If you’re worried about your job security, interested in changing careers, or currently unemployed, this time of year is ideal to seize the day and get yourself that new job in 2017. You can read more about ways to improve your career, skill (and personal life). In the meantime, here are six crucial steps to get you moving on your career path.
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- Eyes on the Prize
Job searching takes time, and focus is everything. This is especially important if you are currently unemployed, or if you are lacking structure in your day. Take the time to research and think carefully about the kind of industry, company, and job you want to work for. Organize and allocate time to the hunt. Consider your skills and interests, but stay realistic. Keep your mind open to different career possibilities that you could succeed at and also enjoy.
- Do Your Homework
Finding a job is essentially marketing ― you have to market yourself, which means addressing the specific needs and desires (the “pain points”) of the folks you are trying to convince into hiring you. This means going beyond the job description and really understand the company. Research and look for answers to those following types of questions:
- What do they do? What’s their market?
- Who are their clients? Competitors?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What might this organization really need in terms of talent?
How might you address some of those needs?
Getting answers to these questions will help you craft a resume and cover letter that gets noticed. If you can “speak their language” and show hiring managers that you’ve taken the time to understand their needs, you will impressively establish yourself as the ideal candidate. Knowing what you’re talking about is critical in an interview, it will make you stand head and shoulders above other candidates.
- Sharpen the Saw and Improve your Hireability
In the digital age it’s easier (and more important) than ever to learn new skills that you can add to your resume and utilize in the workplace. From online courses and degrees to YouTube tutorials on technology, or business ― Figure out what you want to do and constantly enhance yourself (and your hireability) with relevant knowledge and abilities. It will go a long way.
- KISS Your Resume
Keep it Simple-Stupid is a great motto for crafting resumes. Make sure to take the time to update your resume and don’t get preoccupied with fancy templates or styles. Remember, HR staff and managers have to filter out dozens of unqualified applicants from the handful of relevant ones.
Keep the style simple and include the relevant skills and experiences that make you the ideal candidate. Have your personal details (name, email, etc.) on the top without taking up too much space. No one needs to read your name in 18 pt. font. Include a strong but short opening sentence which describes you in a nutshell and defines what you’re looking for. Use bulleted sections to include relevant work experience, technical skills, and overall abilities. It’s also crucial to keep the resume down to 1 page (2 at the very most). More tips and inputs on how to write your resume, you can find here.
Recycling is great, but not when it comes to resumes. Each resume and cover letter should be tweaked to reflect the specific job requirements for every position you apply to. Remember what we said about doing your homework…? Resumes geared towards different roles will need to be substantially different. A generic resume sent out en masse is likely to be deleted almost immediately, so take the time to be focused and specific.
- Help is Available
Whether you aren’t sure how to word a resume, or you don’t know where to look for jobs, there are lots of resources, job boards, and useful tips out there. You may want to consider some personalized assistance with choosing a career, putting together a resume, and/or finding and applying for jobs. If so, career counselling and other professional career services are a fantastic option to explore. Companies, such as Mentat, can help with all aspects of your career management. They will guide you in your search and work with you to figure out what options are ideal for your situation. They can also help with building your resume, finding appropriate job listings, and streamlining the applications process while walking you through all of it.
- Indomitable Spirit – Looking for a new job is no fun
Looking for work is never fun, and we’ve all experienced the soul-crushing grind of rejection and silence. That being said, a good attitude will help you navigate this difficult time. The right job is out there. It’s a matter of persistence, selling yourself effectively, and timing. If you do everything right and hold your course, you will ultimately persevere. Being upbeat also goes a long way to impress potential employers: before, during, and after the interview process Remember, this is only another step in the journey of fulfilling your career potential.
2017 is almost here…
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