2020 has been extremely challenging. Most of us have had our professional, and personal lives turned upside down. Many people found looking for a new job frustrating, exhausting, and disheartening.
Finally, 2020 has been kicked to the curb. The holidays are behind us, and a brand-new year, full of possibilities, stretches before us.
If your goal is to get a new job in 2021, it’s time to get going. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start today.
Get Your Career Marketing Tools Ready
#1 Make sure your resume is recruiter and employer ready. Your resume is often how hiring managers meet you. A boring list of duties and responsibilities is unlikely to motivate anyone to contact you.
People in similar positions do similar things. The best way to differentiate yourself is by demonstrating your value. And the way to do that is by creating a results-driven resume in a modern, easy-to-scan format.
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “everything old is new again.” But when it comes to resumes, everything old is not new again. It’s just old.
Resumes have changed a lot over the last 15 years. They’ve morphed from boring employment histories to compelling marketing documents designed to sell you — the candidate — to recruiters and employers. While some basic components like professional experience and education remain, there are other elements that make your resume and, by default, you look dated.
1. Objective Statement
Although objective statements have been passé for years, I still see them on resumes. One reason they fell out of fashion is that they were all basically the same. Every candidate was looking for a great company, where they worked with awesome colleagues, and had room to grow. Boring. Worse, objective statements didn’t address what every employer wants to know “WIIFM?” (what’s in it for me?). Scrap the objective statement and replace it with a summary that demonstrates your value.
You’ve heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s particularly true during your job search
Certainly, having the right skills, experience, and, in some cases, education is essential. However, recruiters and employers may not contact you for an interview if you don’t make a good first impression.
At least good enough to make them want to learn more.
Recruiters and employers meet you different ways. It might be when they receive your resume. It might be when they view your profile on LinkedIn. It might be when they see something on social media. Since you have no way of knowing, it’s important to cover all fronts.
If you’ve been actively recruited for your last several positions, having a boring, task-focused resume has probably worked for you. It may have been not much more than a formality.
When you’re the one approaching recruiters and employers, however, replacing your boring task-focused resume with a results driven marketing tool and developing a robust, optimized LinkedIn profile will make you more marketable.
Both of those take time, effort, and maybe even hiring a professional writer. That said, there are a few fairly simple, often quick, things you can do to make a better first impression.
These are extraordinarily difficult times. Unemployment is climbing. People on furlough wonder if they’ll be returning to work. Shutdowns across the country make it challenging to look for a job.
Despite everything, this is not the time to stop looking for a new job. The job market has changed dramatically, but jobs are still out there. Employers are hiring. There are steps you can take to move your job search forward.
Here are 10 job search strategies that work. But reading this list isn’t enough. You need to act. You can’t do all of them today, but you can get started.
#1 Make a list of your target employers, companies where you would most like to work. Set up Google alerts to help you follow them in the news. Start contacting family, friends, former colleagues, etc. to see if they know anyone who works for one, or more, of your top employers.
If you’re writing your own executive resume, it can be tempting to include everything you’ve done over the last 20 years. Or longer. A long, boring, job history is the perfect way to make sure no one contacts you.
If you want to get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, it’s essential to demonstrate YOUR value.
Highlight your achievements. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know about the impact you’ve had on your employers. They want to see times you’ve saved time, improved productivity, cut costs, generated revenue, etc. Present your resume in a modern, easy-to-scan format. Focus on positions that are relevant to employers.
Most of us wouldn’t buy a home or a car or even a new phone without some planning. Before a large purchase we’d check our credit report and research prices. Depending on the purchase, we might read reviews of realtors or retailers. We want to be prepared when we find the perfect whatever.
Yet, many people jump into a job search, a process that could change their life, with no preparation.
They see a few interesting job posts and decide it’s time for a change.
Often, they don’t have their resume or LinkedIn profile recruiter ready. They haven’t researched the salary range for the position they seek. They may not even have a clear understanding of what they want in a new position.
A job search requires as much preparation as any other big move. Here are 7 steps you need to take before you begin your job search.
Even if we don’t want the job, most of us want to get the offer. When you actually do want the job, getting a “pass” can be downright devastating. I’ve been there too.
Sometimes knowing the reason, you weren’t hired is easy. Maybe you didn’t have most of the “requirements” but you decided to apply anyway. Perhaps you didn’t click with the hiring manager. As soon as you left the interview your gut told you that you wouldn’t be moving forward.
Other times, you leave an interview feeling great and are stunned to receive a “we went another way” letter in the mail. You go over every interaction over and over trying to figure out what went wrong.
To be effective an executive resume needs to convey value. Right away. Early in your career you may have been able to get by with a basic employment history. However, once you reach the executive level, or are targeting those rolls, demonstrating the impact you’ve had on your employers is critical.
Unfortunately, most of the resumes that come across the desks of recruiters and hiring managers are boring lists of duties and responsibilities. Nothing to motivate the reader to set up an interview.
The good news, is that if your executive resume does demonstrate value and engage the reader you will stand out from the pile of other candidates. In a good way.
3 Things Your Resume Must Include
Employers expect senior professionals to do more than manage a team, run a department, or be responsible for a sales region. They want to know what you’ve done that’s had an impact on the business.
The best way to demonstrate value is show how you’ve made money, saved money, saved time, anything that’s had a positive effect. While quantifying results may be easier in some professions, like sales, if you take the time to “dig deep” you can come up with results.
A lot of people casually looking for new jobs, put their job search into high gear in January.
The holidays are over. They’ve taken vacation and gotten year end bonuses.
If you want to find a new job this year, it’s time to get moving.
Time to do all those things you planned to do in the last few months of 2018.
Get Your Tools 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 compelling marketing document not the boring list of duties you used 5 years ago.
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. And if you’re a senior executive, don’t forget to show momentum.
Next, finish completing your LinkedIn profile so recruiters can find you. Finish that that summary you’ve been meaning to for the last 4 months. Now that LinkedIn has changed their user interface, pay particular attention to the first 240 characters in your summary. Write something that will encourage them to click “Show more.”