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Not likely to help. Wishing for a job, that is. Wishing is nice from a “positive thinking” point of view but it won’t get you a job without putting in the time. Kind of like wishing to win the lottery when you haven’t bought a ticket. If you are first starting your job search, you have a lot of homework to do before you can effectively start the job search process. The good news is that once you are all set-up, the bulk of your job search time can be spent on looking for opportunities.
Your resume. Whether you are brushing up an old resume or starting from a blank piece of paper, you need to spend the time to get it right.Tweet This
Building your Job Search Toolkit should be your first priority. Depending on the circumstances leading up to your job search (such as job loss), you may want to hit the ground running as quickly as possible. So what can you do to begin your search immediately while continuing to build out your Job Search Tool Kit? Read on.
Resumes – the Lynchpin of Your Job Search
If you could only have one job search document it would, of course, be your resume. Whether you are brushing up an old resume or starting from a blank piece of paper, you need to spend the time to get it right. There are tools that can help you quickly build the framework for what will become a great resume. Your resume is a living document that will change as your job search progresses. And while you want to get some version done as quickly as possible in order to get into the market, you should balance quality with speed.
If you are new to resume writing (or just need some help), you should use a checklist process (what to include). Once you have what you think is a good working copy, compare it to other resumes and ask some of your friends and relatives to give an honest critique (painful but helpful). Now, as if all that work writing one resume isn’t enough, many people have multiple resumes each geared to specific jobs (see the link below).
- 5 Steps to a Great Resume – A clear 5 step plan to building your best resume.
- Free Resume Review – Maybe your resume is already in good shape but you just need to give it a tune-up. Take a look at.
- Resume Resources – A bunch of great resources for building your resume.
- How Many Resumes Do You Have? – Sometimes you need more than one. Take a read.
Cover Letters – Introducing Your Resume
Yeah, a great resume is really important, but if no one reads it then what’s the point? While a resume on its own may get read by the hiring manager, there is a chance that it won’t just due to the sheer volume of resumes. A cover letter provides a brief introduction and lets the hiring manager know why you may be a good fit for the job (and why he should bother reading your resume). So, that being said, your cover letter is an important key to opening job opportunity doors. As with resumes, you will need several versions of your cover letters: one for recruiters, one for specific jobs and one for “generic” jobs (to name a few).
References – Who Will Put in the Good Word for You?
You will need references at some point, and it’s better to get your list together at the start of your job search. This gives you the opportunity to create a list of 4-6 people who you know will put in the good word for you. More importantly, you need to talk to your potential references to get their “buy-in”. The list should be a mix of former (or current) co-workers, former managers and other professional contacts who work at other companies. Most importantly (and to be further reviewed in a future post), is the power of your LinkedIn contacts.