All of our lives changed as soon as COVID-19 arrived. Not only has it changed, but our lives also keep changing and having to adapt. We can’t settle into a regular routine, travel, dine, be with friends and family like we use to. As the virus ebbs and flows and a ‘new normal’ has yet to be identified, people have gotten burned out with their current job and are quitting in record numbers. Score’s statistics show the far-reaching impact the Great Resignation has had thus far on the economy and the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million people quit in September of 2021, and that was before Omicron showed up.
Now that you’ve left or considered leaving your job – it’s time to start job hunting for your ideal job.
Create your job hunting ecosystem.
Be disciplined about your job search and make it a part-time job. Set aside a few hours a day following a routine of reviewing jobs, posting and tracking what you’ve applied to. Build a spreadsheet of the jobs and update it weekly. It will make it easier to track but more importantly easier to follow-up on the positions you applied to. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease and following up is key to job hunting.
Update Your Resume
Remember the goal of your resume is to get you an interview. You don’t need to hire someone to review your resume, there are plenty of free resources. A simple Google search will give you a lot of free tips. When updating your resumes be sure to map your resume to job descriptions you are apply to. Obviously, you have to have that experience, but large corporations scan resumes for keywords and your resume needs to have certain keywords or your resume just goes in the abyss. This link will help https://resumegenius.com/blog/resume-help/resume-keywords Good rules of thumb with your resume:
- Keep it brief and simple
- 2 pages or less
- Leave hobbies off resume
- Stand out by using a resume builder
As a recruiter for my company, I see hundreds of resumes a year and here are some of my personal tips for building your resume.
- Don’t include home address – you may be working remote, so this is no longer relevant
- Don’t include personal statement – use a personal statement in a cover letter or email
- If less than 1.5 pages, fit into 1
- Results should be quantified – you increased revenue by what % not simply ‘increased revenue’
- Formatting should be perfect – typos kill and matter
- Include LinkedIn URL
- Include personal website
- Include software experience – Google Suite, MS Suite, etc.
Send a Cover Letter
Never written a cover letter, Google it. It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself and large companies request them. I always read a cover letter when it comes in, however, less than 10% of applicants at my company include a cover letter.
- Write a cover letter, you will stand out
- Make it relevant to the position, not boiler plate
- Brief is best
- Include same contact info as resume
- Highlight a key success relevant to the position
Networking during COVID isn’t easy, obviously. But believe it or not, you have a network of friends and former colleagues who are willing to help you. You have fans out there who will be references and provide sound advice if you simply just ask. Who knows, maybe their company is hiring for a position you’re uniquely qualified for.
- Email your network to let them know you are job hunting
- Reconnect with influencers in your network
- Have virtual coffee with key contacts
- Solicit resume and cover letter feedback
- Ask for references and recommendations
- #1 source of finding a job
Clean Up Your Social Media
Your social media is your personal space of self-expression and creativity. Sure, but when you’re job hunting, it’s a reason for a company to screen you out and not hire you. Do what you will be consider yourself warned, social media is fair ground for review.
- Update privacy settings to block public view
- Remove or hide unflattering photos
- Hide anything that will give potential employers hesitation to hire you
- Assume potential employers will search your social media
- Reduce the opportunity to be discriminated against
LinkedIn has become more casual since COVID. It’s lost some credibility as more garbage is being allowed on the platform but it’s still the leading job hunting social network out there. A lot of mistakes are being made by new job hunters and veterans alike. Here are some tips you should implement to stand out.
Your profile picture and background
- Photo current and reflective of who you are professionally
- Portray an image of trust and reliability
- Background photo showing you speaking, leading, presenting – remember this isn’t Facebook
Write a compelling profile headline
- Highlight your unique selling proposition
- Add true and relevant keywords
- Include your specialty
- Use commas, periods, or “|” to separate
Add relevant content to your experience summaries
- Quantify what you did – increased agency revenue X%
- Drive home the value you delivered in previous jobs
- Include certifications and degrees
- Insert original content including blogs, articles and presentations
Being out of a job by choice or not is an opportunity to reflect and find the right position for you and your situation. Take it seriously and you will find that job you want, and you will be happier in the long run.