People are often stuck in jobs that are not their dream job. I get my fair share of calls from people I know wanting to make a change. I do what I can to offer some tips and in some cases, have been able to connect them with people in my network who end up hiring them. Some of the tips come from my coaching program for outplacement and in transition clients.
Getting Your Job Search Started
Look at your LinkedIn (LI) profile. Is it complete? Does it give a clear picture of your work history, education, professional development and volunteer activities? Do you need to expand it and add to it? Have you described your awesome experience and your accomplishments from past positions?
Post a professional looking photo. Look at your picture with a critical eye. What’s in the background? Does it give the right impression? Ask a senior colleague for their opinion.
Ask people who worked with you and know you well, to provide comments or testimonials of your work. Ask for your direct supervisors, colleagues, and co-workers to add testimonials. Don’t ask people who don’t know you well or weren’t directly involved with your work. It will put them in an awkward position of having to say “No,” or worse, ignoring your request. If they haven’t worked directly with you it would be difficult providing the testimonial you require.
Do some research. Search and look at other LI profiles of people in roles you would like. Sign up for some of the groups that people in the career you aspire to secure, have joined. Search on LI for all those people you know and have worked with and send them an invite to connect.
Look at the job postings and see who you know in the industry and start connecting that way. If a job is posted at XYZ company, you can do a quick search to see if any of your connections have contact with someone in that company.
If you see someone who might be able to help you and they you aren’t connected with them, look them up and call them. If you send them a LinkedIn request, tell them why you are asking to connect. Do not send them a invitation asking to connect because you are in the same “group” when, in fact, you are looking for help finding a job. People appreciate honesty and they will help you if they can. If they don’t accept your invitation they wouldn’t be much help anyway. Do not send them an invite that states you are a friend when you haven’t even met. That is just plain irritating.
Many people advocate that you put a catchy statement that you are looking for a position in your “headline.” Take a look at what others are doing on LI and let people know how they can reach you.
Make sure that people in your network know that you are looking for work. All your past colleagues, supervisors, favourite customers, suppliers, friends, and relatives will want to help you find a job. I received a lovely message from a former colleague who was looking for a job. He sent a very well written email to everyone telling us what he’s been up to, the credentials he had added to his professional development, and what type of job he was looking for. And he ended by asking us to be on the lookout for him. That was very helpful. People can and will assist you with your job search if they know you are looking AND what you are looking for.
Then there is Twitter - but that’s another blog.
I hope these few tips will help you get started. Good luck.
Best regards, Joanne Royce
P.S. If you are a company and need outplacement services, contact us. We can help your departing employees with our coaching program – Getting your Job Search Started. Here’s what one former outplacement client had to say after completing the program (part of a 2-page thank you letter) .
“Thank you so very, very much, Joanne. Your course, your genuine friendly helpfulness, and your ability to improve my resume, LinkedIn profile, and interview performance, without a doubt gave me the confidence and self assurance I needed for a successful career search.”
Photo Source: SXC - Szorstki