So, you’re ready to put yourself out there. You’ve decided that you are fed up with your current employment situation and you start looking for greener pastures. But WAIT – before you get too deep into your job search, there are a few things you should do first to ensure a painless and successful process that will end with you landing your dream job.
Decide What You REALLY Want
Before you start applying for jobs, it’s helpful to understand what your future goals are. What do you want out of your next position… an opportunity for growth? Something challenging that pushes your limits? Whatever it is that you want, narrowing it down before you submit applications will help guide you to apply for the right positions.
Update Your Resume
I know, I know, updating your resume is the worst! But it is so much easier to do this before you start searching for jobs. That way, when an exciting opportunity comes along, you can make a couple final tweaks to fit that specific position and submit it within a matter of hours. Pro tip: if your qualifications allow you to apply within a couple different specialty areas, create multiple resume templates.
Create a Cover Letter Template
Cover letters should always be customized to the position you are applying for, no exception. However, it’s helpful to develop a template with a general outline that you can follow every time you need to craft a cover letter. And remember, even if the job description says a cover letter is optional, submit one anyway! It may just be the one thing that sets you apart from your competition. (For more cover letter tips, check out “How To Write A Killer Cover Letter.”)
Put Together a Portfolio
This may or may not be relevant for all careers. If your previous positions or volunteer work has been at all visual, you’ll want to include a portfolio. Examples of your most impressive work can be a huge benefit when it comes to outshining your competition. To go the extra mile, create a free website on Wix or WordPress and include links to any press releases, social media examples, or writing samples. The more accessible you can make it in the digital age, the better!
Sign Up For Job Alerts
Visit your favorite job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and JSG’s Talent Network and subscribe to receive relevant job updates. That way, you’ll be the first to know when a job in your field pops up and you can submit your application right away.