Happy New Year to all my connections and especially for the job seeker and those in transition.
January is traditionally the time for making new resolutions and being a job seeker, it is no different.
What should a job seeker be thinking about?
- Keeping your cv current. As a job seeker, you will, of course, have updated your master document regularly. You now need to ensure that it covers all aspects of your working and [relevant] personal achievements so that elements can be extracted for each bespoke job application.
- Updating your LinkedIn profile. Again, your LinkedIn profile needs to be updated regularly and the more often you add, alter or change your profile the more activity is registered and the more likely you are to be noticed by recruiters or potential employers.
- Rewriting PAR stories. As an active job seeker, you need to remind yourself of your successes and achievements to keep them fresh in your mind and so that you are well prepared for any interviews or discussions around your potential.
- Writing an elevator pitch or positioning statement. A short 60 second is essential as a job seeker, You need to be able to tell your contacts, friends, family and associates who you are, what you can do and what you are looking for in a succinct and upbeat way. Remember it is a pitch not a life story.[pullquote]Elevator pitch hints: What do you do well? What is/are your greatest strengths? What would you like to do? What is your “why”?[/pullquote]
- Building your network. Whether it is on-line or off-line, networking is critical to you as a job seeker. On-line networking is essential to ensure that you keep up-to-date, keep in touch with your colleagues, alumni and other professionals. Your social media contributions can also build your reputation on-line. Off-line you will want to keep in touch with other people in your industry, ask for introductions to people who may be able to offer your advice or guidance and generally meet-up with like-minded professionals.
- Crafting your collateral. Alongside your CV, you will want to ensure you have ideas around how you will respond to emails, write speculative letters and application letters. Communications as a job seeker are critical and good use of language and etiquette can give a good indication of your personality and level of language skills.
- Building your skill set. If you are unemployed whilst working as a job seeker, [it is a job to find a job] one additional task to be factored into your week should be maintaining and developing your skills.
- Improving your mindset. Being a job seeker may be demoralising at times, so it is imperative to look after yourself and ensure that you have a balanced work-life at this time. Exercise, good food and positive thinking or mindfulness are great for maintaining your self-confidence.
- Keeping updated. Professional development needs to continue actively once you are a job seeker. It will be imperative to read professional magazines, on-line articles and listen to current commercial affairs so that you maintain your professional credibility. At the same time, you can read articles in LinkedIn and contribute to on-line groups that relate to your job search.
- Finding a mentor. If through networking you can find a mentor to work with you through this period, your chances of successfully finding a new role will increase. Having someone to account to, to guide you and to support you will also help you think out of the box, maintain your self-esteem and motivation to apply yourself and keep on track.