The job search landscape has changed in recent years. Gone are the days where you can send your resume to a few contacts and wait for the phone to ring. While your next opportunity may come through your current network, there are steps you can take to ensure you get your next job faster!
The thought of actively looking for another job can be daunting, and so I often see people wait until a redundancy before they make a change that has been forced upon them. While it may be easier to stay where you are, if you are in an organisation that’s making structural changes or it’s difficult to progress your career with your current employer, then today’s article is for you.
When in active job search there are many factors that can influence your success. Here are 7 steps to achieve success in your job search.
1. Cover letter
Your cover letter is the number one tool that will help you get invited to an interview. It is the first piece of information a potential employer or recruiter will look at to evaluate your suitability for their advertised role. When I work with clients on writing their cover letters for their job applications, we can spend as much time on the cover letter as the resume to ensure we get it right!
2. Killer Resume
Recruiters and hiring managers see LOTS of resumes, so you must focus on developing a killer resume that powerfully demonstrates your suitability for the advertised position. This means tailoring the resume to every new opportunity you apply for. There are some protocols to follow when writing your resume, one of which is what to cover in the Professional Experience section.
For each role you must provide the following key points:
- Role title
- Name of organisation you worked for
- Scope / breadth of role (e.g. how many people reported to you, what geographic area did you cover, etc)
- Value of Budget or P&L you managed (if relevant)
- Key Responsibilities
- Key Achievements
3. LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn Profile is how you will get found by recruiters on LinkedIn. Make sure you’ve updated your career interests on your profile’s private dashboard, letting recruiters know you are open to being contacted. Your LinkedIn profile must contain information that is consistent with your job search goals. Provide readers with a sense of your areas of expertise, experience and professional approach.
When in active job search, the key area to focus on with your LinkedIn Profile include:
- Career Interests
Importantly, writing your LinkedIn profile is not as simple as cutting and pasting the professional summary, experience and education sections of your resume.
You should expect to be invited to a variety of different interview types as part of the job application process. The STAR interview method helps you answer interview questions by providing concrete examples or proof that you possess the experience and skills for the job at hand. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. This method is particularly helpful in response to competency-focused questions, which typically start out with phrases such as “Tell us about a time when…” and “Share an example of a situation where…”
For many of my clients the interview is the part of the job search they fear the most. I support them by doing practice interviews where we develop the types of questions they may be asked for a particular job they’ve applied for, and we prepare and practice their answers.
With online tools such as LinkedIn and offline tools such as professional networking events, there are many ways to leverage your networks to help you during your job search. It’s essential you develop a networking plan, and have practised how you describe where you are at and the types of roles you are looking for. You also need to be brave enough to seek the advice of other professionals. There is an art to networking successfully for job search and I explore this in much greater detail in this webinar.
Recruiters are an important gatekeeper for some of the roles you will apply for during your job search. Importantly, most recruiters are not your career advisor (that’s what I am here for) and so you need to be sure that you meet with recruiters that are aligned to your values and have roles in the sector you wish to work in. Ask other friends and colleagues in your industry (who’ve recently changed jobs) which recruiters they would recommend to speak with.
A positive mindset is essential when you are in active job search. The reason many people stay where they are, despite being unhappy and wanting to make a change in jobs, is because the job search process can be difficult. You need to put yourself out there and be willing to experience setbacks. There is some work required to keep you in a positive state of mind, which I welcome the opportunity to explore further with you.
I am a passionate Career Coach who works with individuals in the explore and search phase of their career journey, helping you realise your strengths through my career coaching and training programs. I enjoy showing people the path to greater career satisfaction and providing insight and tools to help you make your next career move.