7 Tips to Starting a Job Search

Do you have a resolution to find a new job this year? Check out these tips for a better, streamlined job search.

  1. Develop your LinkedIn Profile along with your resume. You need both. You might want to read 7 LinkedIn Profile Tips and Tricks in 2014 That Make a Difference. You  cannot afford to ignore LinkedIn. It is just as important as your resume. And, you don't need the same information in each. You don't have the room on a resume. You do have the room on LinkedIn.
  2. Consider who you want to ask for references, and contact them first. You may want to have several sets of references if you are not sure exactly what new role you want. If you contact your references first, you can discuss with them this question, “What will you say as my reference?”
  3. Network in person, as well as online. I meet people all the time who think they can network online, and never leave the house. Nope, networking doesn't work that way. You need to meet people. They need to see who you are, in person. That leads to the next tip.
  4. Assess your appearance. You do not need to have 6-pack abs. You do not have to have a $300 haircut. However, you do need to look put together and clean, whenever you leave the house and network or interview. Do your teeth need a cleaning? Do you need a haircut? Do you have professional-looking clothes? Even if you are a developer and you normally dress in jeans and a ratty t-shirt, that outfit is not acceptable for job searching. Make sure your clothes are at least business casual. Everything needs to fit and be clean. So do you. You want to be able to smile and not worry about your teeth, your body odor or anything. Don't be distracted by your appearance; focus on meeting people when you network and the interview when you get one.
  5. Develop a target network list. Your target network is the list of 25 organizations that you might want to work for. If you can't find 25 organizations, is your role too constrained? Is your role no longer something organizations pay for? Do you need to change what you do?
  6. Work on your job search each day. You don't have to go to a networking every night. You don't have to participate in online groups or work on open source projects every day. But, if you are not working on your job search: determining how to meet people on your target list, improving your resume or LinkedIn profile, somehow connecting with people, you are not working on your job search.
  7. Make sure you have created small enough chunks of work so you can succeed with your job search. I like personal kanban for this. With small chunks of work, you can see your progress, and see how to review your progress.

I hope you like these tips. If you want more help with your job search, read Manage Your Job Search.

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