Quitting or being let go from a job is tough, and finding a new job is usually a hard and daunting task, quite intimidating and frustrating for most. The biggest challenge is being prepared, most of us fail to prepare in advance, and this leads to many mistakes and frustrations because we are in a rushed and panic state.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
To help prepare you for a job change (“which could happen at any time”), we have put together a list of things to do and have ready.
Always have a professional CV ready
Don’t only whip it out when you are in desperate need of it, you need to review it at least twice a year and regularly update your achievements and add new skills acquired. When you see the progress you have made over the months and years, you will gain the confidence to know that you are not a prisoner at your current job.
Review your CV
Get a professional to review your CV early enough don’t wait till you need to apply for a new job, as you risk sending a document with mistakes, bad grammar, and design. A poorly compiled CV is not ideal in this competitive environment, you need to have a professional and ATS optimised CV to get through the loopholes of finding a job.
Search for yourself on Google or Bing and any other search engine to see what appears then, fix or remove what not professional and appropriate. Don’t expose your unprofessional side to potential employers and recruiters this could set you back in your job hunt. Clean and update your social and digital profiles, updated your skills, qualifications, and experience. Show the world a more professional side to yourself.
Setup your LinkedIn profile
Unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn is more career-focused, allowing you to create a professional profile that can help with your online reputation. The thing with LinkedIn is you don’t want to start maintaining it only when you need a job, this can delay your next opportunity.
Connect and network with colleagues and thought leaders in your industry. Make a habit of regularly sharing information and endorsing those you know, respect, or agree with, this will help you in your journey of building a strong career brand because they will endorse you back.
You can connect with recruiters and head-hunters via email or LinkedIn and let them know that you are available for new opportunities. You cannot sit back and think that the universe is going to notify them of your availability, you need to take the necessary steps.
Alert your references
Contact your references and tell them beforehand that you are in the job market and will be using them as a reference, so they can expect a call or two. This will help a lot because you don’t want a bad reference.
Shortlist companies you like
Create a “target list” and apply directly to those companies, or find recruiters that work with them. Don’t randomly apply for just any job, you will be setting yourself up for a nightmare.
Apply for jobs you are qualified for
Many people waste their efforts and energy on positions they are not qualified for and due to ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), most of these efforts go unnoticed. So, don’t waste your time applying for jobs you are over or underqualified for, it’s just a waste of your valuable time.
Prepare for interviews
Research the company you are seeing, dig deep into the job description, and find ways you can help improve and innovate within the role and company. Attentively listen to the panel, and ask the right questions.
Remember to always be ready for change. The job marketplace is no longer a sure thing, companies close or retrench all the time, so don’t get caught in a tough and unexpected situation, always be prepared and flexible, this will give you the freedom of knowing that you are in control of your job situation.
“Control your own destiny or someone else will.“