1.    Establish a plan: today’s job market is not only competitive, it’s also very complicated. There are many avenues you need to tap into – including advertised and unadvertised job markets. You need to be organised and you also need to find and apply for all the positions you may be suitable for. A detailed plan will help you do this. See my previous article Winning Job Search Strategies for detailed tips on developing a structured job search strategy.

2.    Update your LinkedIn Profile: include comprehensive content and make sure you keep it updated. Recruiters are using LinkedIn more and more to search for candidates, so it’s also important to optimise your profile with keywords, so that you can be easily found. Make sure to include a current professional photo, and try to update every section with as much detail as you can. Many people don’t include a summary, and this is a mistake. Use the summary to introduce yourself – give an overview of your key skills, experience and strengths to provide readers with a sense of who you are and the value you could bring to an organisation. Inject some personality into your LinkedIn profile – it doesn’t need to be as formal as your Resume content. Use LinkedIn to research recruitment consultants and HR managers from companies you’d like to target. Join relevant groups, follow companies you’d like to work for, and connect with others in your industry.

3.    Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter: we strongly recommend writing a customised cover letter for every job you apply for making sure to address as many ‘job requirements’ as you can. We also recommend tailoring your Resume to suit each role. This may simply require a reordering of key skills, highlighting a particular achievement, or de-emphasising points that may not be relevant. Review the job ad, or even better the detailed job description, and ensure that if you have the experience or skills they are asking for, it’s well highlighted and easily understood.

4.    Prepare for an Interview: the biggest mistake you can make when searching for a new job is not preparing for the interview. Research the company you are interviewing by reviewing their website and latest news headlines as well as checking their LinkedIn and/or Facebook pages so you know what’s going on in their world right now. Prepare some relevant questions about the company and the role. Ensure you dress appropriately, arrive on time (or a little early), think about the questions they might ask and practice your responses, listen to the interviewer’s questions and answer as succinctly and clearly as possible. See my previous article 5 Things You MUST DO to Prepare for an Interview for more tips.

5.    Network: think about who you know and who you might be able to connect with. Let your network know you are seeking new opportunities. Remember there are many different ways to connect with your network so use them all – phone calls, emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, face to face and online networking groups. Seek out relevant professional associations and networking groups – attend seminars and connect with people in your industry.

Remember, today’s job market is highly competitive and complex so you need to be organised and prepared in order to succeed. There are many avenues to pursue, so plan your strategy to make sure no stone is left unturned.

Would you like help from a Career Advisor to develop a winning resume, detailed job search strategy, or update your LinkedIn profile? Perhaps you’d like to get help with your interview preparation. If so, please see our Resume Writing Services, Career Coaching Services and LinkedIn Profile Writing Services. 

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