9 Simple Strategies to Help Accelerate Your Job Search
If you are serious about making a job change, it pays to stay on task, no matter what the season.
Here is a list of nine simple tasks you can do - most in less than ten minutes each day - to keep your job search on track as we cruise into the fall season:
1. Update your resume: How many times have you thought about responding to a job posting, but failed to do so because your resume needing updating? Don't allow yourself to fall into that trap again. Make it a point to periodically review and update your resume (at least twice a year) with new skills and accomplishments. Maintaining an updated resume at the ready will ensure you can respond to promising opportunities in a timely manner.
2. Sign up for automatic job posting alerts: In this tight economy, you need to be proactive about sourcing new job opportunities. Select several job boards and register to be automatically informed via e-mail when relevant job openings are posted. It’s a time-efficient way to stay on top of job postings as they become open.
3. Schedule a "let's get acquainted" date with someone new each month: In-person networking always has been, and always will be, the best way to learn about promising career opportunities. Expand your network of contacts by inviting someone new to coffee or lunch at least once each month.
4. Buy a top-flight outfit at a bargain basement price: As the warm weather fades, stores are aggressively running sales to make room for their cooler weather inventory. Take this opportunity to treat yourself to a "knock-em-dead" interview suit. Just the knowledge that you have a terrific outfit hanging in your closet will make you feel more confident, look more professional, and in turn, more likely to explore new opportunities.
5. Send a thank-you note: A "thank-you" is always appreciated and appropriate, and there is no time like the present to reach out to people who have helped your career during the past year. A note of thanks is a nice way to spread goodwill and help cement your business relationships with friends, clients and colleagues.
6. Clean up your digital footprint: What’s the first thing a potential employer or recruiter will do after they interview you? They will look you up on Google! Don’t allow your application to be derailed by a messy digital footprint. Be proactive and make sure your online profile reflects your best professional self.
7. Maintain a positive mindset: It's hard to stay focused with the continuing drumbeat of discouraging financial news. Make it a point to limit your exposure to negativity, and instead, seek out articles, books and media that help bolster your spirit and encourage a sense of possibility.
8. Upgrade your skills: If there is a class, workshop or some other skill-building tool you've been considering, now is the time to sign-up for it. You'll become more valuable at your current job -- and it will help make you more marketable for future career opportunities.
9. Treat yourself to “me” time: Looking for a job is challenging, so it’s important to take extra special care of yourself during the job search. Take out your calendar (now!) and block out time for relaxation: schedule at least an hour of “me time” each week to reward yourself for your hard work and perseverance.
Remember, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to do one mini job-search focused task each day. Small, consistent actions will add up to big results, and there is no better time then the present to get started!
Nancy Collamer M.S., career coach, author and speaker, helps clients around the country reinvent their careers outside the 9-5 box. She shares her advice weekly through her blog at MyLifestyleCareer.com and on Twitter. She is a frequent guest of the media and was recently featured in O Magazine as part of their team of "All-Star Team of Career Coaches."