5 ways to get ahead in your job search – before you even start

If you were to jump ship at work tomorrow, how prepared would you be to start up your job search again? Here’s what to have ready — before the time comes.

Make sure your resume is updated

It’s so easy to sit back and let your resume gather dust in a file on your computer, but if you never look at it, you’ll never update it.

The process can take a while, so you might as well take some of your free time to add to it (and cut out things that no longer apply) before push really comes to shove. You won’t gain anything from waiting until the very last minute.

Check on your website

You might not look at your professional website multiple times a week, but as long as the pages are updated, that’s all that counts — you never know if potential recruiters and/or managers are looking at it.

So if you have a bunch of pages on your site, detailing things like your experience, portfolio and blog posts, make sure all the content is relevant to who you are now.

This also goes for any headshots you have on your website — you don’t want to look like you’re several years younger than you are currently, with much less experience.

Have a good relationship with your manager

You don’t want to be on your manager’s bad side, after all, you never know when you might need them to refer you for a future position.

So keep getting out of your comfort zone at work and staying clear about expectations — just like you would if you recently got a promotion.

This will make things that much easier when you have to look a for a new position.

Have other potential references ready

Make sure you stay in contact with potential references from previous positions. There’s almost nothing harder than rekindling relationships with people you used to work with long, long ago.

So instead of having to start all over again and hash your professional life out in a long email, stay in contact with your contacts periodically. They’ll also be more likely to remember you when new positions pop up if you don’t disappear into oblivion.

Keep an active network

This is part of having your potential references ready. But the other part is investing in yourself by attending networking events like conferences, workshops and happy hours — even if it’s been a while.

Hopefully, other people who you know in your industry will be there so you can catch up while meeting new people.