It’s no secret – after Thanksgiving, the hiring world gets pretty quiet. But until then, you still need to work your job search hard. Here’s some keys to keep your job search moving.
1. Check out jobs on LinkedIn
Have you done any searching through the LinkedIn Jobs yet? If so, are you only looking at the jobs posted on the paid portion of the website?
Most Groups have a Jobs section, and within that, recruiters can post their jobs for free – under the “Jobs Discussion” heading. Even if you don’t find a job you like there, you can see the profile of who posted the job. There’s nothing stopping you from connecting with those recruiters to get on their list of potential candidates for the next job they post.
2. Review your resume
You should look at your resume every 4 to 6 months just to make sure that it is conveying the right message. Perhaps the language can use some sprucing up, or the format could be more polished. At the very least, reading it again will remind you of what is on it – very helpful for when you are writing your next cover letter.
3. Review your Social Media settings and profiles
While we’re at it, when was the last time you gave your profile a good look? If your Summary reads something like “Results-oriented professional with 10 years experience of increasing efficiency in team environments,” it is time for something new.
Your profile – and especially your summary – need to be personable and written in a friendly tone. We connect with humans in social media, not resumes. Keep yours focused on that fact, while still showing off your best talents and attributes.
While you’re at it, make sure that any social media profile that is just for personal use has the right privacy settings on it. Sure, beer pong on Halloween while dressed as a Playboy bunny might have been fun, but you don’t want a recruiter to find that profile by accident. Especially if you’re a guy…
4. Review your voice mail greeting
When was the last time you listened to what you say on your voice mail? Recruiters have been known to bail on leaving messages that are less-than-professional.
5. Pick and research target companies
Picking a target employer is crucial at any time, but right now is when you want to pull out all the stops and create a comprehensive list. Who would you like to work for? Don’t worry if they are hiring right now or not, this list will turn into possible employers for a “hidden job market” employment search. Create a long list – just brainstorm freely. Even include the silly ones that come to mind.
Next, rank them in order of importance. Which ones top the list? The ones that you desire the most should be the ones to research first. Set a goal to research at least 5 potential employers every week. Learn as much as you can, not just where the “careers” page is, or what agencies they use. Think about current news, product lines, key executives or names for private employers.
As time progresses, keep working on the companies on your list. Every week you should be learning something new, exploring a new potential employer and eliminating the undesirables off the list. Getting rid of the bad choice is just as important as finding the lead.
If you’ve done a good job of creating a comprehensive list, this will keep your job search rolling through the long weeks of December when job postings are scarce – and give you a jump when things do appear.