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  • Writer's pictureKeith Stewart

5 Tips to Prepare for a Job Search

Beginning a job search – whether you’re currently unemployed or employed but considering a change – is never an easy process, even in this current job seekers market. What’s required in order to be successful is your time, energy, effort, patience, and preparation (especially preparation!).

Here are a few tips to help you prepare now for your upcoming search, application process, interview, and presentation. Best of luck!

1.) Create/Update Your Resume

Your resume is a living, breathing document, and it should be updated continuously so you don’t forget the good components that should be added as you progress through your career. Be sure it contains all your strong contributions and deliverables, as well as your measurable impacts in your current and previous roles. Note: Good grammar, spelling, and punctuation are all critical as your resume speaks for you and reflects you. Don’t let typos stand in your place.

2.) Include a Personalized Cover Letter

Unless the job posting specifically mentions “No Cover Letter”, proceed with a cover letter when submitting your resume. Often considered useless or dated, a well-constructed cover letter is the trumpeter announcing you and your resume to a potential employer. It should be a summary of the key points that makes you a qualified applicant for each specific job which you are applying for.

3.) Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts

Believe it or not, employers, HR staff and hiring managers are doing their due diligence to see who’s applying for their roles, and they’re using social media as their source of information. Beer pong party pics, poor language and writing skills, and inappropriate content may be the deciding factor on whether to bring you in for an interview or not. Don’t let your social media presence ruin your career opportunities.

4.) Attire

Part of the preparation for the job search process also includes being ready for interviewing. Whether it’s in person or remote, be sure to have a pressed, wrinkle-free dress or suit. Don’t get caught with your power suit balled up in the floor of your closet, your power dress at the dry cleaners, or shoes that no longer fit. Note: if your interview is virtual, dress fully. You never know if you’ll need to stand up only to get caught in your shorts!

5.) Practice Your Talking Points

The number one way to spoil your interview is being unprepared for questions, or not having questions of your own. Do a dry run either in front of a mirror or take a video of how you would answer typical interview questions such as “tell me about your current role”, or “why are you looking for a new job?”, or “what are your best – and worst – attributes?” Practice your talk tract so you sound strong and confident, make eye contact, and smile.

Nobody knows you better than yourself, so be prepared and go confidently into the job search process. Again, best of luck…and congratulations (in advance!).

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