The frenzy of rushing to update your resume and sending it to multiple potential employers might feel productive, but there’s more that needs to be done beforehand.
Check out these eight prep activities to ensure you are ready to take on the job search effectively.
Deep clean your online presence. This should be first on your to-do list. If you prefer to keep your personal life to yourself, keep your accounts private. If you’re someone who enjoys a healthy intertwining of professional and personal, be sure that the content you share is reflective of how you want to be viewed professionally.
Read. A lot. You may not be the world’s best wordsmith, so as you come to write one of the most important documents in your life it helps to have some literary ammunition. Reading a range of different books will raise your writing game considerably.
Analyze potential employers from every angle. There is a wealth of information available about employers out there. Exploring the needs of your future employers is a great place to start when pondering how to pitch your services. Read job descriptions, scour their website and do a scan of their social media accounts. This helps piece together their corporate culture and if you and your values align with theirs.
Lose yourself in introspection. One of the most exciting things about a job search is that your choices have the potential to change your life. Some people make career choices based on money and/or convenience alone. Look within at what you really want out of a job – then go out there and make it happen.
Map out your career paths (plural).Being open-minded is one of the best approaches at the start of any job search. Write a resume that has the potential to lead to any number of career paths. You should always tweak your resume to fit each individual role, but keeping your goals, successes and achievements highlighted to show the consistency needed to land any job.
Get granular with your skills. Take a large piece of paper and put your skills into little bubbles. Then create mini spider diagrams with the sub-skills. You might be great at programming, but what specific aspect of your coding expertise will be most interesting for your future employer? Get granular with how you portray your skillset.
Adopt an open mind. Your mind will be racing with ideas as you navigate the early stages of your job search. As mentioned earlier, it is important to be open-minded, but when it comes time to narrow down your search you need to be laser-focused. The same goes for writing your resume – be concise.
Find your fans for references.Approach the people who knew you well and appreciated your work. Dip into these different perspectives when you come to write your resume and cover letter.
If you do these things with a patient attitude and a positive approach, your resume will reflect the very best of who you are and (more importantly) who you want to become.