A few years ago I was in a position looking for a new job. During that time I learned a lot of job search tips and share these with a number of people who have found themselves frustrated with the “old” job search process that primarily takes place sitting behind a computer searching and applying. That process is long, lonely, and often produces little result. Here are tips that I share with job seekers:
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
My first recommendation is to get your LinkedIn profile updated (and I’d say this is more important than getting your resume ready!) and be sure to network with everyone you are working with, or have previously worked with. Connect with all of your past clients and vendors. The key to getting a job in this economy is network, network, network!
On a daily basis you will want to edit your profile. Even if only a slight edit that you go back and undo later, the activity tells the LinkedIn database that you are active and keeps the profile up at the top when recruiters do searches. It also keeps your face and profile in front of your network.
Update Your Resume. Review. Update Again
Second, get your resume fixed up (mine is always a work in progress, but get it to where you are at least comfortable putting it out there). Load it on all the job search sites as open to the public, including: Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed.com. Companies are not paying to post ads on these sites very often, but they do pay to get access to the resume database.
Every week review your resume. Look for opportunities to enhance based on feedback you get from others and based on the types of jobs you are applying for. Upload or edit your resume on all of the job search sites every week. This will keep your profile active in the database.
Create a Job Search Plan
Now, create a job search plan. Here’s what mine looked like:
- create daily job search alert on Indeed.com.
- bookmark jobs you are interested in applying for throughout the week.
- Sunday afternoon review all bookmarked jobs and prioritize them.
- Sunday afternoon/evening start applying (don’t be discouraged, it takes about an hour per application!)
- Go to LinkedIn and “creep” the company, the hiring managers, and the person you think will be doing the interviewing. (PS: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is set to public so they can see you and “creep” you back! – but this is why your LI profile needs to be done first!)
- One time per week, upload new resume (again, mine changed all the time, I was always improving it!) to job search sites: CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster. Do this at least one time per week. Make sure resume is set to public. This exercise keeps you fresh in their system. Note: You will get emails and calls from every insurance company wanting you to sell insurance. Just ignore them!
- Every day update something on LinkedIn (this keeps it fresh and will keep you towards the top in searches). Every day connect with someone, enhance your profile, add something, rearrange sentences. Change a period to a comma, save, then change it back to a period and save again. Trust me… it makes a difference!
- Find one place to go each day. You have to keep yourself motivated to get up each day and get ready. I kept my calendar full of networking events, coffee with colleagues and people I had met at networking events or had just connected with on LinkedIn because I thought they may be a resource to me finding a job. Get out of the house every day! There a number of job search networking groups in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex (I highly recommend starting with the Southlake Focus Group). Go to Meetup.com and find networking groups based on your industry.
Whatever you do DO NOT:
- stay at home and spend all day and all night searching and applying for jobs on the computer.
- spend all of your time networking and connecting but not applying for jobs.
You have to create a job search strategy and find balance: Network, connect, apply, creep, interview, LAND!