Are you kicking off the new year with a new job search? It's not uncommon for people to use the new year to refine their career goals and want to put things in motion to make a change and jump start a new career.
Many job seekers start networking as their first step. While networking is critical to landing the right job, I advise people to take a step back and make sure you are fully prepared to network:
1. Update your resume: You would be surprised at how many people start reaching out to people with an outdated resume. Make sure to update your resume with new job skills developed, new professional advancements, and any changes to your professional goals as you reach toward that next stepping stone. If it has been a long time since your last resume re-do, make sure to do some research to learn about new resume formats. Better yet, have a friend, recruiter or job counselor look it over give you feedback. I had one friend show me her 10-year-old resume that was so out-of-date, even the font she used was no longer in style. (For more on building that perfect resume, read our previous blog post.)
2. Professional references: Before you apply for a position, make sure you have already spoken to and provided your (updated) resume to everyone on your list of professional references. You truly never know when they might receive a phone call. Receiving a surprise call could be embarrassing for an unprepared reference and could even cost you the job.
3. Professional certifications: If you are in a field that requires certifications to maintain standards of excellence (like healthcare and IT), make sure they are up-to-date. It goes without saying that these certifications are a critical component of your professional toolbox.
4. Network: Phew! Now it’s time to network. Check out our November 2015 blog, Creating a Strong Network for more tips on making your networking a success.
5. Stay Inspired: It’s easy to kick off a job search. It’s not always so easy to keep it going. Look at the job search process as a time to learn, and use each experience to help you make adjustments along the way. Make sure to take care of yourself too – keep an ongoing progress report with your spouse or a trusted friend, or go for a walk to clear your head as you consider your job options.
And, as always, I encourage you to #JoinThe Squad and contact us at SquadBuilders. We are always seeking the right candidates for a wide variety of positions!