When you’re ready to embark on a job search, don’t fall into the trap of leaping without looking. Early mistakes can cost you interviews or offers down the line, which means missing out on amazing new opportunities. Take some time to lay a solid foundation for your search to ensure that you can find and land the job you want.
Assess Your Situation
Before you begin a job search it is critical to know your personal strengths, weaknesses, skills and interests. Picture your ideal working situation and decide what type of jobs will help you achieve your goals. This inventory will help you develop a sense of what you can bring to the table for a potential new employer, and gives you focus in your job search.
Commit to Targeting Your Search
If you’re desperate to get out of a bad situation, it can be tempting to apply for every job posting you see. However, an unfocused search is simply a waste of time. If you want to find a better job and take a step forward, it pays to take a targeted approach. Only apply for jobs that you are truly interested in and that align with your skills and goals.
Clean Up Your Social Footprint
Hiring managers will Google you before they call you for an interview, so it is critical that they can’t get access to your personal social media profiles. Even if you think your social feed is boring, you never know what could be lurking in your history. Make sure your personal accounts are all set to private and be discerning in who you add as friends so you don’t inadvertently allow a hiring manager in. However, your LinkedIn profile should be updated, polished and set to public so that hiring managers and recruiters can locate you.
Update and Proof All Documents
Have friends or family review your resume and LinkedIn profiles for typographical errors and syntax. You do not want hiring managers to find errors in your writing. When you write a cover letter, make sure to proof it several times, and if possible, have a second set of eyes look it over. Always make sure you have the hiring manager’s name spelled correctly, as well.
Connect with Your References
Get in touch with your list of references and make sure they are still relevant for the type of job you are applying to. It is also important to reach out and make sure they are still willing and able to act as a reference for you, and to let them know that you’re embarking on a search so they know to expect a phone call or two in the near future. If you need to update your list, make sure to do that before you begin searching.