It's hard to believe that we are well into February. The holidays are over, decorations are tucked away and many of us have already failed (maybe more than once) our New Year's resolution of getting back into shape. But what about the resolution of finding a new job? For many, this has been pushed to the back burner.
Maybe it's the cold weather (for us that are not lucky enough to live in a warm climate), the fact that the moon comes out earlier or maybe it's pure laziness. Maybe it's because we have absolutely no clue where to start the daunting job of looking for a job. Seeking employment; whether or not you are currently gainfully employed; is a job in itself but des not have to be daunting.
Make sure your resume is up to date. There is nothing worse than applying for a job that you really want that reflects your current job as one that you had years ago. Pay attention! You only have one time to make a first impression and this first impression is not you, but your resume. Make it stellar. Be sure to include a current phone number and email address, as well as your LinkedIn profile (if you don't have a LinkedIn profile, get one...fast). Be sure to list your current employer, as well as your duties. Don't be afraid to brag. If you developed a new sales territory, took an organization out of the red and consistently achieved monthly quotas, say so! HR managers and hiring executives love to see data and accomplishments.
Secondly, be sure to list your education; as well as any licenses you may have or training courses you participated in. Volunteer experience is key also. If you sit on a Board of Directors or walk dogs at the local humane society on the weekend be sure to include this; it shows stewardship that organizations are looking for.
Lastly, no need to list your references. If you want to include the phrase 'references available upon request' that is fine. Why spill your connections before even getting an interview?
Keep your resume to 2 pages at most. There is nothing worse than a hiring executive receiving a manuscript for a resume. Make it precise and to the point and be sure provide key achievements. Be sure to have several copies handy just in case you come across someone asking about your credentials. Remember this - a resume is not one size fits all. You may need to make several drafts and highlight different skills and accomplishments based on the job you are applying.
Looking for a job is; well, work. Be prepared. Be patient.