One of the hardest parts of job searching is simply getting started. At the beginning, the process feels overwhelming and people don’t know what to tackle first.
For me, breaking it down really helps. Here are 5 simple things you can do today to start your job search.
1. Get clear on the job you want
This may sound basic but we all know it’s not. So many people feel lost at the beginning of their search.
The problem is that if you don’t know your end goal, there is no way you’re going to be able to effectively work towards it.
So before you do anything else, you need to figure out the job you actually want. If you do this necessary step, every other aspect of job searching becomes easier.
How should you do that? Start by talking to as many people as possible.
Ask them what they do every day, what they love, what they hate, and take note of what resonates with you and what totally turns you off.
If you don’t have access to a huge network of people, you can also do a lot of online research. Read industry websites, blogs, and career sites with company and career profiles.
2. Update your resume
Don’t panic. Just be clear, be honest, and be impressive (share those tangible accomplishments) and your resume is going to be just fine.
If you’re earlier on in your career, keep it to one page, and no matter how long you’ve been working, always customize the content to the jobs you’re applying to.
And remember, there’s no need to get fancy or too creative unless it is VERY well-executed.
3. Update your LinkedIn profile:
Since you will be using LinkedIn to reach out to your network and even to send cold emails, it’s important that your profile is just as up-to-date as your resume.
While you don’t need to go into the same level of detail as what’s on your resume, make sure you have a professional picture, all of your relevant work experience listed, and very brief descriptions of what you focused on in each role.
4. Get a template of a cover letter together
I’m not a fan of cover letters and I don’t think they’re a great use of time.
But hey, we’re still writing them and reading them, so might as well make it really good.
Start off with a solid template but then make sure you customize like crazy for the job and company you are applying to. A generic cover letter is pretty much the same as not writing one at all.
A good template to follow can be found here.
5. Start putting yourself out there
Now it’s time to 1. apply and 2. network. If you want to land a job, you can’t just think about the job search — you have to actually put yourself out there!
Obviously be discrete amongst people who you work with/are connected to those you work with, but an important part of kicking off the job search is letting people know that you’re interested in new opportunities.
Letting people know that will put that network to work for you. Talk to people at companies you’d like to work at or with people who have jobs or careers you admire.
Additionally, just start applying (and cold email to follow up so your resume gets seen!) and keep at it and keep organized.