The time between jobs is not the right time to take a vacation or start on that “honey-do” list for those home-improvement or decorating projects that you’ve been discussing with your spouse. Toss the honey-do list and work your money-do list! Treat your job search like it’s your new job.
Take a day to work out the emotions of losing a job, then kick your career management and job search into high gear. Submitting your resume to three opportunities a day just isn’t enough, although I see plenty of clients who have followed that old, tired advice. Work smarter, harder, and get better responses from hiring influencers by using a planned, coordinated approach that shows your skills, experience, and expertise in the best possible light.
Hire a professional who can update your resume, format it so that it’s easy for computer software to pick out the key words and phrases, and makes a positive impact on hiring influencers.
- Social media. Update your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to reflect your new resume. Remove any negative, risky, or unprofessional posts, tweets, or photos.
- Make sure your photo, bio, and profiles are matching in basic content if not identical. Make sure the dates, job titles, descriptions, and key words match. Use a professional headshot so that your image is fresh, current, and professional. Begin a schedule of posts about industry issues, news, and solutions. It’s never too late to brand yourself as an industry expert. Schedule time every week to spend on your personal brand, even after you take a new position.
- Suit up. Even if your industry runs to the casual side, such as IT, you’ll want to make sure you have an interview suit that announces your value as an expert and a potential employee.
- Pitch perfect. Look at your new resume, your social media, and branding. Think about what you want, and where you want to go with your career. Then put together an elevator pitch that you can use when introducing yourself at interviews and networking events.
- What is your dream job, your ideal employer, the next step? Take a good hard look at both your ultimate and close-up goals and make an effort to learn about what you need to do to prepare for them.
- Reach out. Get in touch with your favorite recruiters, your network, and even the colleagues and family members who might be able to offer a hand in getting the position you’re dreaming about. Network every single week, following up on the conversations you’ve had with emails, texts, or phone calls to ensure that your contacts know that you value their help in your job search.
- When you see an opportunity, offer something of value to your network connections. It can be information about a job opening, advice about an industry issue, or an article that might offer insight.
Don’t forget that even after you’ve accepted that dream job, to work your money-do list. Not with the same time and dedication, but on a schedule that keeps you from ending up with an outdated resume, tired social media profiles and branding, and dusty elevator pitches. You are the only Career Manager you have, so be a hands-on manager!