Supercharge Your Job SearchBrett Berghardt
As the summer winds down and vacations come to an end, it’s time to get serious about your job search. You might be ready to jump back in and start applying for jobs again, but you shouldn’t go in without a plan. Winging it can lead to mistakes, disorganization, and frustration. All of that is easily avoided with some careful planning and preparation. Here we’ve outlined our recommendations on how to conduct an organized and successful job search.
Update Your Resume before Looking
It’s always a good idea to freshen up your resume before a job search so that it’s polished and ready for when your potential employers ask for it. Make sure your job history is up to date and that all employment information is correct. Even if you’ve used a resume successfully for years, it’s worth taking a look to see how it could be improved. There are countless resources available both online and offline to help you get your resume looking strong and attractive to employers. You might also consider seeking professional advice. A professional will be able to look over your resume and tell you exactly what changes need to be made in order to improve your chances of landing your desired job. Even the smallest adjustments can make a big difference. Once you’ve made those changes, you should always update your LinkedIn profile and anywhere else you’ve posted your resume or job history. It’s important that the information on these sites matches and stays consistent across the board. This eliminates the possibility of confusing or frustrating your potential employers with discrepancies and outdated information.
Clean up Your Social Media
In addition to cleaning up your resume, it’s also worth looking into how you are presented online. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers screen candidates’ social media before they’re hired. A quick Google search of your name can give you an idea of what kind of information is easily available to people who are researching you. It’s also important to make sure your social media is not giving your potential employers a bad impression. Make sure your privacy settings are up to date with changes to social media websites. Some sites even offer a tool so that you can view your profile as if you were an outsider. This allows you to see what they see. Pretend you are your own potential employer and search for anything that could lessen your chances of getting hired. Small details can sometimes have a big impact, especially if it’s your first impression.
Set up Your Voicemail
One of the most common issues we encounter is a voice mailbox that is full or hasn’t yet been activated. This is something you should check before you even begin your search. It’s important to be ready to receive phone calls and messages from employers who are interested in you. When it comes to setting up and personalizing your voicemail, it’s best to have a pleasant and professional sounding message that includes your name. Once you have your voicemail ready, you won’t be afraid to use it if the call comes at an unexpected time. You always want to be in a quiet place with good reception. Whatever the reason, if it’s not a good time, you can let it go to voicemail and return the call as soon as you are able under better conditions.
Research Target Companies
Choose the companies you really want to work for. Being passionate and knowledgeable about a company will help strengthen you as a candidate, so it’s best to do some research. Get up to date on current trends in the industry and know the biggest competition. Browse the website and social media to get a sense of how the company wants to be viewed from an outside perspective. Check to see if the company has been in the news lately. Find out from others what it’s like to work there and see if you’d fit in with the company culture. Knowing these things about your target companies should get you excited to work there, and the knowledge will give you an edge in an interview. Many company career pages offer job alerts, and you can also set alerts on job boards to be notified of new opportunities. This is also the time to consult your own network. Having a strong professional network is useful in many ways, especially during a job search. Find people in your network who are current employees of your desired companies and reach out to them. They’ll be able to answer any questions you might have about the company, and you can ask them to pass along your resume or give a referral to get you on the inside track for an interview.
Have a Start Date in Mind
Setting a structured timeline for your job search will help keep you focused and organized. First, you should set a goal for your desired start date. If you can narrow down your start date you can then work backwards to set goals for when you should be having your first and second round interviews. Make sure these goals are realistic. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, and your prospective employer time to find and reach out to you. Your timeline will help keep you on track as well as give you enough of a cushion to get your affairs in order. You’ll want a clear schedule during this time, free of any appointments, vacations, or other obstacles that could slow down your search or make you unavailable for interviews. If necessary, you’ll need to plan for childcare and schedule any doctor appointments in advance. That way there’s nothing stopping you from starting your new job right away.
Conduct an Organized Search
We recommend that you apply for at least 20 to 25 jobs during your search, and it takes time to do so. A timeline won’t help if you don’t reserve time each day to get down to business and actually conduct your job search. Two hours every morning is a good place to start, giving you enough time to focus and make some progress towards your goal. You’ll be using this time to do the necessary research, check your network, and prepare your resume and cover letter before it’s submitted. The timing of your application is also important and the earlier it’s done, the better. Based on an analysis done by Forbes, you are five times more likely to get an interview if you apply between 6 and 10am. With this volume of applications, you’ll want to keep track of them all. Set up a spreadsheet to keep you organized. Include the name of the company, a link to their website, any letters or writing samples you shared, and the name of your referral if you have one. You should also include the dates of your application, follow ups, phone screens and interviews. Having this information organized and accessible will make sure nothing slips through the cracks, and you’ll know the exact status of each application.
By giving structure to your job search you are more likely to stay on track, and ultimately succeed. A little preparation and planning can remove the anxiety from your search and prevent you from getting overwhelmed. Designating time each day to reach your goals will keep your momentum going. As long as you go in with a specific ambition and stay determined, you cannot fail. Feel free to seek out our advice during your search. Good Luck!
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. https://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/