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Are you ready?
A lot of people casually looking for new jobs, put their job search into high gear in January.
The holidays are over. They’ve taken vacation and gotten year end bonuses.
If you want to find a new job this year, it’s time to get moving.
Time to do all those things you planned to do in the last few months of 2018.
Get Your Tools Together
First, make sure you resume is recruiter and hiring manager ready. Your resume is your calling card so make sure that it is a compelling marketing document not the boring list of duties you used 5 years ago.
A boring employment history is not going to impress anyone. Employers want to know how you can solve their problems, you resume should clearly demonstrate your value in modern, easy-to-scan format. And if you’re a senior executive, don’t forget to show momentum.
Next, finish completing your LinkedIn profile so recruiters can find you. Finish that that summary you’ve been meaning to for the last 4 months. Now that LinkedIn has changed their user interface, pay particular attention to the first 240 characters in your summary. Write something that will encourage them to click “Show more.”
Write in the first person and show some personality. Talk about why you do what you do, not just about your experience. But do fill out the employment section with more than just job titles.
Finally, if you don’t have them already, get some personal business cards. Don’t make the mistake of using your company business cards as many employers monitor employee email today. If they see emails from recruiters, resume writers, or other career professionals they may let you go. It happened to a guy I met when I was working as a recruiter.
When creating a card include your name, contact information, and a brief blurb about you. Don’t forget you can use the back for additional information.
Set Your Strategy
If you haven’t already, create a list of target employers. Ask everyone in your extended circle – your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, alumni association, etc. – who they know who works at any of your target employers.
Follow your target employers on social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Set up Google alerts for each company so you’ll be aware when they are in the news. This will help you when they as “why do you want to work here?”
Research and select a few online job resources that might work for you. While you shouldn’t rely on job boards, they can be one part of your job-search plan. Continually monitor the career pages on your target companies’ web sites.
Unless the jobs are confidential, usually when the person doesn’t know they’re being replaced, companies post open positions on their own sites.
Develop a list of networking opportunities. Many industries have national organizations with local chapters that hold monthly meetings. Join your University alumni association, many of them have events nationwide as well.
Remember to use the secret to networking success.
Now you’re ready to create your job search plan. If you’re actively looking, try to schedule one networking event a week. If you’re passively looking or incredibly busy plan to attend one event a month.
Avoid opening your conversations with pleas for help because you’ve just lost your job. Don’t tell people you’ve been too busy to network either. Everyone is busy.
Don’t force your business cards on everyone attending an event. Or be the person who puts their cards down at every place setting. If people haven’t spent some time talking with you your card will likely end up in the circular file.
Schedule some time each day or week, depending on how actively you’re looking, to peruse the job boards and your target company’s websites.
There’s no more time to waste. January 2019 is here. It will be 2020 before you know it.
This article originally appeared on the career intelligence Resume Writing and Career Services blog.