You’re ready for a career change — but starting a job search can seem overwhelming. If it’s been a while since the last time you looked for a job, you might wonder where to begin. Here are seven important must-haves to include on your job hunt checklist.
7 Things to Include When Searching For a Job
1. Dust Off Your Resume
Resumes are a necessary part of the job application, so first on your job search checklist should be to edit and update your resume. Keep your resume to one-page (front and back), unless you’re a high level executive. The more jobs you’ve held, the more you may need to cut outdated information. Think about the kind of position you’re aiming for and structure your resume around skills and job duties relevant to that position.
“Make sure your resume has the necessary keywords that hiring managers (and importantly, applicant tracking software) are looking for in your field,” Forbes recommends.
2. Revise Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is one of the premiere job search and networking sites and an important resource as you begin your employment search. “The basics, like your relevant job history, an eye-catching profile photo, and key competencies, are a great place to start, says The Every Girl. “Update your resume with your latest employment details, even if you have yet to leave.” Change privacy settings so recruiters can see that you’re job hunting but your connections aren’t notified of profile updates.
3. Review Your Social Media
These days, employers can and do check applicants’ social media accounts. Make sure yours is squeaky clean. You want your future employer to view you in the best possible light, so party-hearty drinking photos and controversial or gossipy posts are best hidden or removed. Experts recommend changing your settings to make your accounts private. Google yourself to check for old accounts you’ve forgotten about, like your teenage YouTube account, recommends The Muse.
4. Update Your Portfolio
If you’ll need to show samples of your work, make sure you have an updated online portfolio. Sites like Wix let you create a portfolio for free. You can also add documents and links to blogs or other websites in the “Featured” section of your LinkedIn profile.
5. Line Up Your References
At some point, an interested employer will want references. They’ll take the opportunity to talk to a few of your supervisors, co-workers or professional colleagues about your skills and work ethic. If you can’t use your current boss as a reference, reach out to previous employers with whom you’ve kept in touch, colleagues from professional organizations, teachers, advisors – pick your best cheerleaders.
6. Research Companies and Positions
What kind of job are you interested in? Start researching these types of positions on job boards. Study the language. What words do employers use to describe the work? What skills are they looking for? Make sure these words and abilities are reflected in your resume. At this point, you’ll also want to research the company. Read employee reviews, news articles and the company’s social media posts to gain an idea of the company culture.
7. Improve Your Skills
Every job requires a certain skill set. Do you have all the skills employers seek for the job you’re pursuing? If you lack critical knowledge or need to brush up on certain software applications, now’s the time to address a skills gap. Many free resources are available online to help get you up to speed. Check out places like Coursera, Adobe, Hubspot and even YouTube to improve your skills. Even if you haven’t completed your online learning by the time you interview, employers will be impressed with your initiative.
Job hunting can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. A little preparation will go a long way in helping the process run more smoothly.
Looking For a New Job?
For additional help in your job search, contact the placement experts at Pro Resources Staffing Services.