By: Carly-Anne Fairlie
The start of a new year always brings about change and growth. Maybe even your dream job.
Moving up in your career is a great way to move forward in your life. You may not think of January as a typical month to look for a new job, but you never know when the right opportunity will come up.
As a recruiter, I’ve seen a busy start to the year. It’s always a good idea to keep up-to-date with your network and check in with your recruiter. If you’re open to your next challenge, these tips can help you be successful in putting your best foot forward.
Custom-designed resumes from The Resume Baker
1. Give your resume a refresh. Update the format, make sure the information is current and run a spelling and grammar check. It’s a good idea to have a friend or colleague read through your resume as well, they might notice something you haven’t.
2. Save your resume with an easily identifiable name. YourNameResumeJan2015 – is the best. That way when a hiring manager needs to find it, they can do so easily and you know which one is the most current version. Seems simple enough, but I get a lot of attachments just titled “Resume”.
3. Have your contact info front and center. Literally at the top of your resume – so it’s easy for the hiring manager to find and include a link to your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio or website.
4. Do a review of your LinkedIn profile and portfolio and make sure they are up-to-date with your most recent projects or job. Take some time to optimize your profile, listing your skills, so you can be found in search results. Special Note ***When you’re updating LinkedIn you can change the notification settings first, so it doesn’t share that you’ve updated your profile to the rest of the network.
THE JOB SEARCH
5. Tailor your resume to each dream job. If they are asking for specific skills in the job description then make sure you have them on your resume.
6. Keep a list of jobs you’ve applied to. Include the name of the company, the job title, hiring manager or HR person’s name & contact info, a copy of the dream job description and a link to the company website. Keep it handy on your desktop or even saved in your smartphone. That way if you get a call about one of the roles when you’re out and about, you can take it right away and have some information handy to refresh your memory. If a recruiter or hiring manager is actively working on a role and you answer the phone, then it could give you a leg up on the competition. They’re spending the time talking to you and not moving on to the next candidate.
7. Follow-up. If you applied directly to a person, then follow up with your application, but do it respectfully. An email to follow up is the best bet as it’s not too intrusive and I’d wait 3-5 days after submitting before you do so. A lot of times, there are too many applications for HR or Recruiters to follow up on everyone, so you may not get a response, but sending a follow up for your dream job is definitely worth doing.
Pencil Cups by Beach Blues on etsy
8. Do your research. Whether you’re interviewing with a recruiter first or the HR / Hiring Manager of the company, know who you are meeting and research the company. Be aware of the company’s current press releases and recent news in the industry. It’s a good way to gain insight, will show you are doing your due diligence and can also prepare you for interview questions.
9. Strategize + Dress the Part. When you get a job interview, begin thinking of what you would do when you are in the role. Bring notes and an outline of your approach to show the hiring manager that you have done research, thought about what you would do in the role and present what you can bring to the table to achieve the goals.
Don’t forget to also dress the part. You would think this is a no-brainer, but it’s something to be reminded about. If you’re not sure how to dress, err on the side of professional. Better to be overdressed and the only person in a suit as opposed to looking like a kid out of school in front of a group of suits.
10. Ask good questions. Things like vacation and salary are important to know, but these are not the questions the interviewer is looking to hear from you. This is a chance for you to show that you are really interested in the role and learn more about the company, culture and opportunity. Questions like:
“How will you measure the success of this hire in the first 3, 6 and 12 months?”
“What common qualities do the people that are successful in this (role or company) posses?”
“What do you like best about working for the company?”
Try to prepare 5 questions and ask at least 3 in the interview.
Good luck on the dream job hunt! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to share below.
Carly-Anne Fairlie is a Recruitment Consultant with IQ Partners in Toronto, Canada. Her practice area lies in Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations with a focus on digital, social media, eCommerce and Search and she works on opportunities across the United States and Canada. She also writes a blog about life, love and adventures at carlyanne.com.