December 11, 2020
After the Holidays, I Am Starting a Job Search. What’s Next?
by Mary Newgard
10 Things to Work Through Before You Apply & Interview for a New Job
1) My Resume Is Crap.
A lot of people feel this way. It’s hard to condense everything you know and have done to one page. There are plenty of good resume writing tools online. Google Docs and Indeed have free resume templates. For a small fee, Canva.com has a ‘Build My Resume” feature.
2) Where Is the Closest Dry Cleaner?
In other words, it’s time to dust off your suit. Many of us have been working in pants with all-elastic waistbands during COVID but at some point during the interview process most employers still want you to visit on-site.
3) Can They See My Cat in the Zoom Background?
During 2020 we all relied on Zoom, Skype or Facetime for professional and personal meetings. You can get away with a lot from the people who already know you. That’s not the case with a new HR or hiring contact. Test your connections. Make sure your backgrounds look neat, clean and simple. Be as far away from all the at-home distractions as possible for an uninterrupted & impressive interview performance.
4) What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?
Personal reflection is critical to a successful job search. You want things to change or you wouldn’t be at this tipping point. Have two or more versions of your resume written for the business sectors where you’ve applied. Ask family and friends to share their thoughts on your strengths and weaknesses. Pursue passion projects or new avenues knowing companies are hungry for talent.
5) I’ll Milk That Bonus for All It’s Worth.
The only drawback to changing jobs between January-March is your annual bonus payout. You should definitely stay with your current company until you receive that check. If a new employer wants you to start sooner, ask them for a signing bonus to cover the money you are leaving on the table.
6) Honey, It’s Time to Paint the House.
Start searching jobs online by zip code. Location is the #1 factor you have to consider before money, title and responsibilities. If there’s even a 5% chance you can relocate for the right job, apply for those jobs and begin preparing your personal affairs. That way if all comes together quickly, you don’t scramble at the last minute to make the move a reality.
7) If I’m Looking for A New Job Then So Are You.
A lot of couples have simultaneous job searches. The new year ushers in a desire for change & new resolutions. If you’re embarking a new journey so too will your partner. While employers can’t ask personal questions, if you choose to reveal extra details make sure to convey a sense of excitement and support from your family. The company will feel like you’re even more committed to the process.
8) It’s Time to See What I’m Really Worth.
Being money motivated is nothing to shy away from. A bunch of factors can lead you into a job search, but you only cross the finish line and accept a new job when the money is perfect. Salary.com, Glassdoor and a host of other websites calculate salary based on position, experience and city. It’s important to know what you’re worth in today’s job market before you interview.
9) Maybe the Solution Is Right Under My Nose.
The start of a new year means a lot of change for your current employer. They have a new budget. They will create new jobs and replace existing positions. Talk with your boss about career progression and opportunities he/she sees coming up. If there are none, it’s confirmation you need to move on to move up. If there are exciting jobs on the horizon, an internal promotion is always easier than an external job search.
10) Bribe People to Say Nice Things.
References push your qualifications over the edge. The end of the interview is marked by this request, “We’d like to contact some of your references.” You cannot delay the process by taking a week to get the pre-approved list. Talk with professional contacts before you start applying. As for permission to list them as a contact. Make sure you have at least one (preferably two or more) management level references. Find workarounds for situations where previous employers will only verify employment.