When you find yourself unemployed, whether you knew it was coming or not, you have to set yourself up for success to increase your chances of finding your next position.
With today’s job market, competition if high and there are hundreds of people applying for one open position.
Have concrete steps to take can improve your chances of finding your next job. Here are some to consider to help put you on the path:
Make Finding a Job Your Full-time Job
When you initially become unemployed, it is common, and often necessary, to take a few days to evaluate your situation and process what has just happened.
This is normal. What isn’t normal, or healthy, is to commit only a couple of hours a day to your job search. Your job search needs to become your NEW full-time job.
It can become tempting to start binge-watching that new Netflix show or start working on those projects around the house. Resist!!
Instead, set a daily schedule for yourself including online searching, networking, LinkedIn (LI) posting/commenting, etc. Every day your schedule should reflect your job-hunting efforts.
Revamp Your Resume
If it has been more than 5 years since your resume was updated, it’s time. In this competitive job market, your resume is your marketing piece that will get you in the door.
A hiring manager spends on average 10 seconds scanning your resume to determine if they may want to invite you for an interview. That means your resume better stand out to catch their attention.
You want to have more than one resume when applying for jobs, so it helps to have professional resume writers review your resume and make needed changes.
Depending on the job you’re looking for, you will need to highlight different aspects of yourself on your resumes. Professionals are great at creating different resumes for every client.
Customize a Cover Letter
Think of the cover letter as a quick handshake introduction to a prospective employer. Your cover letter should be unique to the job you are applying for—don’t send out a cover letter addressed to “Sir or Madam”, you want it to be personal and show that you put some effort into the process.
Highlight your skills that will set you apart from other prospects, and address a pain point for each specific company. Never ever use a generic cover letter. HR managers can spot those a mile away.
Develop Your Networking Plan
Networking must be a key part of your job search plan. Networking is still the #1 way people find jobs. Determine how you will utilize LI and other social media sites to communicate the fact you are in an active job search.
Be sure your LI profile is job search ready before you start connecting with people again…if it’s been a while. Consider joining a trade industry, as well as LI groups relevant to your industry.
Let people know that you are looking for a job–there’s no shame in asking if someone is hiring. Other professionals can often connect you with HR managers when your skills are qualified.
But you need to do more than just network online, get out and go to some networking clubs or events. You can meet more people over a drink than you can with blasting out your resume to Facebook friends.
Begin Expanding Your Search
Sending out resumes in one industry may have worked in the past, but that’s simply not the case. Today you have to be well-versed in many different fields.
You never know what your next platform for success will be. If you have experience in marketing, then your next career may be in sales or advertising. Just try to branch out and see what’s out there.
Creating a specific job search plan with will help to keep you on track. Use these steps as a guideline to keep you motivated and moving forward toward your next position.
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