There is a thought that job search during pandemics is much more difficult. Many people lost their jobs and many more are about to lose. However, the opposite is true as well. Gaining new skills and/or landing a new job has never been easier. A lot of people I coach and people I know were able to get new jobs with top employers. For those in technology, Facebook, Amazon, and other major tech companies are hiring like never before. Interview process is fully remote so you can have multiple interviews during the day without scheduling and traveling hustle. Finally, you can invest extra time to do your research or listen to free online advice related to specific company you plan to interview for. Below are the five tips that will help you land a dream job.
Tip 1. Decide on your options
If you are in the beginning of your career, invest time in gaining new certifications or taking online courses. AWS offers free cloud courses followed by an exam around $100-150, which would boost your IT resume. There are project management courses, which will allow you to take Scrum Master or Project Manager certification. There are courses for librarians, optometrists, or teachers - all available online. The sky is the limit, depending on your interests. If you are mid-career, think of several options, e.g. a teacher and an administrative position in education.
Tip 2. Craft your resume
Your resume is your business card. If your skills and the way they are presented (both equally important) do not stand out in the first 20 second, you've lost. Take time to download one of modern resume templates from a site like this and edit the resume in such a way that reflects your skills and experience. It never hurts to have an extra pair of eyes - use your spouse, your friends, or if you have no nearby experts, pay $25-30 to have it checked by an expert on a site like guru.com or freelancer.com. If you have several potential paths (e.g. a teacher and educational administrator above), create two very distinct resumes highlighting relevant parts of your experience, and put them in separate folders on your computer, rather than labeling them as Name_teacher and Name_admin, because this will be visible to your recruiter. One rule: never lie on your resume! Besides ethical aspects, all this information is verifiable nowadays. I've seen people losing excellent offers not because of lying but because of minor inconsistencies in their resumes. Take time to remember all the dates of your employment and names of your employers correctly. Apply to 3-5 positions per day, with individual attention for each role, using keywords and expressions for your job description, and highlighting your experience relevant to the job. Keep a list and record outcomes. Review the list weekly to identify the trends and steer future job search accordingly.
Tip 3. Apply fearlessly and tirelessly
Take time to do online research and apply to the companies that you know and the ones that you may not yet be familiar with. Research LinkedIn, search on Google Jobs, create alerts on Indeed - constantly scan the market for more opportunities in your area. When you apply, fill out employer's form, even if you have already uploaded your resume with all the information. In many cases, people do not take time to fill out all the employment data in online forms. If you are not willing to invest 30 minutes in applying for the job, how would you expect your potential employer to take time to speak with you? As you are applying, do your research on Glassdoor to check the company your are applying for. I had a recent case when a colleague of mine applied (and got selected) for a Board of Directors for a diversity non-profit, which turned out to be solicitation for funds. Save yourself time by doing this research and checking company reputation before applying, and once you do, ensure that you invest time in understanding the job description and the needs of the potential employer. It's never a bad idea to add a cover letter, even if many companies are not asking for it nowadays.
Tip 4. Invest in your interview
Once you landed an interview with a company, take time to prepare. I usually advise to allocate 2-3 days to prepare for a specific entry level position and 3-5 days to prepare for a mid-career position. This is specific to each company and position that you apply for. If you apply for Google, Facebook, or Amazon, you will get a package from their internal recruiter with a set of links to review in preparation for your interview. Review the links and watch relevant videos. Check if there is external reputable source available. For example, there are excellent free sources to get advice on Leadership Principles and behavioral questions in Amazon interview, such as this one. Google sends you a set of links about the company - super helpful. You can usually find helpful information on Glassdoor and other job sites. After the interview, always follow up with Thank You emails - those usually won't change the outcome, but it is a good way to show your interest in the company for further interaction with them.
Tip 5. Raise your brand and build your network
Finally, as you are going through your job search, do not forget to invest in your professional brand and build your network. Most of the job opportunities will come from and through your network or via recruiters discovering your profile on LinkedIn. Ensure that you do it right - optimize for key words for the role that you want to play, create a compelling title, proofread, and test several options. Your LinkedIn profile is your business card. If you've optimized it well, set it to Open for Job Search and ensure that you receive at least one relevant outreach per week. If it is less than that, something is wrong. Send me a link and I'll share the feedback, or ask your friends to take a look.
Attend professional events and let other attendees know that you are doing job search. There are excellent conferences (now virtual) for job search such as the the Grace Hopper Conference and there are hundreds of free meetups on meetup.com - now global. Search by the name of your occupation, join 2-3 meetups per week, select 1 or two that you find most helpful and informative, and nourish this relationship. This allows you to learn, share, and build your professional expertise while growing the network.
Share your own experience - submit a take for a conference, record a professional video on youtube speaking about any aspect of your profession (if you are an optometrist, share your advice on selecting glasses, if you are a teacher, share your teaching techniques, if you are a carpenter, give tips to beginners in this area or new homeowners) - there is always something to share. Rehearse, get feedback, and do it well - and then post this link on your resume and your LinkedIn profile. This will establish you as an expert in the area.
Wishing you success in your job search! I know people who are interviewing with 5-7 companies at a time and selecting the best job offer out of a list. Do not get discouraged by rejections - learn from them and adjust your job search accordingly.
Hope these tips will help you. Use all of them in combination and reach out with any questions or to share your own experience.
- You career coach,
About the Blog
The difference between our career advice site and many others on this topic comes from the fact that it is not written by a career consultant who has limited experience with achieving career growth in a professional environment. This site comes from an industry expert who achieved career progression step by step and learned the lessons that are now generously shared with you.
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