Surveys regularly show that many Americans are simply fed up with their jobs. If you work for a good company, don’t make a rash decision based on emotions. If your current position lacks benefits, a competitive salary, or the potential for growth, it’s time to start looking for a job that better meets your needs. With the New Year approaching, it’s the perfect time for a fresh start. From ways to improve your resume to valuable interview tips, learn how to up your career potential in a simple steps.
Evaluate & Assess
It’s important to set a foundation for your job search. Are you looking for something to pay the bills, or do you want a career with long-term potential? Once you’ve answered that question, decide whether to remain in the same field or whether it’s time to move into a new industry. Consider your skill set: What are you best at? What sets you apart? Answering these questions should help define your specific qualifications and marketable skills.
Importance of a Good Resume
In today’s competitive job market, a strong resume is incredibly important. From font and formatting to word choice and style, a lot goes into creating a resume that stands out in the crowd. Start by updating your resume to include any recent positions you’ve held. Each job should have a headline that includes your exact job title, the dates of employment and your employer’s location. Below the job headline, list your achievements instead of rattling off duties. Hiring managers want to see what you’ve been able to accomplish, as opposed to what you’ve been expected to do. Include a skills section of your resume, highlighting software skills, professional certifications and anything else that may be professionally relevant. From there, carefully edit the document, making sure there aren’t any spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.
When it comes time to apply for jobs, tailor your resume to correlate specifically to each opportunity. To do so, below your contact information, add a professional profile that illustrates a direct correlation between your skill set and the position you’re applying for.
Almost every type of profession has networking groups. Search for local chapters, and find out when the next meeting is scheduled to occur. Mark your calendar, and make it a point to be there in professional attire with several copies of your resume or your business cards. Even if the outing doesn’t result in a direct job offer, making contact is often the first step toward future employment potential.
Although it’s best to apply directly to a job ad, sometimes you must look outside the box. If you’re interested in a company that doesn’t list any open positions, don’t immediately assume defeat. Instead, do some research and find out who the company’s hiring manager is or who handles talent acquisition. Send your resume and a well thought-out cover letter detailing your interest in the company, your unique set of capabilities and your interest in personally discussing future opportunities. Not only will you illustrate a proactive initiative, you’ll distinguish yourself, instead of becoming lost in an onslaught of applicants.
Ace the Interview
Once you’ve reached interview stage, it’s obvious that a company is giving your candidacy serious consideration. At this stage, all you have to do is convince them that you’re the best person for the job. Start by doing your research, and learn everything from company history to recent headlines. Compile a list of pertinent talking points and questions that will illustrate your knowledge and unique skills. Finally, make sure to make eye contact, shake everyone’s hand and dress professionally. It’s always a good idea to follow up with handwritten thank-you notes to all the interviewers.