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October 5, 2020

Stand Out in Your Job Search

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Seeking a job right now? What steps are you taking outside of ‘updating my resume’? Below are a few tips and questions to ask yourself to get started.

Take Inventory.

Most of us don’t do this on a regular basis: Acknowledge what we have accomplished and where we have room to grow. It can be eye opening and, sometimes, be tough to see. Look back on your mistakes and ask yourself what you learned and what you would do differently. Also take some time to assess your strengths, values and interests.

After doing some self-reflection, write down your comments and specific examples. Use that information to help you focus your career search and prepare for interviews down the road. Once you know what you want, make a list of the companies and types of positions you’re interested in pursuing.

Set Goals.

I strongly suggest a daily goal list. Number of calls you’re going to make, number of people you are going to email and the number of jobs you are going to apply for. It might look like this: 7 calls, 12 emails, 4 applications

Searching for a job can be exhausting and discouraging at times but focusing on achieving daily goals can help you stay on track.

Update Your Resume.

Consider having your resume professionally looked at by a writing service or recruiters. This is your “get in the door” document and will either have you moving forward or thrown into the waste pile. A good resume should be customized for each position and highlight specific skills and keywords that match the job description. Make sure the information on your LinkedIn profile and resume are aligned.

Create Connections.

Another thing you can do is connect with people and ask for help. Reach out to people you know such as friends, family and former colleagues and finds ways to expand your network. Then ask for help in these areas:

  • Introductions to people working at your target companies

  • Mock interviews to get feedback

  • Informational interviews with people working in a field that interests you

Make an Impact and Expand Your Brand.

One of the best ways to become more valuable in your career is to make an impact by mentoring or helping others. Why is this a good idea? It separates you from others and provides talking points beyond the job description which, in turn, makes you more valuable to an organization.

Impacting others also grants you more opportunities to gain professional experience and build your brand.

  • Write about your area of expertise on your personal blog or on LinkedIn

  • Join professional groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Share links to articles, examples of your own work and ask and answer questions.  

  • Volunteer in your local community or join a nonprofit board to sharpen your skills and expand your network

  • Identify speaking opportunities to demonstrate your thought leadership

Create a Business Plan.

When you are interviewing, set yourself apart by creating a business plan. This shows you are willing to take a risk. Components of a great business plan are: 

  1. A mission statement of who you are and how you will make an impact
  2. What you can bring to the position. This highlights your experience like your “greatest hits” from your resume.
  3. A 90-day plan in the new role. Consider breaking it down by week and month to show the impact you can make.
  • Outline trainings or certifications you will complete and target dates

  • Share creative ideas

  • Schedule monthly check-ins with your boss

  • Progress and process improvements to make you more effective along the way

You’ll need to know your business plan thoroughly so you can talk to how your experience will make you a great fit for the role.

Whether you’re seeking a new job or you’re looking to grow your career, hopefully these tips help you gain confidence, set yourself apart from other candidates and land a new job.

- Chris Coughlin

Seeking a job right now? What steps are you taking outside of ‘updating my resume’? Below are a few tips and questions to ask yourself to get started.

Take Inventory.

Most of us don’t do this on a regular basis: Acknowledge what we have accomplished and where we have room to grow. It can be eye opening and, sometimes, be tough to see. Look back on your mistakes and ask yourself what you learned and what you would do differently. Also take some time to assess your strengths, values and interests.

After doing some self-reflection, write down your comments and specific examples. Use that information to help you focus your career search and prepare for interviews down the road. Once you know what you want, make a list of the companies and types of positions you’re interested in pursuing.

Set Goals.

I strongly suggest a daily goal list. Number of calls you’re going to make, number of people you are going to email and the number of jobs you are going to apply for. It might look like this: 7 calls, 12 emails, 4 applications

Searching for a job can be exhausting and discouraging at times but focusing on achieving daily goals can help you stay on track.

Update Your Resume.

Consider having your resume professionally looked at by a writing service or recruiters. This is your “get in the door” document and will either have you moving forward or thrown into the waste pile. A good resume should be customized for each position and highlight specific skills and keywords that match the job description. Make sure the information on your LinkedIn profile and resume are aligned.

Create Connections.

Another thing you can do is connect with people and ask for help. Reach out to people you know such as friends, family and former colleagues and finds ways to expand your network. Then ask for help in these areas:

  • Introductions to people working at your target companies

  • Mock interviews to get feedback

  • Informational interviews with people working in a field that interests you

Make an Impact and Expand Your Brand.

One of the best ways to become more valuable in your career is to make an impact by mentoring or helping others. Why is this a good idea? It separates you from others and provides talking points beyond the job description which, in turn, makes you more valuable to an organization.

Impacting others also grants you more opportunities to gain professional experience and build your brand.

  • Write about your area of expertise on your personal blog or on LinkedIn

  • Join professional groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Share links to articles, examples of your own work and ask and answer questions.  

  • Volunteer in your local community or join a nonprofit board to sharpen your skills and expand your network

  • Identify speaking opportunities to demonstrate your thought leadership

Create a Business Plan.

When you are interviewing, set yourself apart by creating a business plan. This shows you are willing to take a risk. Components of a great business plan are: 

  1. A mission statement of who you are and how you will make an impact
  2. What you can bring to the position. This highlights your experience like your “greatest hits” from your resume.
  3. A 90-day plan in the new role. Consider breaking it down by week and month to show the impact you can make.
  • Outline trainings or certifications you will complete and target dates

  • Share creative ideas

  • Schedule monthly check-ins with your boss

  • Progress and process improvements to make you more effective along the way

You’ll need to know your business plan thoroughly so you can talk to how your experience will make you a great fit for the role.

Whether you’re seeking a new job or you’re looking to grow your career, hopefully these tips help you gain confidence, set yourself apart from other candidates and land a new job.

- Chris Coughlin

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