This is a candidate’s market and a great time to be looking for a new job. Pay is up. There’s a huge increase in job openings. And employers desperately need good people. So, if you’re interested in making a career move, then now’s the time to do it. Here are 12 steps you can take to speed up the process.
Step #1: Identify your career goals.
Before you launch your job search, take a minute to think about what you’re looking for in your next job. Do you want to make a lateral career move to an employer with more flexibility and better compensation? Or are you looking to take a step up in your career, or make a change and go into a different industry?
Whatever the case, don’t just dive into a job search. Think about your goals and your future career path, so you have a clear vision of where you want to go. It will make your job search easier and faster.
Step #2: Take stock of your resume.
This is your ticket into the hiring process, so you want to ensure yours is as strong as possible. One simple way to give it a boost is to ditch the generic phrases like “team player” and “self-starter” and instead include specific accomplishments and results. Whenever you can quantify your abilities with facts and figures, you’ll bring them to life and stand out among other candidates.
Step #3: Polish your LinkedIn profile.
Once you’re resume is employer-ready, work on your LinkedIn profile next. You can enhance it with work samples, recommendations and skills, so you can further showcase your skills and abilities to hiring managers. Also, while your LinkedIn profile and resume don’t need to be the same, make sure there aren’t any discrepancies that could cause confusion with a hiring manager.
Step #4: Network whenever you can.
Even in today’s tech-driven world, networking is still the best way to find out about new jobs – especially those not always advertised. So, put “networking” at the top of your to-do list. You can do this in any number of ways, from attending business mixers to seminars, conferences, and alumni events. Even when you’re attending a personal social event, like a wedding, bring business cards. You never know who you’ll meet. And the more you network, the faster you’ll find that next new job.
Step #5: Search for job openings.
There are many ways to search for openings, from online job boards to industry trade groups, social media and searching directly on a company’s website. One way to make this process go a little faster is to set up alerts on job search sites. That way, you’ll find out as soon as a new job is posted that fits your search parameters.
Step #6: Do your homework on each company.
Don’t apply to every job you find out about that sounds good. Instead, do some quick research on the company to learn more about them, so you can decide whether they’re a good fit for what you’re looking for in your career. Also, verify they have a positive track record and a solid reputation.
Step #7: Customize your resume.
Each time you apply to a new opening, tailor your resume around it. To do that, review the job posting and make a note of the skills and specifications they are looking for. Then, edit your resume in a way that focuses on your most relevant abilities. Not only will this make your background more appealing for the hiring manager, but increase the chance of making it through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Step #8: Prepare for interviews.
Once you get a call for an interview, do your homework. This includes researching the company and finding as much as you can about who they are, what they do and the customers they serve. Then think about specific areas in your background that are a natural fit for what they are looking for. Also, create a list of your own questions to ask during the interview.
Step #9: Tell a story.
Research commonly asked interview questions and be prepared to answer them. You don’t need to sound like you’re reading from a script, but you do want to have a well thought out answer in mind.
Another way to answer a question is to tell a story. When you tell a story about an experience or skill you have, you’ll be able to give concrete examples and also make yourself more memorable during the interview process.
Step #10: Show up on time and dress the part.
Don’t let a poorly chosen outfit or a late start sabotage your chance for a great job. Make sure you have all the basics covered. Pick out what you’re wearing ahead of time and leave early, with some extra time built in, just in case you hit traffic.
Step #11: Avoid any negative talk.
During the interview, keep the conversation positive. Don’t say anything negative about a past employer, co-worker or boss. You never know if the manager interviewing you knows that person. Even if they don’t, talking this way makes you look bad.
Step #12: Follow up with a thank you after the interview.
Within the next 24 hours, after the interview, send a thank you note or email to the hiring manager. Re-iterate your interest in the job and why you think you are a good fit. Also, thank them for their time and let them know you’re looking forward to hearing from them.
Looking for help making your job search go faster?
At ResumeSpice, we know every job search is stressful and we can help speed yours up. We offer everything from resume writing services to LinkedIn profile writing and interview preparation. We can even offer career coaching and more. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.