The rise of the Great Resignation has caused many workers to rethink their jobs. There will always be days when you feel frustrated at work. However, if looking for a new job is the next step in your career, it pays to be prepared.
Here are some important steps to take before you start a job search.
What Should You Do Before Looking For a New Job?
1. Gather Your Work
Whether you are leaving voluntarily or think the ax is about to fall, now is the time to gather samples of your work. If you aren’t bound by any privacy agreements, make copies of projects and personal documents that illustrate your creativity, accomplishments and value to the company. That way, if HR suddenly asks you to leave the building, you’ll have already compiled your portfolio.
2. Document Your Accomplishments
Even if you think it will be several months before you begin your job search, start preparing now. “Maintain a weekly journal of your accomplishments on the job or in other active roles so you can keep track of the specifics,” recommends The Balance Careers. “Having a record of your top achievements will make it easier to write cover letters and prepare for interviews.”
3. Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
Before looking for a new job, take time to audit your social media accounts. “Companies often Google search a candidate before hiring, and social media can be an immediate red flag,” says Top Resume.
Consider how a potential employer might view your comments. If you would be embarrassed for your grandmother read your posts, you might not want recruiters to see them, either.
4. Do Some Career Soul Searching
You’ve decided it’s time to move on from your current role. But what are you moving toward? Now’s the time to think about your career trajectory.
It’s OK if you’re not sure what you want to do next. Start by assessing what you do know.
Do you like what you do? Are you looking for new opportunities? Do you need additional training?
Consider the length of your commute and workday. If work-life balance is important, think about seeking job opportunities that offer a shorter commute or remote work. You might also avoid jobs that regularly require travel.
“Find out how many work hours are expected in a ‘normal’ week and how extra work time is handled,” recommends Indeed. “You should also find out if holiday or weekend work is required and if you must be ‘on-call’ when away from work.”
Salary and benefits are common motivators for a job search. Research typical salaries and benefits for the type of job you’ll be pursuing.
5. Reconnect with Your References
If it’s been a minute since you’ve checked in with your professional references, now’s the time to get back in touch. Reaching out socially – for a chat over coffee, for instance – is an easy way to reconnect. Catching up on recent events allows you to open the conversation about your upcoming job search and your desire to continue to use them as a reference.
6. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
Before you begin your job search, thoroughly update your resume to reflect your most recent work experience and accomplishments. If you’ve worked for decades, consider including only the past 15 to 20 years of work history.
Likewise, make sure the information on your LinkedIn profile is current. It wouldn’t hurt to begin increasing your activity on this professionally oriented social media network. Follow companies or employees from companies where you would like to work, network with past colleagues and link with new professional contacts.
7. Reorganize Your Portfolio
Digital portfolios are common for those who work in creative fields, like advertising, writing or media. Take time now to evaluate your portfolio, says Glassdoor. Reorganize and update so you can present your best material from the past year or so. Remove older projects that may not reflect the caliber of work you are now capable of producing. Delete samples demonstrating skills you no longer wish to highlight.
Looking for a job can be time-consuming and stressful. Preparing yourself as much as possible can help ease some of the strain and help you focus on where you really want to direct your career.
Are You Looking For a New Job?
If you need assistance with your job search, the experts at Pro Resources Staffing Services are ready to help you reach the next step in your career goals.