Tips to Start Your New Year Job Search
Thinking that maybe 2016 will be the year of the new job? Then you’re going to want to start planning now for your big exodus. Here’s a little advice, don’t start it off by flinging resumes all across the landscape willy-nilly before you take care of a few maintenance items.
Here are a few tips to start your New-Year Job Search:
GET YOUR RESUME READY
This means not only on paper but on-line and in plain text (for inclusion in attachments). It also means one-page, concise, spelling checked and having it reviewed by someone who will provide you brutally honest feedback. Remember, marbled textures, cool colors and funky typefaces are out. Crisp, clean and confident is what gets you noticed.
PLEASE GET A GROWN-UP EMAIL ADDRESS
Because of throughput issues, Hotmail, MSN and Yahoo email addresses aren’t suitable for a job seeker. And, your “firstname.lastname@example.org” is NOT a professional email address. Use an adult email address on all job-related correspondence and make sure it’s on your resume. It’s also a good idea that all your friends have it, so they can use it when they’re making introductions between you and possible job-search contacts.
FIGURE OUT HOW TO RETRIEVE MESSAGES
If you don’t already know how, figure out how to collect messages on your phone remotely. Please ditch the cute kid message or the clever one that impresses your college friends. If you’re using a home phone machine make sure it’s reliable, or get a separate number for your job search.
ORDER JOB-SEARCH BUSINESS CARDS
You can get free business cards – even if you’re already employed – at www.vistaprint.com for use in your job search (no kittens or hot-air balloons). If you know it, include the position you’re looking for, three bullet points about your skills and education, and phone and email contact information.
If you’re not online already – get online!!! Networking sites like LinkedIn are extremely useful when searching for a new job.
USE YOUR COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
Your alumni network is a powerful tool that you shouldn’t underestimate, even if you graduated from school twenty years ago. In many cases, schools have databases of grads that you can search for people in companies or industries you’re interested in – then all you have to do is pick up the phone and call them!
At least once a week, go to one face to face networking event. Use Google to learn about them – bring your job-hunting business cards (not your resume) and start chatting! Practice starting conversations and sustaining them, focusing on the other person.
SHARPEN YOUR PITCH
Your pitch should take two forms: a verbal 20-second introduction, and an Objective statement on your resume. What are you good at? What have you done? Where have you worked? What do you want to do next? When people ask you “What sort of job are you looking for?” you want to be able to quickly and enthusiastically describe your ideal situation.
TELL ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN THAT YOU ARE LOOKING
Everyone except your boss, that is. Tell your college friends, your neighbors, and all the people you’ve ever worked with whom you’re still in touch. Don’t contact people you haven’t spoken to in 5 years. Your job search knows no boundaries – networking is THE best way to get a new position.
EMAIL YOUR NETWORK
Create a great “here’s-what-I’m-looking-for” email message, and send it to everyone in your address book – except those who might rat you out to your boss – and – make sure you bcc everyone on the list so it doesn’t look like you’re mass mailing. Ask them to keep your job search in mind during their New Year networking – and offer to do THEM a favor, too – reciprocity is essential!
Remember after the New Year, companies are hiring so it’s a great time to jump into a job search.