Topic of the Week Move On... How to start your job search
Starting your job search:
• DO edit.
• DO add.
• DO fill in.
• DO expand.
Your Rant: I haven’t looked for work in years. What’s new and where do I start?
It’s always a challenge to be suddenly thrust into a job hunt, which makes me reflect on something that happened to me just last week. I went to the dermatologist and heard two words tossed my way for the first time, “biopsy” and “cancer.”
I have basal cell carcinoma, it’s early and should be easy to remove. What does this have to do with looking for work? Everything. When I heard those two words, took a hard look at myself and my life. Rather than just scrambling to get a job, it’s a good idea for you to consider doing the same. I’ve included three Do’s and one Don’t to help. For more, check out the guy who invented most of what we know about job hunting, Dick Bolles’, latest, “The Job Hunter’s Survival Guide” (10 Speed, 2009).
DO edit. Most people look for work from the outside in, meaning they immediately turn to Craig’s List, Monster or their friends. I know these are tough times, but I believe a job search should always start from the inside out. Start with a list of adjectives to describe you. Drill down to the essence of who you are and what you were meant to contribute. Then go check yourself out online, Google, Facebook, etc. Do your adjectives align with what’s online? You really want employers to get an accurate picture of you. If there is unflattering stuff out there about you, Bolles suggests either removing it or increasing the privacy settings so it will be harder for potential employers to see it.
DO add. Take a couple of days to rewrite your resume. Not just a quick tweak, but really think long and hard about capturing your essence on paper. Show it to a few people who’ve worked with you and listen to their critique. BTW, more of us tend to understate, rather than overstate, our accomplishments. Post it everywhere. Job boards, industry web sites, anywhere and everywhere. Don’t think that jobs will suddenly start attaching to yourself like socks to Velcro, but at least give yourself a chance to be discovered.
DO fill in. Chances are that you probably have a profile, of sorts, on Linkenin, Facebook, etc. If you don’t, you need to fix that immediately. Not just a placeholder, you want to capture your essence online as soon as possible. Complete your profile, answer the questions, post photos and talk about your accomplishments. Think about this as an enhanced resume.
DO expand. Your presence on the Internet shouldn’t stop at Linkedin and Facebook. You need to join in forums, post blogs and add videos. Again, you want to make it hard for potential employers to miss your insight, wit and obvious strengths.
Follow these tips and your job hunt won’t become a cancer in your life, it can become an exploration of your gifts and what contributions you still have to make.
About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.