Searching for a new job can often be a stressful and overwhelming process, especially in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. You may even begin to wonder if you should continue applying to new positions. The answer to that question is ‘yes’, you should. The job market, which is constantly changing, may bring forward new opportunities.
Whether you’re looking for a new job or considering a complete career change, the five tips below will help you kick start your job search in the right direction and maximize your efforts during these difficult times.
1. Get your Resume on the Cloud
If you can’t access or send your resume/cover letter within five minutes of a phone conversation, you’re too slow! Your updated resume should be at your fingertips, ready to be sent at a moment’s notice. Cloud storage services include Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and many more.
2. Establish your Goals
Set goals for your job search. Without clear goals in mind, it’s easy to lose focus, and it becomes harder to know where to invest your time. When searching for a new job, don’t apply to every position there is out there. Choose quality over quantity, and establish concrete objectives on a daily or weekly basis for things such as:
- Sending out X number of resumes
- Researching X companies of interest
- Networking to reconnect with former colleagues
- Posting and commenting on LinkedIn to draw attention to your profile
The key is to be consistent in your job searching efforts.
3. Update your LinkedIn Profile
About 95% of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a primary sourcing tool to find top-tier talent. If you’ve been in the same position for a while, chances are you haven’t been updating your LinkedIn profile as frequently as you should. It’s time to change that using these techniques:
- Update your LinkedIn headline: Your headline is one of the most important fields for LinkedIn’s search algorithm. By only listing your job title, like most people, you’ll never stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. Instead, use up all the characters available (120) and make sure to use strategic keywords to highlight the value you bring and that are specific to your industry. For example, instead of “Accounting Manager,” change it to “Accounting Manager at Canadian Tire| Financial Strategy and Analysis | Budgeting | Managing $40M in Revenue.” Using metrics when applicable is another great tip to get your profile noticed.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL: Instead of using the automated URL that LinkedIn assigns you with ugly letters and numbers, customize it so it contains relevant information and keywords such as your name, job title, and/or job industry. To do this, click “edit profile” and click “edit” next to your LinkedIn URL.
- Update Your LinkedIn Status Daily to Stay Top of Mind: This tip will make you stay on the radar of everyone in your network and help them remember you when a job opportunity arises. When posting on LinkedIn, mix things up by sharing interesting articles, facts, quotes, or projects that you’ve been working on. Other ways of showing up in LinkedIn news feed are by getting recommendations, adding new connections, joining new groups, or by updating your profile picture. To ensure people are notified of your actions on LinkedIn, go to “privacy & settings” and turn on your activity broadcasts.
4. Practice Video Interviewing
Given the current world situation, your interview will most likely be virtual on a platform such as Zoom or Skype. The moment you know you have a virtual interview coming up, the first thing to do is test your technology to ensure you’re set up for success. Check your internet connection, and make sure your camera and microphone are working properly.
Choose where you’re going to take the interview carefully. Find a space with optimal lighting, preferably near a window, or a blank wall to minimize distractions and ensure you are the focal point of the conversation. In you are interviewing on Zoom, make sure you select the option “adjust for low lighting” to maximize your lighting.
Practice ahead of time. Call a friend or family member first to be sure your equipment works and that you also feel comfortable using it. It’s also important to practice speaking and listening virtually. When you finish speaking, keep in mind there could be a slight delay, so pause for a slight moment after answering a question in case your interviewer has a follow-up question or comment.
5. Create a Twitter Job Search List to Track Jobs from Thousands of Sources
Every day, recruitment consultants, job boards, and companies are tweeting jobs they need to interview candidates for, making Twitter a great untapped resource for job seekers. To make sure you’re in the know about these jobs, you can create a Twitter Job Search List that includes recruitment agencies, hiring managers, company hiring handles, and job board websites. Then, review their tweets daily for potential opportunities and to stay informed.