According to a recent report on current job trends, more than 6 million positions are still waiting to be filled. If you’re among the 62 percent of people who are planning to make a professional change this New Year, there’s no denying that the odds are in your favor.
What’s more, a large spike in people looking to change careers tends to generate turnover, which creates even more job openings. Companies will be on the look out to fill not just these vacant slots but the ones that remain unfilled from before, bringing about an even more robust job market.
So with conditions being so inarguably good for finding new employment, you may be wondering how to make it happen. The following tips are often a good place to start:
1. Make the most out of your current position.
We all fall into patterns at work, which can make our jobs seem less than desirable — “seem” being the operative word here. Not that we’d ever tell you to stay in a job you hate, but a change in your perspective could provide insights into what your current employer might have to offer.
Would a new position make you feel differently about the organization? What about some new responsibilities? Stepping outside your comfort zone may not only lead to a renewed commitment to your employer but expose you to tasks and projects that expand your skill set, making you more marketable to other companies.
2. Map out a job search strategy.
A job search is sort of like a road trip. You won’t as easily get to your destination without a map, and a job search strategy will serve as such. Look at your schedule to find chunks of time to devote some attention to the process. Blocking off a couple hours here and there can often help you make some headway.
If you’re extremely busy, it might be beneficial to sort the process into more manageable categories. For example, devote an hour on Mondays for looking at the job boards, and set aside two hours on Wednesdays for sending off emails and applications. Then, pencil in Thursdays for any follow-ups from the week.
3. Put yourself out there.
People won’t know you’re looking for a new job unless you tell them. Reach out to your network. Connect over coffee or lunch. But don’t make the meeting about you. Ask them questions about their lives. Eventually, the conversation will turn to what you’ve been up to, presenting the perfect opportunity to discuss your job search.
And don’t assume that the only contacts who can help you are those that can offer you a job. Talk to everyone in your network. You never know which person will connect you to the employer waiting for someone like you. Besides, each meeting will serve to strengthen your professional relationships — relationships that may be of benefit later on.
4. Get organized.
Keeping your resume up to date is a good habit to get into. It’s much easier to add accomplishments and responsibilities at the time than to go back a year or two later when your memory is a little foggy. You’ll also want it handy just in case someone in your network contacts you out of the blue with a job opportunity.
But your resume isn’t the only item that probably needs some revisions. Review your social profiles to ensure they’ll pass the muster. After all, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen talent. Clean up your image on Facebook, Twitter, etc. And while you’re at it, give your LinkedIn page the onceover to ensure it compliments your resume.
5. Look when you’re not looking.
Not everyone can devote enough time to a job search to make the progress they want — even with a job search plan. That’s why many jobseekers passively look for jobs by working with a recruiter. If an opportunity crops up, they almost immediately hear about it from someone with connections at the employer.
Plus, more and more companies are opting out of job boards, going directly to staffing agencies instead. When working with a recruiter, you gain access to jobs you’d never hear about otherwise. You’ll also have the chance to work with someone who can refocus your resume and make you more desirable to employers.
6. Go social with your search efforts.
You may be surprised to learn that you cut down your chances of finding a job when not on social media — what with 79 percent of people using Facebook and LinkedIn in their job search. In fact, 93 percent of companies use LinkedIn to find and hire talent.
But don’t just set up an account and expect the offers to come rolling in. Reach out to your connections — and your connection’s connections — on the platform. Second- and third-degree connections can often lead to job referrals. And a study of Facebook users shows similar findings on this platform as well.
7. Prepare for your performance.
Talking about yourself isn’t always easy, and you may be left a bit tongue-tied when trying to remember examples of past accomplishments off the top of your head. Practicing aloud can help. It’ll ensure you make the best possible impression when speaking to your experience, skills, and interests.
Before applying for a job, take some time to work up potential interview questions. Then, practice your answers either by yourself or with a trusted friend. You’d be surprised how much more relaxed you’ll feel when you finally sit down with a recruiter, hiring manager, or whoever else can offer you a job.
If you’re considering changing jobs or even switching careers, let us know. A member of our team would be more than happy to meet with you and explore all the opportunities available to someone with your unique background and experience.