Don’t End Up At The Back Of The Pack In January
There are only a few weeks left to 2018. If you’re already looking or plan to start in the new year, there is no time to waste. Serious candidates are working a job search plan right now. If you’re taking time off to enjoy the holidays, you’re falling behind. Here are a few ways to catch up.
First, create a list of target employers. These are your dream employers, the places you would work if you could work anywhere. Ten is a good place to start. Learn all you can about them.
Make a note to visit their website periodically to check job openings. As a recruiter, it was rare to source a job that was not listed on the company website. The exception being a confidential search when the person didn’t know they were being replace.
In addition to monitoring their site, set up a Google search. It’s a fast, easy, free way to know when they are in the news. (While you’re there, set up a search for you as well.) Finally, contact family and friends to see who might know someone who works for your target employers.
Despite all the festivities, most of us have a little extra time off over the holidays. Use some of that time to get your resume recruiter ready. No one is going to be impresses with a boring list of responsibilities, instead focus on the impact that you’ve made on your previous employers.
Think in terms of CAR stories: Challenge, Action, Result. What was the challenge you faced? What were the actions taken? What was the result? If you were part of or working with a team, make sure to highlight what you contributed.
Next, start working on your LinkedIn profile. Today LinkedIn is like Google for people. If you don’t have an optimized profile, you’ll come up at the bottom of a recruiter’s search even if he or she is looking for someone with your credentials.
Make sure your headline is used as a headline. LinkedIn doesn’t refer to the top line on your profile as a headline for nothing. Use yours as a snapshot of what you bring to the table. The summary is a great place to give readers some insight in to who you are. Talk a little bit about why you do what you do, why you went into that field, what you love about your work, what makes you proud.
Finally, provide information under each position. A skeleton profile, like a boring resume, it not going to inspire anyone to contact you.
During the holidays there are tons of places to network. Office parties and industry events to name two. But, don’t discount who you might meet at your cousin’s annual holiday potluck. It may be that they’re dating the HR director at one of your target companies.
Don’t go with the intention of asking everyone there if they know of a job for you. Just talk to people, get to know them. It’s OK to tell them you are looking for a job. Definitely bring business cards with you. But don’t push your card on them unless they ask. Always remember it’s a holiday party.
Spend some time over the holiday season getting ready for next year. If you don’t spend your time wisely, you’ll find yourself at the back of the pack in January. 2019 is only a few weeks away.