When you decide it is time to look for a new job — even if the new job is inside your current company, deciding what to do first can initially seem daunting. There is a lot to do, typically, because you haven’t looked for a job recently. Your job skills have changed, your accomplishments have changed; you’ve changed. Where to start?
The way I would approach getting ready for a job search starts with three critical key steps. Let’s take a look at each one.
Now, everyone knows you need to update your resume before submitting for any jobs. What most people do, though, is just add in what they have done since the last time they updated their resume and then let it fly. That can work, but you’ll increase your chances of getting interviews that you want if you really stop and look at your entire resume and decide if what you have in the resume still makes sense.
Here are the areas to look at:
The reason I go for the resume first is that it is the singular document that you and only you own. Anything that is updated online (e.g., LinkedIn) is putting your career information on a platform you don’t own. Online companies — especially online companies that have their business model be your personal information you access for free — are notorious for changing their algorithm and your data along with it.
Save a copy of your current resume so you always have information in it (mine go back to 2010) in case you need it later. Start with your copied resume and make your edits from there.
Microsoft has grander plans for LinkedIn since they bought the platform. And since most of corporate is based on Microsoft — Office, Project, Server, SQL, and more — LinkedIn is a necessary component to your job search.
Objectively, lots of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. Companies place job openings and job descriptions on LinkedIn. To find and to be found, a good LinkedIn presence is a necessary tool for your job search. Here’s what to consider:
Resumes and LinkedIn profiles are tools you can use to point people to your skills and accomplishments. They help you get the interview, but they don’t help you find open positions. If you look at how jobs are found, 70-80% of all jobs are found through your business network. Once you find a job opening, then your resume and LinkedIn profile come into play.
Given the importance of your business network in finding a job, reviewing your contacts makes good sense.
A job search isn’t something you just go into without any preparation. These 3 key areas shouldn’t take you more than about 8-hours to do (unless it has been a really long time since you did a job search – in which case, it is really important you do these preparations). Those 8-hours will save you a time and will help focus your efforts at finding the right job for you.
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