Sunday, December 14, 2014

5 Clever Ways To Upgrade Your Job Search

Searching for a job has significantly changed in just the past 5 years. Some of us remember when the only way to find out what jobs were available was to check the classifieds section of the local newspaper. Sites like Monster, Indeed, Simply Hired, and The Ladders all provide great leads, but LinkedIn proved to be the game changer by providing a social aspect to the job search. Prior to 2003 when LinkedIn launched, who knew that it would have been possible to virtually network while looking for job prospects at the same time? If you are a job seeker, one of the most important things you can do is create an effective profile, and that goes well beyond LinkedIn.

When thinking about how to improve your job search, you may conjure up an image of a huge, complicated process that can drain your time and energy to find the perfect solution. Not so. Developing a personalized formula can make the simple things significant when blended in a way that takes the ordinary to the next level. This is not as difficult as you might think, it just takes starting small and being consistent. 

Looking to upgrade your job search?

Begin by assessing how you can change your game to redefine your process. With technology and a little creativity, you can create your own formula for getting recruiters to call back. Here are suggestions to seed you with ideas for finding your next opportunity: 
1) Stand Up Your Own Website or Blog 
Illustrate who you are by creating content and posting on your own site. Uniquely designing your resume, blogging about a topic of interest, creating videos, sharing your photography portfolio, etc. all allow you to showcase your talent in a way that is tangible and more impactful than trying to sell yourself in a cover letter alone.
2) Create a Network of Recruiters  
Fast track your resume by sharing that you are available for offers with a network of recruiters. The challenge recruiters have is finding the right person, for the right job, with the right skills, at the right time. Help them help you by making it easy to be found, documenting your resume in a way that makes your skills (including transferable skills) and experience easily accessible. Connect on LinkedIn, at job fairs, through colleagues, etc. The best time to create your network is when you are not pressed for a job. 
Showcasing your personality on video can be a risky option but may also pay off big. Hiring managers are looking for talent who not only have the expertise to do the job, but also the visible aspects that will mesh well with the team and culture. Have you ever been told you were not a fit? This has a lot to do with personality, which is very important in getting work done and accomplishing goals. If you feel you have a great personality and will meld in any culture, then a video resume can give you an edge over others by advertising what a great hire you are. Check out these steps for how to create a video resume.
4) Showcase Your Skills on Udemy 
Take your skills to the next level by teaching a course online. Udemy is fast becoming one of the largest online learning centers that gives you the ability to develop your brand in a new way by using their platform and your expertise. You can offer your services for free or a set a price to share your knowledge. Gain credibility from your students through course ratings and evaluations. Once your course is available, use it on your resume to market yourself in your chosen subject.

5) Engage Your Network 
Eliminate the hassle of looking for business cards by connecting via LinkedIn at an event.  Once your invite is accepted, send a personalized "thank you" message and leave an open invitation for coffee, lunch, or even a "coffee call" if not local. Whether you are immediately taken up on your offer or not, you have set the stage for a response and a possible new business relationship.

Important: Don't forget to be authentic in every transaction and think about how you can reciprocate any help you are given. The goal is to find an opportunity, not come across as opportunistic.
Creating an effective job search strategy includes honing your brand AND your approach to landing the role you desire. Upgrade your job search by showcasing your capabilities outside of the standard documented resume. Engage others by making impactful changes to the way you communicate who you are. Your willingness to make small changes may culminate into something big, or innovative, that is rewarding and perfect for you.

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LinkedIn: Stacey Rivers 
Twitter: @staceyrivers13