The job search can be tough, and it can be even tougher if you don’t have a plan. Make sure your materials and documents are updated, your LinkedIn profile is optimized and you do your research on the companies and people you want to connect with.
A successful job search starts with being prepared. It’s essential to have all your career search collateral updated and ready to go, as a potential employer may ask you for it during any phase of the hiring process. In addition to your resume, you should keep your portfolio of work and other documents current.
“Even though it will change for each job, you should have a good outline of a cover letter,” says Jesika McCauley, director of career services for Globe University. “You should also have a list of references, but of course these can change too.”
McCauley points out that LinkedIn is a useful tool, but not everyone is using it. She says it’s to your advantage to stay active on the social media platform because it’s easy to use and allows you to keep in touch with and research companies, organizations and people you’re interested in working for.
“The most important thing about LinkedIn is to use it!” says McCauley. “Even when you’re not looking for a job, it’s good to connect with people in the industry, endorse others for skills and comment on relevant articles.”
As far as optimization, it’s vital to use the right keywords in your LinkedIn profile so potential employers, colleagues and other industry professionals can easily find and connect with you. McCauley says your LinkedIn profile should be your “60-second commercial” which sells your value. In addition to your skills being relevant and up-to-date, it’s important to consider your professional headline.
“Your headline shouldn’t just state your current job,” she says. “It should say where you’re headed next, like ‘Veterinary Technology Professional.’”
Do Your Research
LinkedIn is also a good way to research companies and professionals you would like to get in touch with, but just visiting a company’s website can also give you valuable information you should know before applying or going into an interview.
“Look at the ‘About Us’ section and find out what the mission is, how many people work there, who the customers are and what product or service they provide,” says McCauley. “You should also research who the competitors are and any current industry events or recent news you can comment on,” she suggests.
Overall, research may be the most important part of your career search. McCauley encourages researching the audience you would like to network with as well. Attending industry organization meetings can help you meet the right people within a company you would like to work for. As far as who you should target, McCauley says connecting with HR professionals is good, but it doesn’t matter all that much what their position is.
“Just get connected somehow, and start with who you know,” she says. “Start early, even before a position is open. Become knowledgeable, and know what you want. Things will fall into place easier.”
The recipe for a successful job search includes updating your resume and other career search collateral, optimizing and using your LinkedIn profile, and researching companies and the target audience you plan to network with. If you’re able to take these steps, you’ll find your way to a new career in no time. To learn more about Globe University and career support services visit www.globeuniversity.edu/about-us/career-services.