When you embark on a job search, don’t forget that it takes preparation ahead of starting your search! Before you start sending in applications, make sure that you have the essentials in your toolbox. With these elements ready to go in advance, your job search can be far less stressful. As a result, be sure that your job seeker’s toolbox is ready with these items:
A recruiter-friendly resume template
Updating your resume is, of course, one of the first steps you should take as you start the process of job searching. However, be sure that you’re aware of the intentions of your resume. In addition to tailoring your resume for individual jobs, be sure that you start with a generic version with your core skills and experience that you can easily adjust. This not only acts as a starting place when you’re tailoring your resume, but it also serves a purpose when you’re unsure of the positions available. This may include meeting with a recruiter who is handling many job openings, or even submitting your resume to a company that doesn’t have any job openings listed.
A top-of-the-line LinkedIn presence
According to JobVite, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates, but only 36% of job seekers are active on the site. By simply taking the steps to have a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile, you’ve already increased your chances of getting noticed by recruiters. Additionally, your LinkedIn profile can serve as an extension of your resume, so be sure to include a link to your profile on your resume and email signature.
A blog, website, or online portfolio
Depending on your field and type of work, a portfolio or blog may be an appropriate tool to help you stand out. Not only can you showcase your work and projects in a more visual medium than a resume, but you can also discuss your involvement in the industry. Similar to a LinkedIn profile, you can build out your own website to be an extension of your resume and give employers a more in-depth look at your professional work.
An elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a concise “about me” speech that encapsulates who you are, as well as your abilities and experience. While it may seem simple to speak about yourself to other professionals, it’s important to think through your own introduction and be sure that you make the right impression. This can be used when making new connections at a networking event, or for when an interviewer uses the inevitable “tell me about yourself” tactic. Be sure to sound natural, and keep it to 30-60 seconds.
Whether you’re currently employed or not, having a personal business card is a great way to ensure that those you’re networking with remember you and have a means of contacting you later. Leaving one of these with a hiring manager or a new contact is sure to leave a great first impression.
A positive, prepared attitude
Keeping a sense of optimism, showing your personality, and being prepared for (and open to) opportunities that may come your way is essential to job searching success! While you may have some failures along the way to finding the right opportunity, be sure to keep your head up and don’t forget what makes you unique.