New to the Job Search. . .Again
We have focused much of our writing lately on college students who are on the verge of graduation. Well, recent graduate or not, most of us are new to the job market at some point in our lives so we can relate to the feeling of beginning a search when “new rules” apply. A significant percentage of our clients today are career changers who are doing many of the same assessments and exploratory exercise as college students. This is a tricky time for people who only know the path they have followed but desperately want to make a change. Anyone who has given a significant amount of time and energy to a field that is no longer giving back can be left feeling paralyzed when it comes to moving forward on a new path.
Much like the eager and overwhelmed young adults flooding the job market as soon as they’ve turned in their graduation gowns, not knowing where to begin is a real barrier that job seekers face. Relying on outdated practices can cost an otherwise qualified candidate a great opportunity. If this applies to you, here are some rules of thumb before you start uploading resumes to random job boards.
Hot Resumes – Make sure your resume and job search correspondence don’t follow the old trends. For instance, be absolutely certain you don’t have unnecessary content like that generic line about references being available upon request. Employers know that already. Modern formatting is clear, easy to pull out relevant content, and makes the reader’s job much easier. Resumes have become more about avoiding mistakes that will get you eliminated than they are about landing a job.
Network – We are forever saying that your network is your career insurance so grow it in a variety of ways. You don’t plan one singular crop in a garden. Some plants are heartier than others, so to speak. If everyone you know is in one primary industry (the one you are trying to leave), start cultivating a broader group. If your passion is gardening, to stick with the current example, become an active contributor to popular gardening blogs (or start one of your own). Find some local events related to community gardening on meetup.com or sign up for a course. Find clever ways to build a bridge between you and the people you want to be around.
Shiny New Skills – One barrier to starting a new search after being with one company for a while is “skill atropy.” Keep learning whether it be new software or a course related to your field of interest. It will do you good and add something fresh to your resume.
Volunteer – Just like college students who don’t have much content on their resumes to appear as an exact match for their dream jobs, they can volunteer at organizations related to their chosen path. The benefit of volunteering as a career changer is that you will likely have more transferrable skills, a larger network of people, and you can use your experience to be of greater assistance to a company that utilizes volunteers.
This is not meant to be a complete list, but some of the main points to consider at the beginning. To be successful on this journey takes some mental and financial preparation but, since it is really the new norm, people do find their way. And we are here to help.
To learn more about how Careerfolk can help with your job search, set up a consultation on our website and get some answers.