So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to hit the pavement and find your next career opportunity! While embarking on a job search can be daunting, taking it step-by-step can help ease anxiety and keep you focused on the task at hand. If you’re just getting started in your search, check out our job search checklist to be sure that you’re prepared when the phone rings!
Define your goals
Before beginning your search, consider your current work environment and what you want to accomplish in your next position. This could anything from a simple pay increase to a better work-life balance, or even more transparency from your manager. Once you’ve defined your goals, don’t set them aside—keep these in mind throughout your job search to see if you can find a role that meets that description.
Think about your career trajectory
In addition to setting your goals, it’s important to define what kind of role you want next. For some, this may be simple, and for others, it may be a more complicated decision. As a result, start by thinking about your future career—where do you want to end up? Then, go back and fill in the blanks. What experience do you need to get there? Perhaps you need to develop a specific skill or you need management experience before you can get there. Once again, keep this in mind throughout your job search.
Dust off your resume
As always, the job search can’t begin until you’ve given your resume some TLC. After all, this is the document that needs to catch the attention of a hiring manager. Start by updating your current workplace, responsibilities, and skills. Additionally, don’t forget to tailor your resume for each job posting.
Utilize your network
You’ve been told to network with other professionals in your industry for your entire career, and now is the time for your diligent work to shine. As you begin feeling out the job market in your field, reach out to any industry contacts you’ve made. Your network may be able to connect you with opportunities you may not have found online, giving you a leg up against your competition.
Do your market research
Once you’ve decided what kind of role you’re looking for, be sure to conduct some thorough research into the current market. In addition to salary expectations, you can look at similar job postings to learn what kind of skills and experience employers are looking for.
Get advice from market experts
Similarly, consulting an expert who is active in this market can be extremely beneficial to understanding the current landscape. As a result, a career coach or a recruiter who works in your field can be a valuable resource to help you understand more about your market value and current trends. Additionally, they can also give you more guidance on your application materials and help you prepare for interviews.
Give your LinkedIn some love
While you’ve updated your resume, be sure that you don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile as well. In addition to updating your experience and skills, be sure to include an updated profile picture, work samples, and perhaps even write an article or two to showcase your expertise.
Start prepping your interview answers
As you begin the process of searching, now is the time to think about some common interview questions and how you plan to answer them. While you can’t prepare for every question, you can definitely have some answers ready. For example, you’ll want to have a polished answer when your next interviewer asks why you want to leave your current role.
Get your references in order
Once you begin the job search process, you never know when the right opportunity will come along. And when it does, the employer will undoubtedly ask for your references. To be sure that you don’t end up without references in place when you need them, get permission now to use your contact as a reference throughout your job search.