A new year is a great opportunity to start fresh, which got me thinking about jumpstarting my job search. Doing things differently, especially when it comes to a job search, can be daunting. When was the last time you rewrote and reformatted your resume? I rationalize the need to leave things the same. “My resume has worked just fine before.” “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” And my favorite, “It’s going to take too much time.” So I stay with my tried and true methods, which is the easy solution instead of digging deep to try something new. So I stay with my tried and true methods, which is the easy solution instead of digging deep to try something new. But do you know what you get if you keep trying the same thing over and over? The same results. Here are four ways to jump start your job search:
Review Your Resume With a Critical Eye. Take a hard look — is the format outdated? What about the content? Is your formerly cutting edge experience still good, or is it so last year? Ask a trusted source to review your resume and help find the right words to show your value.
Develop your personal brand. More simply, understand who you are professionally and what you want in a new job, and bravely say as much when networking. Be specific about the type of work you’re looking for and salary requirements. It’s also important to have your non-negotiables in mind, such as commute. This will help you remain focused on the right opportunities during your job hunt.
Define—or redefine—your look. We all need to hit the refresh button occasionally when it comes to wardrobe, hair, and make-up. I know the sales person told you the suit was worth the investment because “you’ll wear it forever”, but trust me, it’s dated and it will show during an interview. This goes for men too. While guys can usually get more wear out of a suit, ties change. Watch for width, colors, and patterns.
Look for new ways to be “in” the interview – Time to look at how you prepare for an interview, as well as how you interview the company. Ditch the tried and true, “here’s my experience” which can be boring. Grab the interviewer’s attention with stories that show how you solved problems. Remember that the interview goes both ways. Just as you need to fit the company, it also should be a good fit for you. Be prepared with compelling questions, ones that provide the answers you need to make an informed decision.
It’s tempting to stick with the easiest methods when it comes to a job search. A new approach takes courage – and time – yet I’m sure it will be worth the effort.