Understandably, you may have lost focus on your job hunt during the holiday break. But now that the New Year has arrived, it’s time to reinvigorate your motivation and throw yourself back into job searching mode.
What’s the best way to start? Here are 6 things you can do to reignite your job hunt.
Re-define your career goals
Although it can be tempting to apply to any job you see with the hopes that one will stick, that is not the best approach. Getting a clear handle on what you want to do and which employers you want to target (see point number 2 below) will help make jumping back into your job hunt that much easier.
Re-define your career goals by jotting them all down and make sure they are realistic. Bottom line, if you can’t figure out what you want to do, you’ll waste time going after jobs that aren’t a good fit for you.
Here’s an example: You meet a potential employer in line at the coffee shop, at a conference or at a networking event. You mention you are looking for new opportunities and they ask, “What type of job are you looking for?” In that moment, it’s CRUCIAL you have a good answer ready or you could end up losing the chance to convert casual conversations into real career opportunities.
Create or refresh your list of target employers
You probably already know who the best employers in your field are. Since you’re looking for a job anyway, why not target the best?
Refreshing your list of target employers, or developing one if you’ve never done it, is a great way to jump start your job hunt. If you don’t know who the best employers are in your specific field, do some research to identify them. Ask friends and family in your industry, scour local newspapers and online news sources.
Work with a professional accounting recruitment agency
Visit the career portals of specialized accounting and finance recruitment agencies and apply to their job postings or send in your resume. You can also sign-up to their job alerts to be the first one to know about new roles they are recruiting for.
Working with recruitment agencies is one of the best ways to get in front of your target employers. Because of their extensive network and deep-rooted relationships with organizations of all sizes, accounting and finance recruitment agencies can give you quick access to jobs you’re targeting and help you land interviews you might not have been able to get on your own.
Tap into the Hidden Job Market: When you work with a recruiter, you gain access to many accounting, finance and banking jobs not advertised on online job boards, social media platforms and company career pages.
Increase your profile visibility on LinkedIn
We all know that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for expanding your network, growing your professional brand, and – if you’re actively job searching – catching the eye of recruiters. In fact, a recent poll of recruiters by JobVite.com revealed that 94% of recruiters used LinkedIn for recruiting. In a nutshell, you can’t afford to be invisible to most recruiters.
But, assuming that recruiters can easily find your profile on LinkedIn is a mistake. If you want recruiters to find you, you’ll need to do a little bit of fine-tuning to make your profile more visible. In a recent article published on our blog, “How to get noticed on LinkedIn when you’re job searching,” we talk about 9 ways you can help recruiters find you on LinkedIn.
Expand your network
While continuing to apply to positions advertised on job boards is always good, data shows that fewer than 10% of people actually find jobs through this channel. Ultimately – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – so don’t underestimate the power of your network.
When talking to someone about your job hunt, tell them what you are looking for (point number 1) and which employers you are targeting (point number 2). Maybe they know someone who works at one of the companies on your target list, or maybe they know someone who knows someone who works there.
Use Google and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to track down former colleagues, classmates and friends and see if any of them work for your target employers.
See how your resume scores on an applicant tracking system
Most employers and recruitment agencies use parsing software to extract info from your resume and map it to their database, called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Using that info, the system then automatically assigns a score to you based on how well you match the job they are trying to fill.
Use a web-based software tool like Resunate to see how your resume will score for every job you want to apply to, and use different features to improve your score. By simply copying-pasting a job description, Resunate uses advanced semantic matching technology to assign your resume a score very similar to the one most employers and recruitment agencies use. You can edit, add or remove stuff from your resume to see your score update in real-time.
Good luck on your job hunt!