Most people enter the job search in two modes: proactive or reactive. If you’re a proactive job seeker, you’ve kept consistent updates to your resume and LinkedIn profile just in case opportunities arise. You’ve also mastered and refined your elevator pitch over time.
If you’re a reactive job seeker, you’ve been forced into a job search by way of recent turnover or an upcoming layoff. Being a reactive job seeker adds an enormous amount of stress and uncertainty, including pressure to land a job right away. In this article, I want to shift your mindset to always be prepared just in case.
1. Learn the industry trends
Before you begin firing off your resume, be sure to research specific industry trends. Understand and know the companies that are hiring and the ones that are in the news. How are they impacting the industry you’re in? Are they developing a new system or process that’s going to change the future of the industry?
By knowing the trends of your relevant industry (example: healthcare technology, finance, banking), you’ll learn who the movers and shakers are. It enables you to carve out a job search list to research these companies and build rapport with them by following along and engaging in their content. It will also keep you updated and knowledgeable on the trends for future conversations.
2. Update your resume and enhance your digital presence
Your job search begins with your resume and online presence. It’s time to update both and make sure they are reflective of your achievements and career results. Review targeted job postings and make sure that your experience aligns with the job qualifications and requirements. Examine the patterns in keywords used in the job postings and ensure those are in your resume. Be sure to know what someone sees online when they Google you. Make sure your digital channels are also current and consistent with your resume – that means job titles, company names, and dates of employment align.
3. Take a new course to increase your knowledge and skills
In a recession, the market is even more competitive so that means your skills must be up to par. With companies and universities offering free online courses and certificate programs, take advantage of it. These are great resume boosters. They also form a compelling proposition for you to leverage them in an interview — you are thriving and focusing on improving your skills and knowledge instead of binge-watching new documentaries on Netflix. Many of these certificate programs also offer opportunities to access robust alumni networks at colleges, which is another key win to build your network.
4. Craft your elevator pitch
Craft your elevator pitch around your unique value proposition so that you can increase your marketability. Think about the 30-second introduction to your career novel: what makes you unique or different? What are you most known for in your industry or work? What problems do you solve for your clients or customers? Part of your pitch should include how you manage and navigate through uncertain times and tumultuous financial situations. Remember, you want to show your value during periods of growth, change, and uncertainty.
5. Prepare for virtual interviews
Landing an interview is always exciting, but make sure you’re adequately prepared for a virtual interview as they are still ongoing. That means having the proper digital setup: correct lighting, good camera positioning, an appropriate background, and a quiet environment. Practice your interview skills on camera with a friend or family member on the other end. This will enable you to get comfortable in the virtual and digital settings.
The tips I’ve outlined above are strategies that have worked for my clients, over and over again. The key is to always be prepared and always be thinking ahead.