Preparing For a Job Change? Here’s What to do Next

With the current state of the economy, many hard working, talented and very capable professionals are finding themselves laid-off, while others are worrying about their job stability in a way that was unthinkable just a few weeks ago.  If you fall into either of these categories, please know that while there likely wasn’t much that you could have done to avoid being in this situation, you will have to make a decision about how you choose to move forward.  Below, we have prepared some tips that should help you get as you start pursuing your next career opportunity.

Update Your Resume

  • Be sure to update your resume, listing your jobs in chronological order, while focusing on noteworthy, tangible achievements in each of your roles.
  • Achievements can typically be identified by asking yourself, what have I made for the company, saved the company or achieved while at the company?
  • If possible, quantify your accomplishments with hard numbers. “Reduced DSO by 6 days” is much more tangible than “Reduced DSO.”
  • Keep the formatting simple by choosing a standard layout and a basic font, like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri. This will help both for readability and optimization.

Refresh Your LinkedIn Page

  • Update your page with similar information from your resume, but keep the language more concise and limit your points to the best data.
  • Be sure to upload a clear, professional photo of you for your profile picture. Avoid casual-ware and make sure you’re smiling!
  • Also upload a background photo that represents the industry you’re currently in or moving to, but that isn’t too distracting.
  • Make sure that your About section reads smoothly and informs hiring managers of what you do, and what you bring to the table
  • Update your Headline to say “Looking for New Opportunities.” Also, under “Settings and Privacy,” let hiring managers know that you’re actively open to new positions by updating the “Job Seeking Preferences” feature on your profile.
  • Upload your best resume and cover letter to LinkedIn, so that it’s easily accessible.

Begin the Job Search Using These Platforms

  • LinkedIn: As a social media site tailored to business pursuits, LinkedIn is unmatched in its access to the world’s top employers. Setting up your profile is free, and so is searching for available jobs. Simply click the job search icon on your homepage and fill out your keywords and filters.
  • Glassdoor: The job listings give you information on salaries and benefits, and you can find out more about the company’s office culture directly from current and past employees. It also helps you prepare for interviews by giving you “typical” questions to answer and real interview experiences to review.
  • ZipRecruiter: This tool pulls in opportunities from more than 150 job boards. Once you have set your preferences, it will send you job matches based on your objectives. One unique feature it has is that it will send you a notification every time your resume is viewed.

Reach out to a Specialized Recruiter

  • Over 70% of jobs that are filled never get advertised on a job board. While there are a variety of staffing and recruiting agencies to pick from, it is important to partner with those that understand the industry and vertical that you are in.  A good recruiter can present you on confidential job searches, can confidentially keep you informed of jobs that are becoming available, precisely match you with a job that aligns specifically with your goals, and put you in touch directly with the hiring manager.

Leverage Your Network

Referrals are still considered one the best ways to find a job. You’ve spent years, or even decades, building your network, you need to leverage those relationships as you move towards your next role. Set up a call or video meeting to catch up, and get a feel for how they may be able to help.

In addition to your professional network, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family to let them know you’re looking, including posting that you are looking for a job on your personal social networks.  You never know where your next opportunity may be found.

Be Honest and Realistic With Your Expectations

While everyone one would like to land their dream job the day after you start looking, it doesn’t always happen that way, so be realistic about your timeline. Also, depending on the industry you work within and the hiring demand, you may need to adjust your expectations. What was most important to you two months ago may be different than what is important to you now, so don’t be afraid to take a temporary role, or a job you may have not previously expressed interest in.

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