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5 simple steps to kick starting your job search
- Get your CV ready
Giving your resume a good face lift every once in a while is the easiest way to keep it accurate over time. Make sure you go to the point and bring it down to a maximum of two pages. Banish all the typos, print your CV and put yourself in the shoes of the line manager who will potentially interview you. Make sure what is mentioned is still true today and wipe off everything that does not make sense anymore. Are you still an expert of Navision? Are you still fluent in German? Do not only list the duties you were entrusted but mention accomplishments and add numbers when you can for the emphasis: KPIs, revenue, the number of people impacted by your work, the size of the team you were managing and to what extent you have achieved those goals.
- Schedule your time to find the right job
It is perhaps the most challenging part: make time for your job search, especially if you have a full-time job. Your first step here is to plan the time you will be job searching on job boards, recruitment agencies or company websites in your calendar and try to stick to it. When you come across a position that interests you, pin it but don’t apply just yet. When you have a good sample, devote time to select the ads you are really interested in and start applying. Use job search agents: Stepstone, Monster or eFinancialCareers all provide this possibility. You will receive an email notification every time an open position fits your criteria.
- Assess your skills
Prior to applying to your dream job, ask yourself if you have the skills required to fill in the position. Don’t be intimidated by the fact it seems slightly out of reach. But ask yourself the following questions: do you master all the aspects of the job description, Can you acquire the skills you lack by, for instance, taking intensive language classes? Do you think your past experience can compensate what is missing from your CV? And are you really motivated by the offer? Don’t assume you need to fulfill 100% of the requirements listed in the ad but do consider what substitutes you could bring to the table that will help you stay in the race. If you think you are a challenger for the position, list all the criteria you’re lacking and explain how you would overcome those obstacles.
- Use your network
If you are on this page, it means you are not a recent grad and you probably know your personal and professional networks can help you. Think of all the possibilities: your former bosses or colleagues, your friends, headhunters or search firms. Benefit from your all-star Linkedin profile and carefully review your contacts.
- Keep it going and do your follow-up
Sometimes processes can take a while, especially when you have a full-time job. Go through the list you’ve created on step 1, update it on a regular basis tracking the progress of your applications and think of your job search as a long-term strategy as of day one.