People change jobs for many reasons, such as career advancement, new opportunities, better salary and benefits, and more. No matter what your reason is for looking for a new job, there are several steps you should take before you even start the job search process. Missing just one of these vital steps could hinder your ability to boost your career and land your next job.
1. Clean Up Social Media Profiles
You may use social media to connect with friends and family, but employers use these platforms to screen prospective candidates. According to a recent survey, 70% of employers admit to using social media screening to make hiring decisions. You want your social media profile to make a good impression, so take the time to clean your profile up before you start job searching. Start by setting your profiles to private to limit access to your pages. Then, remove any negative or controversial pictures, posts, or comments from your profile.
2. Identify Strengths and Talents
It’s important to know who you are and what makes you a great employee before you start looking for new career opportunities. Take time to identify your unique strengths and talents. Read through your past performance reviews and take into consideration any awards or recognitions you have received to determine how your co-workers and supervisors view your on-the-job performance. Knowing what your strengths are early in the job-hunting stage will enable you to find job opportunities that are ideal for you. This step also will allow you to draft a resume that highlights your specific talents.
3. Update Resume
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to update your resume. This step involves more than just adding your current workplace to your resume. You should take the time to revise your resume completely. This process is especially important if you are changing careers or industries. Read through your entire resume to make sure that it details your work experience, strengths, talents, and skills. You also want to update your LinkedIn profile to make sure it is consistent with your new resume.
4. Contact References
Be sure to reach out to your references before you start your job search. Each company’s application process is different, so you never know at what point you will be required to provide references. Make sure that each of your references is still willing to follow through and respond to any referral request. You also want to make sure to update all contact information, including job title, phone number, and email address. Having a reference that doesn’t respond to a referral request can reduce your chance of getting the job.
5. Update Email and Voicemail Settings
You may not have thought about your email or voicemail settings since you first set them up, but if you’re getting ready to start job searching, it’s time to think about them again. Make sure that your voicemail message sounds professional and clearly states your name. Throughout your job search, you should regularly check to make sure your voicemail inbox is not full. You don’t want to risk missing that important phone call. In addition, set up an automatic signature, that includes your name and contact information, for your email account.
6. Perform Industry Research
Before you start job searching, take some time to research your specific industry. Note any changes within the industry and see what thought leaders are predicting for the future. Look at several leading companies’ career web pages and social media accounts, even if you are not interested in working for them. You want to make a note of what types of jobs in your specific area of expertise they have available and what skills are required for these jobs. This step will help you gear your resume toward employers within your industry.
7. Utilize Network Connections
Networking is considered one of the most effective ways to find new job opportunities. Hopefully, you have taken the time to create a strong professional network that consists of former colleagues, business associates, and other industry partners. If you have, now is the time to put this network to good use. Reach out to these connections and follow them on social media to be alerted to various job opportunities. In some cases, the right connection can help you get your foot in the door.
Taking these steps before starting your job search will make the process easier and improve your chances of landing the job you want. Learn more about how to prepare for your upcoming job search and how to update your resume for success by checking out GoResumes today.