12 Steps to Kick-Start Your Job Search

 Are you ready to look for a new job?

I talk to so many of you who haven't looked for a new job in a long time. You're not sure where to start. 

I compare it to re-entering the dating world after being married for years. Where do you start? What are the latest strategies? It can all be overwhelming.

I notice most people dive into 3 main steps: they update their resume, copy the changes to LinkedIn and being applying online.

Most people commonly miss (or avoid) most, if not all, of the other 9 steps that can be key to finding their dream job.

Here's your checklist of 12 steps to kick-start your job search and differentiate yourself from the crowd:

🔲 Clean up your thinking. This is key. Check in with yourself each day on what you're thinking. Are you feeling discouraged? Angry at your current/former employer? Unmotivated? Feeling unqualified?

If you are harboring resentment over your last position, boss, and/or company, it will cloud your job search process.

In this step, work to replace the limiting thoughts with thoughts that are more productive for you going forward. I'm not suggesting to brush over the real concerns and replace with positive thinking.

What I am saying is to dig into all the thoughts that are holding you back from showing up as your most confident self. Then, work on each one, to find for yourself where that thought isn't true and/or isn't serving you and replace it with a thought that does.

For example, thinking thoughts like these will just hold you back. And, even though they may feel true, I'm guessing if we looked deeper into it, you could find evidence to the contrary:

  • I don't have the right experience.
  • I don't have the right connections.
  • I don't have enough references.
  • The market seems saturated with more qualified job-seekers.
  • I'm not good at job searches.

You can replace these thoughts with:

  • My experience is so deep, I know I can add value.
  • I am excited to reconnect with the connections I have and build new connections.
  • I have exactly the references I need.
  • I am qualified and excited to demonstrate how.
  • I know my dream job is out there.
  • I'm improving every day in my job search.

What are your limiting thoughts and how can you shift them, in a way that's believable to you?

🔲 Network. Most job-seekers don’t want to network. It can be intimidating and uncomfortable. Networking can be your fastest path to your true dream job, and also a competitive advantage over all those job seekers who are hiding behind their computer.

Find creative ways to network both locally and online. And, then take daily action to network at least once.

🔲 Define your ideal job(s). “Begin with the end in mind” as Stephen Covey advises. Brainstorm to figure out exactly what you do and don’t want in your next job. What type of company do you want to work for, what type of culture will it have, what type of manager do you want, what type of job responsibilities do you want? What don’t you want?

Answer all the questions to design your dream job. Then, figure out is this one job, or maybe it’s 2 or 3 different roles that you would all be fulfilling for you.

Write out job descriptions for each of these positions, so you know exactly what you’re targeting.

Find the companies that do this kind of work.

Search your LinkedIn connections for people who work at those companies, or for people who know people who do. Then, set up informational interviews to learn more about how to be effective in the roles you've identified.

🔲 Create a targeted list of companies for which you want to work. Make a detailed list of companies that you want to work for and follow them on social media.

Favorite their job posting web page. Check back at least once a week to see what jobs they have added.

🔲 Reach out to recruiters. Interview with recruiters to find 1-2 that are a great fit for you, both in personality and in the types of clients they serve. You want to build a relationship with these recruiters so that you are top of mind when they are submitting candidates to new positions that pop up.

🔲 Mine your LinkedIn network to find 1st or 2nd connections who work at your target companies.

Fold this list back into your networking plan.

Network into these companies by reaching out to your LinkedIn connections who either work there or are connected to someone who works there. Just ask for a connection call. Ask a lot of questions, including:

  • What type of person is successful in this organization?
  • How does the hiring process work there - is it HR-led or hiring manager-led?
  • What's the best way to identify new job postings at the company?
  • What type of person isn't successful in this organization?
  • What do they love about working there?
  • What do they wish they could change, if they could change anything?

🔲 Clean up your online presence. Go through your social media accounts (all of them) from a potential employer’s lens. Delete the posts that don’t align with your personal brand.

🔲 Brainstorm all of your accomplishments to date. Create a running list of all your accomplishments, big and small. This will serve as a source for your resume and also as a way to prep for your interviews.

🔲 Prepare your resume. Build out a resume for each of the ideal jobs you identified in the step above. TIP: Include as many numbers as possible, to show your quantifiable results.

🔲 Update your LinkedIn profile. Stand out from the crowd by shifting your LinkedIn profile from an online resume to a description of how you will add value in your role. Seek out 10 quality recommendations to add to your profile.

🔲 Create a daily routine. Create a routine for yourself, to build and maintain your momentum on networking and job applications.  Schedule your routine into your calendar so you make sure it happens every day. It’s common to get discouraged in this process, and to let it slow your progress. Don’t let that happen. Make a daily checklist for yourself and stick to it.

🔲 Get a coach. A career coach can help you accelerate your job search by giving you unbiased advice on how to best position yourself and help you uncover the hidden mindsets that are sabotaging your results.

Is It Time For A New Job?

Should you find a new job or stay where you are? 

Take the "Should I Find a New Job Quiz".

You'll get ✅ an answer that might surprise you, ✅ customized advice tailored to your responses and ✅ next steps based on your results.

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