Back in 2013, I was laid off from my job. It was the first time it ever happened to me and I wasn’t sure how to feel. Part of me was stunned ñ I worked for a very small company and things were great. The other parts of me were scared and excited at the same time.
For a few years on the side, I was blogging and was making decent money from it. I had the dream to actually try it out full time and see if I could make a full time income when I really pushed myself. After a few days of thinking things over and discussing things with my wife, I decided that now is as good of a time as any.
Fast forward to this year and I am job hunting. Not because I dislike blogging full time, but because I look at what my wife and I want in life and I realize that we need more income to get there. I am still planning on blogging on the side to bring in additional income, but having that steady paycheck is the goal.
In the few weeks of job hunting, I’ve learned a few things that I will pass on to you. Some may seem obvious to some reading this, but for others you will be surprised you didn’t think of them sooner.
Sign Up For LinkedIn
At my old job, my employer wanted us on LinkedIn. I set up a half-hearted profile and forgot about it. Then as I was looking for jobs, I reached out to a recruiter. I talked for a bit with him and he told me I needed to update my LinkedIn profile. Many recruiters now solely use LinkedIn to find candidates.
So, I took an afternoon and really updated my profile. I turned it into a resume, updated my picture and chose a bunch of skills that I have. Surprisingly, within a few days, I was getting emails from professionals telling me they have an opening and feel that I would be a good fit. I never even sent them a resume, and yet they were coming to me!
Therefore, take the time to update your LinkedIn profile. Make it shine and standout. You may not have everyone reach out to you with job offers, but it’s better to have it updated just in case someone is looking for the skills you possess.
Be Active On LinkedIn
In addition to having a profile, you need to be more active. By this I mean start connecting with others. Find old friends, classmates and colleagues and connect with them. Not so much to stay in touch, but rather to improve the odds of being connected to someone who works for a company you want to work for.
For example, my wife was recently looking to change careers. She went to a training session her current employer had and met a girl from the company that did the training. They connected on LinkedIn and as time passed, my wife realized that company was a place she wanted to work. So she reached out to the girl and that girl put in a good word for her and submitted her resume.
For me, I was able to talk to a regional manager about the industry I want to get into, simply because I was friends with someone who used to work for him. Never underestimate the power of connections and LinkedIn. The more people you know, the more opportunities you can find out about.
Revise Your Resume
Every time you apply for a job, you cannot just send a standard resume. You have to tailor it to the job you are applying for. In many companies, a human is not the first person to look at a resume. They throw it into a system and that system looks for key words and phrases. If you don’t have those in your resume, you get that automated email back saying you are not what they are looking for, even though you know you are a perfect fit.
So, before submitting your resume, read over the job description and duties. Pick out key words and phrases they use and make sure you put them in your resume. Include the names of software programs you use. Don’t be afraid if one position you have has a lot more information than the others on your resume. You want to show that you have a ton of experience doing that job.
For me, I have a few different resume templates set up. This allows me to save time by picking the one that closest matches the job and requires little modification on my end.
In today’s world, you can’t just check out the newspaper classifieds, send a standard resume and hope to land a job, you have to work on getting a job and standing out. You do this by crafting a resume for the specific job and by keeping an updated profile on LinkedIn. By doing these, you increase the chances of landing the job you want.