2018 Job Search Prep

Hello 2018.

January is often the time when passive looking, turns into full on job searching. Holiday vacations are over. Bonuses have been divided between Christmas shopping and savings accounts.

If your goal is to find a new job this year, it’s time to get moving.

You can begin by starting on this list today.

Get Your Materials Together

First, make sure you resume is recruiter and hiring manager ready. Your resume is your calling card so make sure that it is a marketing document, which shows the impact you’ve had on your current and previous employers.

A boring employment history is not going to impress anyone. Employers want to know how you can solve their problems, you resume should clearly demonstrate your value in modern, easy-to-scan format.

Next, finish completing your LinkedIn profile. Write that summary that you’ve been meaning to for the last 6 months. Now that LinkedIn has changed their user interface, pay particular attention to the first 180 characters in your summary.

Write in the first person and show some personality. Fill out the employment section with more than just job titles.

Finally, if you don’t have them already, get some personal business cards.  It’s not a good idea to use your company cards for networking events, remember your office email is owned by your employer not you.

When creating a card include is your contact information and a brief blurb about you. Don’t forget you can use the back for additional information.

Add Twitter to your job search toolbox. If you don’t have one already, set up a Twitter account. Follow recruiters, thought leaders, and reporters covering your industry. Be brave, take part in a Twitter chat.

Start Planning Your Attack

If you haven’t already, create a list of target employers. Follow them on social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Set up Google alerts for each company so you’ll be aware when they are in the news.

Ask everyone in your extended circle – your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, alumni association, etc. – who they know who works at any of your target employers. Don’t discount your aunt Elizabeth, her stylist’s partner may work at your dream company.

Research and choose some online job boards that might work for you. While you shouldn’t rely on job boards, they can be one part of your job-search plan. Continually monitor the career pages on your target companies’ web sites.

Unless the jobs are confidential, usually when the person doesn’t know they’re being replaced, companies post open positions on their own sites.

Develop a list of networking opportunities. Many industries have national organizations with local chapters that hold monthly meetings. Join your University alumni association, many of them have events nationwide as well. Have a networking strategy for each event, and go alone.

Vow to make networking a way of life. Tuck a few cards in your wallet and carry them always. You never know who you may run into at the grocery store or the mall.

Get Out, Get Going

Once you are ready for whatever comes up, it’s time to create a job search plan. If you’re actively looking, try to schedule one networking event a week. If you’re passively looking or incredibly busy plan for one event a month.

Don’t be the person running around, handing out business cards, because you just heard your company is having layoffs. No one wants to hear that you’ve just been to busy to network, but now you’re desperate for help.

If you are changing careers, set up informational interviews with people in your target position or field. It’s a great way to learn the good, bad, and ugly about a job. Remember, informational interviews are not the time to ask for a job, but they are a great way to make connections.

Schedule some time each day or week, depending on how actively you’re looking, to peruse the job boards and your target company’s websites.

January 2018 is here. There’s no more time to waste. It will be December before you know it.