STEP 1 – Know What Jobs to Apply For
The first step in the job search is having clarity on what your ideal job looks like. You may be willing to take anything you can get but knowing what job you want will focus your job search. This is a required first step for writing a good resume, making contacts for job leads and preparing for your interview.
Even if this is a temporary job, working in a job that utilizes your skills is key to feeling more productive and finding your work energizing instead of draining. It also allows you to build professional experience on your resume that will jumpstart your future professional success.
So, how’s it done?
If you have previous work experience, looking for a job similar to your current or recent job allows you to build on your previous experience. Bue beware of pigeonholing yourself into a specific job title or position. There are many jobs that you can do and even love doing if you keep your mind open to more and better opportunities.
Worried about starting over?
Don’t. Learning the art of transferable experience will enable you to present yourself as an experienced professional even in a new field.
Dig deeper and discover the jobs that you should be applying for by asking yourself:
What type of work activities do I enjoy doing most?
What core skills do I bring to the table?
What achievements have done using my favorite work activities and core skills?
Jot this information down on a paper and have it ready when you scroll through job postings on job lists. Don’t be surprised if you find something that’s not exactly your previous job title (or even industry) but is something you are excited about.
If this is your first job, knowing what you want to be doing is the number 1 driver for building a professional path that you will find satisfying and be most successful in.
Discover what this is by answering these questions:
What types of activities do I enjoy doing most? These do not necessarily need to be based on work experiences and can include leisure activities.
What are my natural talents and gifts that I’ve noticed in myself or others have pointed out in me?
Where have I achieved (even a small level of) accomplishment when being involved in my preferred activities and using my best talents?
Jot this information down on a paper and have it ready when you scroll through job listings. Look for jobs descriptions that describe the types of activities that overlap with what you’ve written down.
Not sure how to choose among your many interests or how to apply your interests to specific jobs? Reach out to me at email@example.com for personalized assistance.
STEP 2 – How To Prepare a Compelling Resume
You’ve successfully selected the jobs you want to apply for. Your next task is convincing a hiring manager to give you a face to face meeting. With research showing that the average resume is glanced at for 6 seconds, your resume must be optimally designed to avoid your hard work ending up in the trash. Here are the secrets that smart job seekers use while writing their resume.
Make your resume relevant for the job you are applying for. Not sure why this is really needed? Here are some of the first impressions that using a cookie-cutter resume gives a hiring manager
You aren’t really motivated to get this job
You aren’t ambitious, determined or creative
You are simply lazy
Resumes today are best described as tailored advertisements. Use your ‘big print’ wisely by treating every line on your resume as prime real estate reserved for the most relevant information for the job you are applying for.
Practically, you want to toss out resume headlines like this: Objective: To find a job in …. That gives me …
And replace with a powerful summary that gives a caption of why you are perfect for this job: “Passionate, driven project manager with expertise in ….. Specializing in…. With xyz results.”
Remember that employers want to know what value you are going to bring to them and not the other way around. Get them interested in reading the rest of your resume by creating a summary that shows how your successful experience makes you a natural candidate for this position. After a powerful summary, use the work experience section of the resume to tell the narrative of your how you became who you are, (of course, an expert in your field!) through your accomplishments.
Make each statement engaging, concise and clear to what results you achieved.
Here is the formula you want to use whenever possible:
1. Strong Action Verb – Avoid general overused words that don’t add much such as ‘Responsible for’
2. Context of Success – Be specific whenever the context of what you did can help you. For example, saying you managed a team of 25 employees says a lot more than ‘managing a team’
3. How – Show what impact your contribution made to the company. Examples can include an increase in revenue, levels of customer satisfaction, development of a new product, breaking into a new market. Whenever possible, use numbers or %’s.
Remember: the goal of your resume is not to get the job, it is to make your potential employer want to meet you. It’s a lot easier to explain any holes in your work history or put any ‘monsters in the closet’ into perspective when you are able to meet face to face. Design your resume in a way that raises the least eyebrows by leaving less relevant information to the bottom of the resume or even not listing it at all. Leaving unnecessary or potentially information off your resume will help you keep your resume to the accepted standard of 1 page only.
If you are new to the workforce you’ll need to be more creative in how to highlight any previous experience you have (even on a volunteer or school-based project level) to write a strong resume.
Want someone to write your professional resume for you? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for resume writing or cover letters that will highlight your best talents and experience.
STEP 3 – Effective Networking & Interview Strategies
If you’ve followed the first 2 steps of this guide you should be ready for the third – Telling your story. Having a concise storyline of how you became the current version of your successful self (If you don’t see yourself this way, don’t expect anyone else to!) is the key to becoming a person people want to partner with.
Have you tried letting people know you are looking for a job without success? Perhaps you felt that the other person really wasn’t interested much in the fact that you were looking for a job?
The key to effective networking is driving your conversation about who you are. People are intrigued by those who are passionate about what they do. Your networking message should be that you’re looking to connect with others who are passionate about the same thing. This type of interaction will leave the other brainstorming on how they can connect you with others who share a similar vision. These are the contacts that will help you most to find the type of job opportunities that you are looking for.
The interview is the climax of sharing your story of how your previous experiences have set you up for this next opportunity. With over 70% of employees not engaged in their work, you can be sure that hiring managers are looking for people who see the proposed job aligned with their own professional vision and direction.
Use these questions to design your story in preparation for the interview:
What drives me in my the work I do?
How have my previous work experiences given me the opportunities to excel in bringing out what I am passionate about in the workplace?
What about this company mission and the specific job spoke to me when I was looking at different job opportunities?
What am I be looking for in this job that would make it clear to me that this where I want to invest the next chapter of my success story into?
Successful job hunting happens when we create the shift from being a job seeker to an opportunity seeker. When you believe in yourself and convey it powerfully, the type of boss that you want will recognize that you are an asset that he/she can’t afford to turn down. The type of boss that may be turned off from your display of confidence is likely the type of boss you don’t want to work for anyways