Job search is a challenging process, but certainly not a difficult one. I was reviewing a legal document at work the other day and realized that the writer had set out to make the document as complicated and long as possible (it was 150 pages, 145 of which were not necessary). Job search is much the same. Don’t over complicate the process. Focus on the necessary ingredients and execute on your plan.
Following is a list of tips to help you improve your job search and focus on what is important.
- Make a plan – Whether it’s a check list or a list of action items, you should have a job search plan. This will keep you organized and focused. Kickstart Your Job Search
- Do Your Research – Do you know where you want to work? Do you know who you want to work for? I’m sure you have some answers to these questions, but you should have a well-developed list of the best companies to work that fit your career and industry. 8 Resources to Help Find the Right Company for Your Next Job
- Know Your Compensation Guidelines – You (obviously) know how much you currently earn, and whatever that is, I’m sure you think it is too low. That being said, do you really know what you are worth? Do you really know what you current employer’s competitors are paying. You should do the research to make sure you align your expectations with the current job market. Salary versus Stress
- Update Your Resumes – Sounds pretty basic, but you would be surprised how many people don’t keep their resume up to date or, worse, don’t update and review their resume before sending it to a potential employer. Your resume is your most important job search document, review and revise often. 5 Reasons to Update Your Resume
- Update Your LinkedIn Profile – LinkedIn is probably the number one site for job search connections. This is the first place people go when they want to know more about your professional life and also the first place recruiters and companies go to find new talent. You should update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis. At least once per week if you are in the midst of a job search. 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile
- Research Your Social Presence on the Internet – So what’s lurking out there on the Internet that will get you in trouble with your current or potential employers? The rule of thumb is, if there is something you wouldn’t want your mother to see, then it shouldn’t be on the Internet. Even if you think you’ve been perfect with what you’ve posted, have any of your “friends” posted something that would embarrass you? Only one way to find out, do some research on yourself starting with Googling yourself. 5 Tips for Using Social Media When Job Hunting
- Grow Your Network – Again, LinkedIn is the best place to build, grow and manage your network. While there are many other networks you can use, LinkedIn has become the standard for career networking. You can leverage the tools within LinkedIn to grow your network. 12 LinkedIn Groups for Job Seekers
- Join Industry Trade Groups – No one knows you industry better or has more connections to jobs within your industry than industry trade groups. While they should not be the only tool you use to find a job, industry trade groups should definitely be part of your job search plan. List of industry trade groups in the United States
- Attend Industry Seminars – Another way to network is by attending industry seminars and networking events. This is a great way to network in person and you never know who you will meet and who might be able to help you find your dream job.
- Keep Your Training Current – Like everything in life, nothing stays the same and this is probably true for your profession as well. Staying current is important and employers will want to know you are “state of the art”.
- Make Your List of Interview Questions – This is a two way street. You need to be on top of the questions they will ask you as well as the questions you will ask them. You must be well versed in the company and role. 10 Questions You Can Expect in an Interview
- Pick 5 Job Search Boards – So many job search boards, so little time. You could easily spend all of your time reviewing jobs from job search boards. As you would expect, there is a great deal of overlap with many of them. Pick a few of the better known ones as long as 1 or 2 that are focused on your industry or profession. 6 Alternatives to Job Search Boards
- Update Your Smartphone – As I said in an earlier post, this ain’t your father’s job search. You need to be up to date with the latest trends in job search and leveraging your smartphone is key if you want to keep up with the pack. Smartphone Job Search
- Keep a Cloud version of Your Resume – You never know when you will need a digital version of your resume, and having it on hand via your smartphone or a computer is extremely important. There are a few services you can use. The top cloud services drives are all good. How to Access Your Resume and Cover Letter from Anywhere
- Get There First – Gone are the days of answering ads in the Sunday newspaper via snail mail. The Internet has made it so easy to apply for jobs and every job opportunity posted on a company site or job board has tens if not hundreds of responses. Getting their first is key, but also important is to not focus on jobs posted more than 7 days old. The early bird gets the job. GET THERE FIRST! Hidden Market Job Search Strategy
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Good luck in your search,