prospective employer how you will fit in and generate results for their organization.
There are many other activities that you can do to further develop your job search practices. But these are 12 excellent suggestions to ensure you are ready to get in the game and off to a fabulous start to finding the next big thing! Happy Hunting!
Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer