With the new year upon us, you may be ready to start your job search. The best part? There’s hardly been a better time to look for a new career opportunity—job vacancies are at a 20-year high, and employers are anxious to fill these positions quickly!
If you are jumping back into your job search after taking a break, you might be surprised at the shift in power dynamics between candidates and employers. With more openings than available talent, you are truly in the driver’s seat when it comes to your career. While this is definitely an exciting position to be in, you may become overwhelmed if you start your job search without a plan. Having a plan in place from the start will not only help you stay focused on your priorities and career goals, but it can also speed up your search! Here are 7 ways to start your job search:
Before you start your job search, ask yourself what you’re looking for in your next career opportunity. For example, are you prioritizing finding a job with clear opportunities for career growth? How important is workplace and scheduling flexibility? In order to stay focused, make a list of what your most basic needs are, what you would be willing to compromise on, and what you would consider red flags in a role.
Getting organized early on will help you maintain your focus and productivity during the entire course of your job search. Before you start your job search, create a spreadsheet to keep track of all the jobs you apply to. Be sure to include the position, the company’s name, a link to the job description, the hiring manager’s contact info, and any other relevant information that could be useful later on. Not only will this help you keep track of your progress, but you’ll be able to quickly pull this information up if you move forward in the hiring process for a specific role! Read also 10 Job Search Hacks To Save Time And Energy.
Be strategic about what you apply to
When there are hundreds of jobs out there, it can be tempting to apply to as many as you’re qualified for. Don’t fall into this trap! This may seem like a good strategy, but doing this can actually make you less productive over the long term. Instead, use the current state of the job market as a reason to be picky about what you apply for. Apply to roles that you’re not only qualified for, but ones that meet your expectations, help you achieve your goals, and set you up for future career success.
Update your online brand
As you start your job search, make sure your online brand is up-to-date. If you haven’t searched for a new career opportunity in a while, there’s a good chance that your social media profiles like your LinkedIn page don’t accurately reflect just how much you bring to the table! Before you start sending out applications, make sure your work history is up-to-date, add any newly acquired skills, and ask your network to leave you endorsements and recommendations. Beyond your social media profiles, make sure any online portfolios and professional websites you have are up-to-date as well. Read also: How To Leverage Your Personal Brand When Job Searching.
Have a template for your application materials
Each resume and cover letter you send out should be tailored to the job you’re applying to. Since it’s not efficient to start from scratch for every new application, try to create a master resume as well as a cover letter template that can both be easily edited. Read also: The Cover Letter Template You Can Use For Any Role.
Reach out to your network
Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that the only open jobs out there are the ones you see online. Part of your job search should include reaching out to your network and seeing if they know of any open roles. Not only could this point you in the direction of an opportunity you wouldn’t have found otherwise, but your connections can help your resume land at the top of the pile! Read also: How To Build Virtual Business Relationships
Navigating a high volume of open jobs, especially when working a full-time job, can be more challenging than you think! If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a step back and set boundaries. Whether that means taking a week off, only applying for a certain number of jobs per week, or making sure you have time for family and friends, you should approach these boundaries like you would for setting a strong work-life balance. Read also: How To Stay Positive During Your Job Search.