My resume is Complete. Now What? Part 2

networking for jobLast month we talked about the importance of gathering feedback and leveraging your network before beginning your job search. Here are two more critical steps to take before you send out your resume.

Update Your Online Profile: Whether it is a LinkedIn profile or another that is more applicable to your industry, make sure that your profile is complete and not just the bare minimum.

Slot out time to research how using your profile can benefit you and use that information to steer your activities.

For LinkedIn members, make sure you maximize your network. Connect with others. Ask for recommendations to build your online credibility. Join groups to keep up-to-date on the latest trends. Use LinkedIn to research and follow companies. In short, LinkedIn has much to offer so spend time with it and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities it can provide.

Create a Strategic Job Search Plan: Have you heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” These are wise words that apply to your job search as well.

Creating a strategic plan of your goals on a daily or weekly basis will go a long way in guiding your job search activities instead of a repeated “stab in the dark.” A job search that only includes online applications can be frustrating and uneventful. With a resume that is lost in cyberspace, you are forced to play the waiting game, hoping you will get a call back or request for an interview.

Instead, with a daily or weekly plan, you should identify which companies you need to research. Maybe you are looking for companies within a specific geographic area or within a specific industry. What is your plan for contacting those companies? Have you checked the job boards on the company’s website? Can you identify an internal contact to connect with?

At the same time, who are the people you plan on contacting? Have you identified recruiters? Or do you know anyone who works at the companies of interest? Or maybe it’s a third- or fourth-degree contact within the company. Do you have planned out how you will reach out (i.e. personally, through an email, or LinkedIn) and what you will say? Take time to plan out what you are going to say when you speak to your contacts, and draft out your emails so it emphasizes the value you offer for the type of position you are seeking. It’s much easier to answer questions if you’ve already taken time to draft out your responses. Also, don’t forget to follow up where needed and thank them at the end.

Overall, create and implement your plan. A strategic plan and direction can reduce your job search by weeks.

Adding the steps above, once your resume is complete, is critical not only to reducing your job search, but can add momentum, clear direction, and greater satisfaction in knowing you are conducting an active job search.