Your job search and the approach you take with exploring new opportunities is a critical element of your success. The key elements of your job search need to factor in your career goals, your network, your LinkedIn Profile, your resume and any gaps that you may need to fill in terms of your skills and experience.
To help you get ready for your job search, here are 4 key steps I recommend.
1. Career Goals
Are you where you want to be? Did you ever have a 5 year plan or a bigger picture sense of where you wanted your career to head? It’s okay if your answer is no, but before you make your next career move, you do need to give this some thought. The benefit of taking the time to think about your goals is that you will be more focussed in your career search and save yourself time and energy.
In terms of goals, the 3 key things to consider are:
- What sort of roles or work types do I enjoy?
- What type of industry have I enjoyed working in or would I enjoy working in?
- What skill or experience gaps do I need to fill to work in these types of roles and industries?
2. Your Network
Who do you know who works in the type of role or industry that you want work? Make a list of these people and endeavour to give them a call or catch up with them and ask them their thoughts and advice on working in these roles or industries.
This will help you get even more focussed on what you want and is more than likely to open up a few job opportunities for you too. Many jobs are not advertised, and people like to interview and employ people who are recommended to them or they know.
3. Your LinkedIn Profile
With 4 out of 5 professionals on LinkedIn in Australia, this platform for business is one of the first places recruiters and potential employers will find you. It is also where you want people to assess your suitability for a role they are placing. This is your opportunity to control the information they see and present the best version of yourself. The opportunity with your LinkedIn Profile is to give people a sense of who you are and what your work ethic and style is like. While you also need to include all of your relevant experience, skills and education, make sure you show some of your unique personality, including a professional photo.
If a recruiter was searching through LinkedIn to find people for the position you are seeking, would you show up? Try it and if you are not on the first or second page, go back to your profile and pepper it with the right keywords to get yourself a higher ranking. A simple trick is to look at the profiles of the people who rank well and follow some of the things they did.
4. Your Resume & Cover Letter
Scan your resume for 15 seconds. That’s exactly what an employer will do, so if you don’t get a clear message about what you can do for them, then it is not a good resume. Since this is the most important document when you are actively applying for roles, make the investment and have a good resume professionally prepared and adapt your cover letter and resume for every new job you apply for. If you need help with a cover letter and resume, you may like to check out our Professional Job Application Toolkit.
As one of Asia Pacific’s Top 10 LinkedIn Experts I share fortnightly news with my global email community and run monthly online Lunch and Learns to teach professionals how to unlock LinkedIn. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!