The Ten Commandments of a Job Search
When you are unemployed the thought of looking for a new job can be daunting.
Even if you are currently working and have decided it's just time to look for a new opportunity elsewhere, the job search itself can practically turn into a part time job.
Here are ten commandments of a job search to assist you..
1. Searching for a job IS your job
Whether it's a full time search or a part time hunt, it is your job to find employment and you need to treat it as such. It's can be too easy to put off until tomorrow what should have been done today. Life is busy. But the job search should be the number one priority on your daily to-do list. Procrastination will just lead to a never ending spiral of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Start each morning doing what needs to be done in order to be successful in your task of securing new employment.
2. Your resume is not enough
If you've done all of your homework, read articles on how to make your resume stand out, good for you. But it's not enough. It won't tell a hiring manager all he needs to know about you in order to hire you. Be sure to include a cover letter and above all, links to social media profiles.
3. Keep your social media profiles clean
Don't put anything on your social media accounts that would embarrass your grandmother if she read them. Don't post anything that wouldn't pass the squeaky clean test. Think about it. Why would a hiring manager hire a binge drinking, political rambling, barely clothed person to work at his company, when there are so many professionally polished people out there looking for a job?
And speaking of social media.....
4. If you're not on LinkedIn, you are virtually invisible to hiring managers
Practically all hiring managers use LinkedIn as their number one search tool. It is the resource for professional people. If you're not on it, you nearly don't exist to the professional world.
If you're not familiar with LinkedIn, take a few days to read about it, learn about it, and then open an account. You don't want to dismiss this invaluable tool and regret it down the line. It can be a great help when it come to networking.
5. Ask for help
It was not so very long ago, that being unemployed carried a stigma to it. That's not the case any more. Positions are frozen and companies downsize. Life happens.
You want to avoid the trap of isolating yourself when you are unemployed. It serves no good purpose and can lead to depression.
You are no different from anyone else on the planet because none of us likes to admit that we need help.
So change your way of thinking about asking for help, if you need to. There is no reason to avoid it or be shy about it, because you're not really asking for help...you're networking!
6. Learn something new
There are continuing education classes everywhere. Find a class that will assist you in keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date. Don't stop there. Take it a step further and join a class to learn something out of the ordinary that will help you to diversify your knowledge and make you a better candidate and employee.
7. Don't become a bore
It doesn't matter how great your cover letter is or how polished your resume is. If you don't come across as a genuine, likeable person at the interview, you can probably kiss the job goodbye. You don't have to be "the most interesting man in the world," but stiff and inauthentic won't win you the job either.
Everyone is nervous before an interview, so don't let that hinder you. Practice for interviews with a family member or friend. Work on your eye contact, handshake and smile. An endearing person is a memorable person.
8. A "thank you" goes a long way
Your mother was right. Manners count. And nothing will derail your chances faster than if you fail to send out a proper thank you after an interview. And quickly. Meaning within hours, not days, of meeting with those who interviewed you.
Not sending a thank you can sometimes be a deal breaker.
So take the time to send well-thought out individual thank you notes to each person with whom you interviewed. Do not send a one size fits all note. Individualize each note. Yes, it will take a little bit of extra time, but a proper thank you goes a long way.
9. Stop hitting the send button
Online applications are so easy. Just fill out the application and hit send. No need to network. No need to shave or put on makeup. Heck, you can do apply all day long and never get out of your pajamas!
Guess what. You'll still be wearing those pajamas months from now if all you do is limit yourself to online applications.
Being one of possibly hundreds of online applications is not going to make you stand out of the crowd. You need to be proactive in your search.
10. Be patient
Job searches can last from two weeks to several months.
Remain patient and keep positive. If you start feeling down about the search it will show. Despair and/or depression is hard to hide. Schedule time in your day for a quick pick-me-up break. Do something that brings you joy. An afternoon movie or a jog around the park might be just the lift that you need to start fresh again. Enjoy dinner with your family and friends, and always, always, aim for a good night's sleep.
It will happen for you when everything aligns as it should. When you've done all you can as far as resumes, cover letters, applying, networking, learning how to interview well, and keeping up on all your skills. In other words, if you follow the ten commandments of the job search, you should get the boost you need to accomplish your goal.