Below is your eloquently concise, quick and dirty, itemized, bulleted kickass agenda for getting a new job. RAWK! Or less arrogantly, a checklist. Each of these parts could be written about in bulk detail, however that would betray the true essence of checklist-dom. Instead, use these points as a foundation to ensure all your ducks get in row. Even the ugly one.
Behold, your New Job Checklist:
Update & Polish Resume
- Choose a resume style template that will set you apart from the masses. Latest trends include color themes, progressive formatting, and even self image. Don’t get crazy with this approach though. Make your choice based on the role and industry you’re interested in. Check out these kickass custom templates when you’re ready.
- Remember every resume should be tailored to the specific role you’re looking for. Your polish should include position-related details that will assure the hiring manager you can get the job done.
- TIP: Search resumes online of your would-be competition or people that currently hold the same title you’re after. Compare and learn how they’ve presented similar info to stand out.
Optimize LinkedIn Profile
- Just like your resume, your LI profile needs to be tip top. Include important achievements and offer stats of wins where you can. And of course ensure your work dates match your resume.
- Your profile picture needs to be professional looking, NO selfies. And you should be smiling. Not smirking, smiling. With teeth. Hiring managers want to see that you’re positive, cheerful, and happy. Even if you’re not.
- Don’t list yourself as the CEO or Founder of your blog. Or of any ‘company’ that isn’t a real business. You’ll just look dumb. Including your side-hustle is great but don’t inflate your title as people will easily see through it.
Connect with Your Network
- Referral hires are all the rage and with good reason. Having a personal recommendation can lift you miles above the competition when looking for a new job. Inform your network of your job search and see what might be available. You never know what might present itself.
Clean Up Social Media
- Yes we live in that world today. A world where tweets from years ago and torpedo your career and personal life. Make sure all of your social media accounts show you in a positive light. This means removing those pictures of yourself guzzling beer in college. And you might want to review any sarcastic comments made that you once thought were funny.
Target Your Position
- Know what you want. This can be a hard one at first and you may perhaps change your mind several times (which is totally ok), but point yourself in a direction and be a specific as you can. If you want a new job you need to identify what that new job is. Doing so will allow you to hone in on your goal which will improve your resume and simplify your job search.
- Once you know what you want, look for where. What are the top companies in that industry? What are the best ones in your area? Go directly to their career pages and scour their openings. Learning company values will help you align your priorities and can influence the resume polish.
- If and when you get an interview, you’ll want to study the be-geezus out the company. That means researching all the contacts there, doing a deep dive into their product or service, learning their genesis and history, and even following their social media.
Prepare Cover Letter
- A lot goes into a successful cover letter. You need to know what to include, how to address it, succinct clever content, how you should talk about yourself, and show a bit of who you are. Make sure you get this right. A simple google will release the flood gates of templates and advice but here are a few in depth how to’s I recommend. And now its time for a picture break!
- Now enjoy this random funky dino pic for reading this far. 🙂
Search & Apply
- Online applications are the norm these days. There are several job board sites available for you to begin your search if you haven’t yet gotten a referral from your network. But don’t fret if you dream company isn’t hiring right now. Seek out their HR/Recruiting department and send your cover letter and resume preemptively to put yourself on their radar.
Rehearse Your Interview
- You’ll be surprised how much more at ease you’ll be while interviewing when you take the time to rehearse beforehand. While no one can predict the exact interview process of each company, there are certainly ways you can prepare yourself. Every job has its specific prerequisites so being able to quickly and concisely communicate your strength in those skills will set you apart.
- Use examples and tell a story. Simply saying you have a skill is perceived much differently than explaining how you developed it, used it, and what the outcome was. Since people are naturally drawn to narratives, make sure you can deliver each of yours with confidence.
Refresh Your References
- Reach out to your top 3 references and let them know you’re back in the job market. It’s important to inform them of your desired position and the qualities that make a good candidate. If they get called, leave nothing to chance.
Look the Part
- Dress up. Look nice. Then add a touch of your individuality. Even if you’re interviewing at the most relaxed tech startup in someone’s garage. Even if you know that the company dress code is flip flops and t-shirts. You should always attend an interview slightly overdressed compared to the environment.
- And I said slightly! No tuxedo’s to the surfshop gig you scored. Looking the part also means demonstrating your awareness of the company’s culture and vibe. Under-dressing can send signals to the interviewers that you’re not professional and aren’t taking the opportunity seriously.
Post Interview Follow Up
- Handwritten ‘Thank You’ notes have been the standard for years . While these are always encouraged as the personal touch can go a long way, an email follow up should be mandatory as well. Why? Because hiring managers are moving fast and often speaking with many candidates. You need to stay top of mind and an email enables you near immediate communication.
- Send your ‘Thank You’ no later than 24 hours after your interview and make sure you be specific to each person you spoke with. Take notes during each of your conversations and refer back to them for each individual’s letter, thus further personalizing your reply and connection.