The Job Search Checklist

February 3rd 2015 in Uncategorized

One of the top 5 New Year’s resolutions is to find a new job.  Since about 45% of us make resolutions but only 8% of us keep them, I’m creating the New Year New Job series to answer common questions about making a career change.  Each week between now and January we’ll tackle something new (in theory each tip will build on the others) so we can be better prepared for what lies ahead.  Speaking of preparedness…

Most new jobs don’t happen overnight, so be prepared.

My favorite quote of all time is, “Greater than your desire to win should be your desire to prepare to win.” Peyton Manning often gets credit for that the first year he led the Colts to the Superbowl but the quote is really a spinoff of a Vince Lombardi quote.  Essentially we need to focus more on the preparation than the win itself.  First thing’s first, let’s create a job search check list.

1. A professionally written resume.  If you’re in management or above, your resume is really a supporting document to the work you’ve already done.  Your reputation in your industry should proceed your resume but this doesn’t mean you can turn in a resume that is poorly written or doesn’t highlight your skills and accomplishments. Hire a professional resume writer (yes, that would be us) and have your resume done by someone with an outsider’s professional perspective.  A professional resume writer will ask the right questions to help you showcase your skills and your accomplishments.  (S)He will know what resume format is best for your industry or the industry you want to pursue.

2. A list of who is in your network. I wrote about this a few months ago and people regularly ask me about it.  You have a much larger network than you realize.  The fastest way to understand who’s in your network is to make a list.  You probably have a little downtime over the holidays, use this time to figure out who you know and how you can connect with them.

3. A professional email address.  I wish I didn’t have to say this but I battle it all of the time.  If your email address is snookiefan69@… CHANGE IT! For those of us who were alive at the start of the internet, it was fun to set up catchy email addresses that said something about your personality.  This is not the address you use for your job search.  Something simple like michelle.merritt@… Try to avoid adding the year of your birth or your age to the email address.  Also, don’t use an AOL address for your job search email.  Most AOL users are baby boomers and you don’t want your email address giving away the generation you’re a part of.  If you’re a millennial who doesn’t like to use email, you still need to set one up.  I prefer texting over email too but that’s not how business is done and it’s not going to change during your job search. 

4. An updated and professional LinkedIn profile.  As part of the resume writing service, we assist you with your LinkedIn profile making sure it matches your resume.  A huge majority of recruiters and potential employers use LinkedIn to source candidates.  This means your first impression will be on a screen instead of in person or on paper.  It’s crucial to get it right so get professional help to make it perfect.  And by all means, post a professional picture!

5. Clean up your social media presence.  Take a hard look at your social media pages and ask yourself what someone you don’t know might think.  Yes, it’s your personal property but nothing you put online is every completely private no matter how many security settings you put in place.  Don’t look like a boring prude but remove the photos of you and your buddies mooning the camera while at the lake.  Yes, I’m talking to the 55 yr old mooners just as much as I am the 25 yr old ones.  The same goes for political commentary, religious opinions, etc.  Don’t give anyone reason to discriminate against you before the search even starts.

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