By Ashlyn Oswalt - June 22nd, 2020
Whether you are currently looking for a job or not, it’s important to proactively set yourself up to stand out in the crowded market. Here are a few tips to get yourself ready for success on the job hunt.
- Optimise your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is your first impression to the many hiring managers that might search your name. That means it’s important for yours to be easy to find, updated, and showcase your skills. Start by updating your profile picture to a clear, recent headshot. Next, add in your work history – highlighting projects, accomplishments, and skills honed. Now, craft your headline – prime real estate in the LinkedIn world – into something more than a job title. Search for others in your field for inspiration. Use this space to find punchy words to describe your title and what sets you apart from the rest. Finally, use the summary section to tell your professional story, including what sets you apart, what inspires you, and where you’d like to go. This is a great place to discuss any job gaps or to declare your intentions in the marketplace. LinkedIn is an incredible tool in the job hunt, so be sure to utilise every section you can!
- Update your resume.
Now use all that hard work and pour it into your resume. Look for examples of resumes online that match the jobs you are applying for. List your relevant work experience, education, and volunteer opportunities in concise paragraphs. Unless you are currently employed, write descriptions in past tense. Triple check that your contact information is correct. Also, consider creating a new email address if yours is anything but your name.
- Audit your social media profiles
Hiring managers don’t stop at LinkedIn – they may find you on social media and judge what they see. Audit your social profiles and delete or update any questionable content, such as your profile photos and bios.
Or, you can tighten your privacy settings on each profile. However, use discretion with what you post on the internet, because once it’s on, it’s never truly deleted. It can pay to delete your profiles and start fresh if you’re truly concerned.
- Upskill and volunteer
Sites such as Skillshare, Udemy, and YouTube are great resources for online classes. Not sure what you need to upskill on? Search your dream job on LinkedIn or other job sites and look at the “skills required” section. Take note of the skills and start researching online courses and videos. For example, if you dream of being a content creator but SEO confuses you, now’s a great time to brush up. Take the time to learn something now to apply to your career, and resume, later.
Volunteering is a great way to spend free time, learn new skills, or grow your existing skill set. If you don’t have the time or desire to volunteer on location, there are some opportunities you can do from home. Find organizations and match up your skillset at sites like usa.gov.
Now that you’ve created all your assets, it’s time to network. Comb through LinkedIn and reach out with connections that may be able to help in your search. A simple request for a quick phone call to say hello and touchbase is all that’s needed! Search for local meet-ups, connect with industry leaders on LinkedIn, and look for opportunities on social media to connect with others in your field.
The job market is tough, and with strange times come an even stranger future. Although it’s impossible to forecast changes in the economy and job market, stay ahead of the game and prepare yourself for the job search.
Ashlyn Oswalt is a digital marketer and freelance writer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. An outdoor enthusiast, she writes when she’s forced to stay inside, using her words to inspire others to enjoy and conserve their natural spaces. You can find her on a mountain top somewhere, rescue dog in tow, or virtually on her blog or LinkedIn.