A New Year means new blessings and a new job! It is projected that the job market will be harder to crack in 2020, which means stiffer competition! But, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to land that dream job! Here are five tips you need to help you land that dream job in the new year.
1.) Update your LinkedIn
Linkedin is a heavyweight in the job search game. If used correctly, you can land a job, or at the bare minimum, an interview with a recruiter. The key to Linkedin is keeping it updated and making those necessary connections with those who work for a company you are interested in.
- Make sure your profile picture is a professional one, with a clear view of your face. You don’t have to go out and get professional pictures as a selfie will do, but make sure you look the part of a potential employee. That means no drinks in your hand or in the picture, no pictures of you and your friends, or any other picture that would turn potential employers away.
- Complete at least 90% of your profile if possible. Your goal, of course, is to have a profile that’s 100% complete to boost your chances of being found. LinkedIn recommends you have the following information in your profile:
- Industry and postal code
- Your current position with description
- Two more positions [previous if applicable. If not, don’t sweat it]
- List of skills [the minimum is five, but the more you provide, the more marketable you are]
- Profile photo [see above]
- A brief summary of who you are and what you have to offer.
- Volunteer experience [if you have any, and you definitely should!]
Once you update your profile, start building your connections list by reaching out to recruiters. The key here is to not sound like the other thousands of people messaging them about the same thing. LinkedIn actually has a great and detailed article on how and what to say to recruiters that you should read, but the simplified version is:
- Don’t message recruiters with the intent of wanting something from them. YOU OFFER SOMETHING TO THEM!
- Be genuine and personable in your message!
- Respect their time!
- Be smart!
Action Step: Google is your best friend for examples of what a good LinkedIn profile looks like and a good checklist for making sure your profile is on point. One big piece of advice is to check LinkedIn about once a week for new job postings as well as messages from potential recruiters!
2.) Polish Up Your Resume
If you’re sending out that same dusty and tired resume from three or four years ago, then you need to slap yourself! Okay, not for real, but you should be ashamed! A solid and effective resume should be updated quarterly, and if that’s too much, then at least, every six months. Why? Because your role has changed, accomplishments have increased, and the buzzwords employers are looking for are constantly being updated! While the resume is the most important tool in your job searching kit, it doesn’t have to be the most complicated to put together. Here are some resume tips:
- You don’t necessarily need to include your address in your resume. They aren’t sending you anything by mail and sometimes, you including this can keep you from landing the interview [think relocation fees]. My tip is to just include your name, email address, and phone number.
- Formatting matters so make sure that your font is clear and understandable, the spacing of your resume is understandable, and the lines match up!
- Use the buzz words they provide in the job description. When you submit your resume, it filters through a system and the resumes that have the right words are the ones that get picked. The best way to make sure yours is picked is to use the words the employer uses to describe the job!
Action Step: Before sending your resume out, let about 2 or 3 trustworthy people look over it to make sure there are no grammar and spelling errors. They can also give you tips on making sure your resume reads well!
3.) Fine Tune Your Cover Letter
The cover letter is the one thing that we ALL hate. I despise cover letters. They are so pointless and redundant to me, but we have to have them! The number one mistake people make with their cover letter is that they repeat what they put in their resume! The purpose of a cover letter is to further emphasize your skills, experience, and accomplishments in ways that you can’t do in your resume.
The Muse has a pretty clear article about what to include in your cover letter that you should definitely read, but the biggest gems that you can catch right here are:
- Don’t repeat your resume!
- Further, explain your skills or job duties. If you were the manager of a clothing company, elaborate more on your duties there, skills learned, and how they can be applied to the position you are applying for.
- Be yourself! Cover letters allow recruiters and hiring managers the opportunity to get a taste of who you are personality wise, show them that!
Action Step: Check out the article above for some tips on what to include in your cover letter, but also check out Google for examples of ways you can write your cover letter! Remember the three tips I listed above!
4.) Go to Networking Events
You know the saying: “It’s not what you know, but who you know!” Highly qualified people get passed over left and right because the hiring manager hired someone else they knew! Connections matter in the job world and if you want to boost your chances of landing that job, then networking is the way to do it!
The easiest way, of course, is social media if they have it, but that’s tricky to do the right way. Here are some tips to help you:
- Follow the hiring manager or whoever’s in charge of hiring on social media.
- Over time, comment on some of their tweets or posts – basically strike a genuine conversation.
- Move to their DM’s and ask a question about the job or the company – something relevant that doesn’t make it seem like you’re using them just for a job.
- Repeat step 2.
- Go to LinkedIn and see if they have a profile.
- Send a message and relate back to the social media conversation you both had.
Again, social media is tricky and can look desperate, BUT it has worked for some people, so I wouldn’t count it out.
Networking events are the easiest way to make connections! All you have to do is go to Eventbrite and look up events in your city. Facebook is also a good source of finding network invitations!
Action Step: Have either paper copies of your resume or have it easily accessible to send to someone through email! If you can’t, then get the business card or contact information of whoever you’re talking to and email them the night/early morning of the event sending them your information.
Even if they can’t hire you, they may know someone who can or at least pass your information along to a potential employer!
5.) Be strategic About Applying
Applying to jobs is a full-time job if we’re being honest. For every potential response/interview, you get, you have to put in at least 2 hours so it requires planning. Here are some tips to help ease up the process:
- Create a list of potential employers you would be interested in.
- Spend at least an hour and a half a day applying to jobs.
- Make sure you personalize the resume AND cover letter for the job. The worst thing ever is sending Job B a cover letter with the information from Job A.
- Apply, Apply, Apply
- Follow up about a week later.
- Keep going until you land it!
Action step: Stay consistent with your applying! Don’t forget to check your social media and clean up any red flags you may have. Red flags include pictures of you drinking with friends [this includes you holding a drink too], half-naked pics [think pics of you at the beach], cursing anything else!
1.) Get your LinkedIn account together
2.) Update your resume to reflect what the job is looking for [use the descriptor words that are on the job description]
3.) Be personable in your cover letter!
5.) Stay positive and consistent when applying. If you don’t land the job you wanted, that simply means that something is better for you! Have faith! 🙂