Looking for a new job is one of the most stressful things we all have to do from time to time. If you’re looking for a job, it means you’re just starting out. Or maybe you’re not so happy with the one you have. Or maybe you just got laid off and are in crisis mode. Kind of a nightmare either way. But there is something every successful job seeker must do while looking for a new job that will make the process easier.
You have to treat your job hunt like another job.
Which stinks, because ideally you’re looking for a job while you already have another gig, in which case you’re basically working overtime. It can be more difficult to find a job when you don’t have one, so to make your hunt the most successful, plan ahead and start looking while you’re still employed.
According to Sara Menke, the founder of boutique staffing firm Premier, looking discreetly for a new while still employed makes the process simpler. “Quitting your job before having a job is a big risk that you should avoid. Most people do not have endless streams of income, so you should stay in your position until you get that firm offer for new employment,” she told Forbes.
It also puts you in a better position to negotiate your salary when you do lock down an offer. But all is not lost if you’re out of work and starting fresh. Here are some things successful people do to get the jobs they want.
Here are some things every successful job seeker must do to get the job they want.
1. Clean up Your Personal Brand
Your resumé, website, and portfolio were perfect when it came to locking in your last job. But they probably need a little touch up. Not only do you have to update your resume with your new experience, you’re going to want to go through whatever other materials you use to sell yourself in your industry. Clean up your website, edit your portfolio and take out things that aren’t relevant anymore. Make sure your public social media presence is on point. Before you really start looking, make sure that you’re representing yourself like every successful job seeker.
2. Tell All Your Friends You’re Looking
Actually, tell your friends and colleagues. According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 80 percent of jobs are filled without any advertising, which means jobs come from your network. For some people, networking comes easy; for others, it’s awkward. Either way, you gotta do it. Shoot emails to people you used to work with and tell them that you’re looking for a new job. Reach out to people you might not know but respect on Twitter and introduce yourself. You will be surprised how many people actually want to help you out or introduce you to people that might have a job offer for you.
3. Think Big
There is a wealth of research that shows women sort of hold themselves back when they’re job hunting. Just because you don’t fit every single bullet point in the “responsibilities” section of the job announcement doesn’t mean you can’t do that job. You know your talents and where your passion lies. If you’ve got the passion, the skills will totally follow. Don’t doubt yourself if a certain job speaks to you — every successful job seeker takes the chance.
4. Step Away from the Job Boards
This is the number one place to strike out. There will be moments when you will feel crazy discouraged. Also, how many times do you have to upload your resumé, cover letter, and then still enter your work history into those online applications? It’s exhausting! So every once in a while, stop thinking about your job search, or wondering when you’re going to hear back from an employer after a first-round interview. Go meditate. Go for a run. Have drinks with friends who love you. Do whatever makes you feel like the amazing, talented person you are. If you don’t take breaks, you will drive yourself insane.
5. Don’t Become Discouraged
If you’re out of work and have had trouble finding something, you likely can’t think of anything else. If you can afford to take unpaid work, you might consider volunteering in between gigs. It’s better if it’s something somehow aligned to your skill set or industry, so that the next HR person understands that while you were out of work for a few months, you were still getting out there and doing something good.
6. Get Out in the Real World
You wont find all jobs online. You can’t just network via email and social media — you have to go out into the world. Meet old colleagues for coffee, sign up for that industry conference or event, and meet people in person.
Looking for a job is not easy, but you totally got this. Remember to take those breaks!