Let’s face it, seeking a new job can be stressful and every successful job search requires preparation. As you begin your job search, remember there are things that you can do to help combat that stress and set yourself up for success as you begin to connect with potential employers.
Keep these six job searching tips in mind, so your success can start before your first interview even begins:
1. Give Your Social Media Accounts a Once-Over
Before you begin networking with your existing connections, make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated with your most recent experience and that it has a professional photo.
Keep in mind, employers may look at more than just your LinkedIn profile. It’s always a good idea to review your social media accounts (like Facebook and Instagram) before beginning your job search. If you think there is anything that would undercut your professionalism to a hiring manager, remove it.
2. Set Up your Voicemail Message
In our day-to-day lives, leaving a voicemail is not the norm, so it’s easy to forget what your voicemail message is.
A professional outgoing voicemail greeting is an important part of setting yourself up for your job search. Remember, recruiters and hiring managers will leave you a voicemail if you don’t pick up.
Keep your voicemail greeting, short, sweet, and professional. A quick, “This is Sally. Sorry I can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you shortly,” is more desirable than a joke-ridden outgoing message. While you may think the default voicemail greeting is acceptable, keeping the default greeting that comes with your phone is missed opportunity for recruiters to hear your voice and for you to make a positive, professional impression.
3. Inspect Your Email Address
Your email address should, again, be professional. “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” may not leave the best first impression. A good email address should contain some iteration of your first and/or last name. This way, hiring managers can easily identify and find your emails without having to search for who it came from.
4. The Way You Answer Your Phone Matters
No one likes to get calls from telemarketers. It’s no wonder why we all avoid unknown numbers as a result. While it’s understandable why you would anticipate a call from an unknown number as a telemarketing call, be careful not to be on the defensive/aggressive when picking up. When a recruiter calls, it will most likely be from an unknown number, and you don't want to take yourself out of the running for an amazing job opportunity.
Again, the way you answer your phone is one of the first connections a recruiter will make with you. It’s probably the first time they’re hearing your voice, too. Because of this, your phone etiquette goes a long way in setting the tone of the relationship you’ll have with a recruiter and go a long way in increasing your chances of getting an interview.
5. Know Your Career Goals
While you don’t have to have your whole career path mapped out, you should have a basic idea of what you’re looking for, career-wise. Research industries, companies, titles, benefits, or salary expectations that are important to you, so you can have some idea of what your dealbreakers will be during your search. Once you understand the career progression you want, you’ll come across as confident knowledgeable to hiring managers and recruiters.
6. Update Your Resume
Most people, when writing their resumes, will use the limited space they have to list out their responsibilities held in previous positions. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it won’t exactly wow a recruiter, either.
Remember, not every skill you’ve learned in a previous job will be relevant to your next job. Your resume should be tailored specifically to highlight the transferrable skills you’ve learned that make you a great candidate for the future roles you want as well.
Your resume should tell a story and compel a hiring manager to want to reach out and learn more about you. In most cases, your resume is the first point of contact a hiring manager will have of you as a professional (and it only lasts 6 seconds), so make that first impression count!
The first impressions you make while job searching carry substantial weight for hiring managers and recruiters. They are critical to getting you to the next step of the hiring process. While you may think a first impression starts with that (virtual) handshake important to remember that you communicate your professional presence well before then.
Things like your social media presence, resume, voicemail greeting, email address, and the way you answer the phone all go a long way in giving insight on who you are professionally and what hiring managers can expect once they reach out.
A successful job search means thinking ahead and checking these “first impression” items. Keeping these 6 tips in mind will help ease the stress of starting your job search and help you land that job!