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How to Stay Prepared for the Job Search

Nowadays, it can be a challenge to successfully navigate the job market. This might be even more true for those currently employed, but are thinking about a change in their professional lives. Maybe you have a slight desire for a new career, or you’re experiencing difficulties with your current workplace, signaling your search. So, instead of being on the reactive side, here are a few tips to ensure you’re always prepared for the job hunt.

Continuous Learning

Even if you’re comfortably employed, you don’t want your skillset to stagnate. There’s always something new to learn, especially in the IT world. Raise your hand to tackle something new when an opportunity or project comes up or take some courses on your own. LinkedIn, Pluralsight, Codecademy, and Google are just a few excellent resources that come to mind. Using such resources will be helpful if you’re hoping to eventually land a position in a new market.

Regardless of where you’re at today, making a commitment to continuous learning will be beneficial to your job search in the long term. You may even discover new areas of interest that could lead to more opportunities along the way.

Elevate Your Personal Brand

Building your personal brand is critical to your overall job search. Though it may not directly impact your ability to land a position, having a well-rounded, consistent brand can certainly catch the attention of hiring managers and recruiters alike. Start today by:

  • Connecting with industry peers and colleagues.
  • Sharing relevant articles with your LinkedIn network.
  • Ensuring your profile is up-to-date and has the best representation of your current skillset.

Staying on top of your personal brand and cleaning up your social media footprint will ensure you’re ready when you begin your employment search.

Tighten Up Your Resume

It can be frustrating to have to update your resume in the middle of your job search. So, instead of waiting until you’re looking for something new, make it a practice to tighten up your resume every couple of months. You can add new skillsets and responsibilities, as well as any recent certifications you may have attained. Consider creating multiple resumes and tailoring them to different types of positions. That way you’ll save time when it comes to your actual job search. It’s also a good idea to convert your resume to multiple file types to stay ahead of the game.  

Research Roles and Open Positions

All the tips I’ve listed so far mostly apply to candidates who are comfortable in their current job. However, if you’re serious about a change, you can go on the offensive. Researching roles and companies can go a long way, and if you’re currently employed and don’t need a new gig ASAP, you have the luxury of moving at your own pace.

Obviously, casting a wide net of resumes to random jobs increases your chances of landing an interview, but muddies the waters of what you’re actually looking for in an employer. Take a step back and think about what companies and roles you’re truly interested in. Researching positions on LinkedIn and other job boards can help narrow your search. And if you have a specific company in mind, connect with some of their employees on LI. You can take this a step further and ask them if they’d be willing to conduct an informational interview to see if it’s really the right company for you. Taking the time to do this kind of research will only speed things along when it comes to the official job hunt.

Remain Flexible

As always, it’s important you remain flexible during your search no matter where you’re at in the process. With remote work and people’s crazy schedules, be more open with your interview availability. Flexibility applies to the types of positions you’re in the market for as well. Keeping an open mind about titles and responsibilities, particularly if you’re a young professional, can set you up for opportunities down the road that’d you otherwise miss out on. You may not like the title, but if you’re qualified and it’s experience in the field, then it may be a great fit.  

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