Just because it’s summer is no reason to hold off on your job search. Planning vacations, cookouts, and just hanging out on the patio are all tempting reasons to put things on hold for a bit; but employers still have open positions that need to be filled. By setting aside just a little time each week to network and search out new opportunities, you could find yourself a new position before the season ends.
Find your focus by identifying your end goal
What’s your job search goal? Are you stuck in a less than ideal situation that has you looking to make a lateral move into a more positive organizational culture? Are you challenged with advancing your career into a leadership role? Or are you finally ready to take the leap and pivot into an entirely new industry?
Once you know what type of job you’ll be targeting, you can better strategize what needs to be done to position you as a qualified candidate.
Update your resume & customize your cover letter
Once you have a job in mind, you can focus your resume and cover letter accordingly. With the resume, you’ll want to highlight specific experience, skills, and accomplishments that align with the job’s requirements. Same thing with the cover letter. Your letter should be brief and to the point. Focus on giving the reader specific information he/she needs to determine your ability to perform the job.
Because todays hiring process involves both technology and human screening, your resume and cover letter must be written with BOTH audiences in mind. If your documents don’t pass the ATS resume scan, they won’t be passed along for further consideration. If they do make it to the next step of being screened by the employer, they’ll need to effectively communicate your qualifications in a way that stands out from the other applicants enough to get an interview.
Achieving this involves a combination of seeding your resume and cover letter with job-specific keywords and understanding the targeted position enough to know what employers need to determine that you’re a qualified candidate. General, one-size-fits-all resumes and cover letters just don’t cut it in today’s job market.
Search consistently using a diversified strategy
You don’t have to search all day every day, but consistency is important. Pick one or two days out of the week when you know you can devote a couple of hours to your job search, related research, and networking. Also, don’t just search for jobs on job boards – mix it up. Job boards are okay, but spend some time reaching out and reconnecting with people in your professional network; or learning to use job search hashtags on social media. Here’s a quick job search mix to consider:
Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) and Groups
Networking (in-person and online)
3rd party recruiters and search firms
Photo Credit: Angelo Pantazis