When applying for a new job, whether following a season of employment, or simply because you’e ready for a change, the process can feel intimidating, In today’s competitive job market this is especially true, and with media telling us how important it is to “stand out from the crowd” and make ourselves marketable when hitting the work force, many applicants worry that they won’t be enough, or that they’ve missed an important step in the process that could harm their chances of being picked up by a quality employer. Just like preparing for an exam back in your school days though, preparing for your job search requires some preliminary work.
Think of it this way: studying for your exams during school wouldn’t have been helpful had you not taken notes during class while the material was being taught. Those notes are what built your portfolio of materials to study for the final test…the quality of those notes and that prep work are directly linked to how well you do on the test and in the end, whether or not you pass the class. In the same way, there is preliminary work to be done before you ever start the job search or application process, and taking your time and paying attention to detail during these steps means your application process will be easier down the line, and the likelihood of you getting hired for a position you want is much higher.
Our top 3 prep tips when you’re ready to hit the job trail are…
- Update your resume and contact information. Before you ever start searching for openings in your area, have your resume cleaned up, formatted well, and updated with all current information. This is especially important when it comes to your contact information (particularly your phone number and email address) as these are the means by which employers will contact you if they are interested in what they see in your resume’s content.
- Shine up your social media accounts. Would you invite a guest over for dinner and have them sit on sofas covered in dirty laundry, or eat at a table still covered in the previous night’s dishes? Absolutely not. Presenting your best for guests is what marks a good host or hostess. Why then, do we fail to put our best foot forward online when trying to launch a career? Your social media profiles could be a weak link in your job application process if you fail to look at them from the perspective of a potential employer. Go through photos, posts on your page, descriptions, etc. and remove material that could be offensive, abrasive, or just plain distasteful. Keeping a clean-cut presence online is a great way to boost your chances with employers and HR staff.
- Take time to contact your references. Most jobs require that you list at least 3 professional references. Imagine how awkward it would be if a potential boss called up one of your references from your resume built 8 years ago and they had no recollection of who you are. Before you start sending out your resume for various positions, take time to go through your references and contact each person on your list. Verify that they are still willing to be a reference for you, make sure their contact information is updated on your resume, and take time to thank them for their time! Simply connecting with them in a relatively short time frame before potential employers might be calling means you won’t be left in an awkward situation with non-existent references.
Feel like you’re prepped and ready to hit the job hunt trail? PHR Staffing Solutions is ready to walk with you from start to finish! Our goal is to help you reach your career goals, and we do our best to provide resources and support that will help you get hired faster. Give us a call or apply for one of our current openings on our site!