by Heather Huhman
The job search can be draining, especially when none of your leads come to fruition. So draining, in fact, that you may feel like you lack the fuel to continue your search. But, instead of halting your job search entirely, consider taking smaller steps toward achieving your end-goal of landing a great job.
After all, small steps can lead to big changes. As Robert Collier once said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
To help you regain your confidence and inch yourself closer toward landing your dream job, here are small wins that you can achieve every day this week to boost your hireability:
Monday: Do your homework.
Just as you expect hiring managers to study your resume before the interview takes place, hiring managers expect you to do your homework on the company and the job at hand.
Know what role the position plays in contributing to the company’s mission and vision (which you should also know). Find out what makes their brand different from the competition. Research the organization’s latest wins so that you can reference them during the interview.
In short, know your stuff.
Start your week off by researching the companies on your wishlist. Knowing where a company has been, where it’s going, and how you can help will not only impress hiring managers, but also give you a better idea if the job and organization are a good fit.
Tuesday: Revamp your resume.
Some things on your resume will stay the same no matter what job you’re applying for, like your education, past work experience, and contact information, for instance. But, with 61 percent of employers wanting a resume that is customized for their open position, according to recent research by CareerBuilder, it’s crucial that you tailor your resume to fit the job you’re applying for.
That can be as simple as highlighting certain skills or accomplishments that are in line with the company’s job description. So, make the most of your Tuesday by customizing your resume to fit each job you’re planning to apply for.
Wednesday: Reconnect with old connections.
There’s no telling which employers will ask for professional references, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and reconnect with anyone who can vouch for various skills and capabilities. Before beginning your job search, reach out to past co-workers, managers, professors — anyone you feel will have something valuable (and positive) to say about you to potential employers.
Set aside some time to reconnect with these people via email or a professional social network, like LinkedIn. Let them know that you’re planning to begin your search and ask if it’d be OK to list them as a reference — they’ll appreciate the heads up.
Thursday: Research networking opportunities.
Don’t rely solely on job boards and social media to discover the latest jobs within your industry, as some jobs don’t ever make it online. Sometimes the best way to discover new job opportunities — especially those that aren’t advertised — is through networking events.
Take some time out of your Thursday to research upcoming industry events and networking opportunities for the week or month and mark them on your calendar. These can easily be found on local industry-related websites, professional associations or organizations’ web pages, or social media.
This takes all of fifteen minutes and can help you form new professional relationships, learn about upcoming job opportunities, as well as give you a great opportunity to practice speaking about your background and skills.
Friday: Clean up your online presence.
Before pressing “pause” on your job search for the weekend, spend some time cleaning up your social media profiles. Considering nearly half (48 percent) of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, you can’t afford to let your social media profiles get messy.
So, what social media content turned employers off the most according to the survey?
- Provocative or inappropriate photos (46 percent)
- Information about candidate drinking or using drugs (40 percent)
- Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employe (34 percent)
- Poor communication skills (30 percent)
- Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. (29 percent)
Saturday: Go shopping.
A Saturday spent shopping sounds a lot more appealing than a Saturday spent job searching. But this shopping trip is designed to help boost your hireability by preparing you for networking events and job interviews (let’s hope for a lot of the latter).
To help you look the part, stock your closet with outfits that are appropriate for the line of work you’re interested in. Keep in mind that interview outfits should always be slightly nicer than your everyday office wear. When it comes to the job interview, professional garb will work in your favor.
Sunday: Set your goals for the week.
Start your week off on the right foot by setting aside some time on Sunday evening to set your job search goals for the week. Stick to the “small steps” method outlined in this post and strive to get something small done each day to bring you closer to landing the job of your dreams.
Creating a list of job search “to-dos” will encourage you to stick to those goals, as well as help mentally prepare you for the week ahead.