15 years ago, my friend Becky’s father lost the job that he had since 1974. He didn’t have a degree or certifications, he never had a need for a resume, he didn’t know how to look for a job in the current market, and he didn’t have experience leveraging his personal network and resources for his job search. He didn’t have them because in 1974, the playing field looked a little different, and the job that he had loved for so long no longer existed. What should you do if this ever happens to you? Here are a few tips on how to start looking for a job in the digital age, after you have your resume up to snuff:
Evaluate where you really are, and where you aspire to be
Since you evaluated personal and professional priorities, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions and please answer them honestly:
- Would you like to work in a similar position/ function?
- If so, are your skills sharp enough to continue on or will you need schooling/ training?
- If no, what would you like to do, and will this change require education or training?
This self-evaluation will affect how you proceed with your quest for a new job by narrowing down what’s right for you. This can be done immediately, will be discovered while networking, or though a self discovery period.
This may be an easier task for some, but in order to get your name out there and actually be considered for new opportunities, you need to get in front of people and talk about yourself. This isn’t necessarily speed dating for a job, but being able to talk about your skills and what you are looking for can help you work with your network to find connections directly or indirectly. A few easy ways to get started are to:
- Create your own business card to give to people (name, email, phone, profession).
- Update your social network profiles (or create them in the first place).
- Join networking groups, attend AND talk to people.
- Call and email all of your friends, family, and former colleagues and meet them for coffee, dinner, a workout date, a pickup basketball game, and tell them your story. You would be surprised to see how many connections your networks have.
- Put your resume on job boards—employers may start calling, but the point is that you are now in a database and your resume can be found. It’s also an easy and consolidated way to search for jobs and companies when you aren’t sure where to look.
- Attend career fairs to see companies in person and make a lasting impression.
- Align yourself with a recruiter—they can help you uncover what you want to do and help promote you to specific jobs you are interested in!
After self discovery and networking, you may still need to go out and apply for positions or contact companies about jobs. While this is the most tedious part, it can also be fun:
- Make a list of 10 to 20 companies that you would like to work for and research their websites and service offerings.
- See what LinkedIn connections you have with the companies of interest, or ask a connection to introduce you.
- Apply directly on the company’s website.
If you ever need help, know that we are always here to assist you on your search! Please tune in next week for our third Experienced Professional blog about interviewing for the first time in 15 years.
Author: Elyse Lopez