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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Let's get it – next steps in your job search

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Woman stretching. Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels.

It’s time to build momentum

If you read my Getting Started post, then you’ve done the warm-up to lay a foundation for a successful job search.

Here are some tactical steps to prepare your work space, resume and LinkedIn profile.

The better your job search conditioning, the better your results.

1. Create a job search workspace.

Whether this is your first professional job search or your seventh, you are moving in a positive direction to enrich your life.

Now, you need a dedicated space to make the magic happen. The science behind this, is to train your brain when you’re at your workspace it’s time to focus on your job search.

Choose a clear, open area where you feel confident and empowered. This does not need to be anything fancy. Ideally, find a spot outside of your bedroom. If that is not possible, find a chair or desk off the bed, itself, so as not to associate job searching with sleep. Next, add a few inspirational touches such as a photo, motivational quote, a plant, etc. This does not need to cost money; just choose few things that are meaningful.

Find a quiet nook where you can concentrate, free of interruption. If this is a challenge, get creative with headphones, a small fan/white noise machine or experiment with the timing of when you sit down to work (e.g., before/after others wake up/go to sleep).

Keep your workspace free of clutter and your spirits high. Show yourself the same kindness, respect, good energy, and care that you would like to receive in your next role. You are beginning something new and creating a comfortable, productive workspace is auspicious.

2. Dust off your resume or create a new one.

A resume (or resu-may, as Marge Simpson says) is a job search staple.

When I collaborate with clients and groups, we spend a lot of time with their resumes. It should highlight your background, match your preferred type of work, and be something that makes you feel proud. The results and time devoted are always worth it.

Here are a few tips to use, right out of the box:

  • Contact info. Place your personal contact info at the top: large, bold and easy to find.

  • Formatting. Readability is key. Use normal size font, adequate margins, and a clear format design with a balance of text and blank space.

  • College involvement. If you’re a recent grad, consider adding a Leadership & Service section to capture extracurricular activities.

  • Philanthropy. Professionals can highlight volunteer work or board involvement with this respective section.

  • Show impact. Start each sentence with an action verb. For work experience, use your bullet points to highlight impact and quantify, when possible (e.g., what you achieved or improved.)

  • Proofread. Spellcheck, of course, and read it through, word for word, to catch anything the computer missed. Also, open the PDF version of your resume and confirm everything looks as intended.

It’s also a good idea to share your resume draft with people in your field of interest, for feedback and ideas.

3. Join the LinkedIn party.

Most people are familiar with LinkedIn. If you are new to this online professional networking platform, or have not used it in a while, begin by exploring the site. Scroll through the newsfeed, check out the trending topics and follow public figures, companies and brands of interest.

Learning how to use the site is easier than you think. There are tons of free LinkedIn-hosted tutorials; many college career centers and alumni organizations also offer guidance. Or, ask a friend, family member or mentor, if that is more comfortable.

Here are some quick ways to give your LinkedIn profile a little sparkle:

  • Take a fresh look at your headline. Craft something short, engaging, and memorable to frame your background and/or aspirations.

  • Update your profile photo. Choose a new/recent photo that is clear, not pixelated or blurry. Then, add a cover image (the banner behind your headshot) for a pop of color or something related to your professional interests/industry.

  • Create an engaging opening summary. You can use this space to discuss your professional background, career interests and/or the direction you would like to go.

  • Complete the work history and education sections. Transform your resume bullets into one brief paragraph for each job/internship. Key volunteer roles and part-time work can also be included.

  • Update/add to the skills & endorsement section. This keeps your profile current and showcases relevant talents. Have fun endorsing trusted past and present colleagues’ skills and ask them to do the same for you. Recommendations are another way to make your profile shine.

Like resumes, your LinkedIn profile is dynamic and will grow with your personal work evolution.

Take your time

As with any good workout, go at your own pace and modify as needed.

This phase of preparation may take several days or even a few weeks, depending on your availability. It’s all good! The goal is to feel great about your personal branding, professional presentation, and be open to fine-tuning along the way.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. If it starts to feel overwhelming, take a break or pause for a self-care activity and come back to it later. Be kind to yourself. As long as you’re moving, you’re headed in the right direction.

And, I like where you’re going.

© 2020 WORK DOT DOT. All rights reserved.


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