Whether you are employed and considering your next career move, out of work and seeking another position, or returning to the workforce after a break, you need to formulate a plan of attack before commencing the quest for work.
Clear, well-defined goals and a program for implementing your actions is an essential component of any good job search. Without defining your goals and setting realistic targets, chances are you will not apply for the right roles in a manner that makes a great first impression.
Many job seekers destroy their own efforts because they have taken a slap-happy approach to their job search and often find themselves a few weeks or months down the track feeling frustrated, frazzled and unsuccessful.
Before you begin any job search activities ask yourself a few key questions:
What type of role are you seeking?
Industry, size of company, capacity of employment, salary expectations, etc.
Do you have the skills needed for this role?
Research the essential criteria for jobs in your chosen area. If you don’t meet the key skills required, explore the ways in which you can gain those skills.
What do you offer an employer?
There is a huge misconception out there that employers read resumes from the candidates perspective to determine their needs. This is not true. Employers read a resume with the sole purpose of determining if you meet their needs! You must therefore sell yourself to the employer by demonstrating how you can solve their problems and meet their needs.
What are my achievements and unique selling points (USPs)?
Writing a boring list of duties, which anyone with comparative job roles could also list, is not going to give you an edge. Write your resume from an achievement perspective and watch what happens. All of sudden you become different from others. If you can’t define your USPs effectively you won’t be able to pull together a strong enough resume, let alone sell yourself at interviews (see How to use STAR).
Once you have answers to the above-mentioned questions you need to prepare your resume. Ensure that it focuses on achievements rather than duties and sells your unique points of difference to the reader. Choose an eye-catching format with plenty of bullet points and white space to make it easy to read. You also need to ensure it is keyword-rich to be picked up in applicant tracking systems.
Contact your referees and let them know your plans. This gives you a chance to confirm their contact details and ensure they are prepared for calls.
Now you are ready to attack the job search market, clear in the knowledge of what you offer employers and of course, a firm idea of what you seek.
Good luck with your search!
© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant
One2One Resumes ABN 84 356 535 910/002
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