So, you’re ready to leave your old job behind (or it left you behind) and search for the next step in your career. Before you jump into the job search, here is a job search checklist to help you prepare for your search, your interviews, and your step into the future!
- Why are you making a change now? Why are you leaving your last position? You’ll be asked in interviews for the information, and it affects the resume you are updating now.
- Career plan. What are you looking for in a new position? Whether it’s a better work-life balance, increased responsibility, an opportunity to be more creative, write it out and get it on paper. Having a plan and knowing what direction you want to take your career will lead to a better fit in your next job.
- What are you willing to negotiate? If you’re willing to travel, to relocate, to commute further, or you’re looking to learn more skills, this list of negotiables makes it easier to ensure that your language on your resume reflects that flexibility. It also prepares you for that discussion during your interviews.
- Have a solid salary range in mind. If you’re willing to take a lateral move or downward move to gain experience or skills, that can be a great bargaining tool. Run the numbers so you know how much you need to keep your family afloat. The sky may be the upper limit, but families need to eat, so set a firm lower limit for yourself.
- Positive points. Make a list of your skills, what you did to add value at your last job, the good things about your last job, and the things you learned from your last boss. These lists will help you focus on the positive, which will show you how to add STAR stories to your resume, allow you to sound positive and proactive in your interviews, and keep you from seeming bitter or desperate during your search.
- Make sure your resume is current, formatted for ATS readability, and matches your social media profiles.
- Elevator pitch. Create a brief introduction to you, your career, and your goals in a short Practice it until it comes naturally. This will help you network, stand out in interviews, and give hiring influencers a great conversation starter both with and about you!
- Take a look at your social media profiles, cleaning up anything that might embarrass you or detract from your professional image, and begin to consciously develop a personal brand that will promote you and your career. Do make sure your profiles match your resume, as many hiring influencers search your name online long before they interview you.
- Now that you have your career plan, a polished resume, and your personal brand is ready for viewing, get out and meet people. You know what you’re looking for, can express it with confidence, and you have a resume and online presence that makes it easy to connect with you, research your career, and see what an asset you would be to any employer!
” get out and meet people” is the most important part in my humble opinion