Let us let you in on a little secret! Contrary to popular belief, summer is actually an excellent time to look for a job. As a result, while your competition is on vacation, take the opportunity to amp up your job search by thoroughly reviewing your job seeking strategy for strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the components of your routine that are most in need of improvement can help you build a strong and well-designed professional brand that gives you a competitive edge over your fellow job seekers, ensuring you impress the key decision makers that matter most.
Make this new season of your job search your most productive by…
Creating a well-designed portfolio.
Creating a well-designed portfolio and bringing it along on an interview is a great way to showcase your skills and share your work with a hiring manager. Professional portfolios especially benefit jobseekers that struggle with keeping their resumes succinct, as well as those who feel their resumes don’t truly communicate their capabilities. If you have additional endorsements of your skills and character, such as great letters of reference, awards or honors, certifications, or work samples, a portfolio is the perfect vessel through which to demonstrate them.
Rehearsing for job interviews.
When it comes to interviewing, there are two big ‘no’s that every candidate fears and works hard to avoid – not being able to find the words to answer a particularly challenging question, or, memorizing pre-prepared responses and coming off as rehearsed. In order to deliver articulate answers in an interview, undergoing the right type of preparation can allow you to gain natural confidence that will serve you well when asked tricky questions. Conducting a mock interview with either yourself or a friend, can help you develop talking points through verbalizing the details of your own professional and personal backstory. Knowing that material inside and out will contribute to your readiness when asked to talk candidly about your attributes as a qualified candidate.
Networking your way into your next job.
If you feel like submitting applications to online job postings isn’t cutting it anymore, stepping up your networking game can be very beneficial for your job hunt. If you feel hesitant about your networking skills, remember that you don’t have to fish for a job lead, or force an interaction that just isn’t in the cards. Though you may commonly see other jobseekers hustling to get to everyone at a networking event, it’s important to remember to slow down and focus on building genuine connections. After laying the foundation in a first meeting, all you have to do is inquire about opportunities, and to reciprocate by contacting connections when you hear word of opportunities they may be fit for too. Networking is all about give and take, and the more you reinforce your network, the more you’ll get in return.
Updating your LinkedIn profile.
The modern job search regime now includes being searchable via social media. In this day and age, it’s assumed that you will have some form of identity online as a jobseeker, and the good news is that the networking platform LinkedIn allows you to share content and interact with fellow professionals who can help you progress your career. Not only can you build a profile that acts as a resume and share samples of your work, but the site also acts as the perfect setting for you to consistently maintain your network.
To ensure you have built a complete public and professional identity that is representative of what you have to offer, make sure you update your skillset, write a headline that describes who you are as a professional, and outline a summary of your accomplishments. Of course, having an up-to-date and fleshed out LinkedIn profile will make you look that much more marketable when you network with connections, seek new ones, and participate in group discussions.
By re-designing and improving the dimensions of your job search, you can evolve your professional brand and deliver quality results while interviewing, submitting applications, and participating in activities conducive to securing a job.