Job searching is always stressful. Add a global pandemic and unprecedented unemployment numbers to the mix and you have a recipe for even more stress and uncertainty.
Right. Where do I start?
With a few deep breaths. If (read: when) you start feeling overwhelmed, focus on these four things…
Reflection. Throughout the process, consistently remind yourself what you love to do. Make a list of the things you’re good at, what you like about your latest role, and what you’re looking for in a new job. Throughout your search, keep coming back to that list to find the job that checks off most of what you want.
Resourcefulness. Hitting apply on a job website isn’t enough. Use your network to help bring your application to the top of the pile. Reach out to first or second tier connections on LinkedIn who work at the company, continually stay in touch with people in the industry who can mentor you, and never say never to having (virtual) coffee with your uncle’s friend’s daughter’s boyfriend. Every connection counts.
References. They can take an application from good to unforgettable, including yours. Think about who you can choose from different points in your career but nix anyone you haven’t spoken to in years. Before you list a reference, give them a heads up so that they’re prepared — not annoyed — when that call or email comes in.
Resume. You and your resume are about to get veryyy close. It’s your first impression, no. 1 hype man, and personal brand deck all rolled into one.
Fit your resume onto one page. Less is more. And no one needs to know you played clarinet in your middle school band.
Reverse reverse. Use reverse chronological order and put your most recent and important accomplishments at the top.
Make your experience work for you. Figure out what skills are needed for the job you want, and tailor your resume to those qualifications.
Use spell check. The difference between receive and recieve could make or break you.
Be honest. If your resume says you speak French, be prepared to do more than say ‘bonjour.’
Brag about your GPA. Unless it’s your first job out of college, leave it off your resume.
Be Captain Obvious. Avoid phrases like ‘hard worker,' 'ambitious,' 'hit the ground running,' and 'think outside the box.’ These should all be a given.
Be shy. Your resume is not the time to sit down and be humble. It’s your opportunity to pat yourself on the back and remind employers why you’re worth hiring.
Include everything. Trim down your experiences to include what’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Ask for too many opinions. Trust your gut, because no one knows your strengths better than you.
You’re ready to spread your wings into the great, wide world of interviews. Dress for the job you want, always be five minutes early (even virtually), and remember that your cyber footprint is real. Take down that FB pic from five years ago on spring break in Cabo.
Taking the first steps to finding a new job can be intimidating and frustrating AF. Take it one day at a time, keep your head up, and remember that if Andy survived Miranda...you can survive anything. That’s all.
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