Yes! There is such a thing! Just like there is a best time to buy cars, houses, phone plans etc. Hiring season is the time when job offers increase significantly, when companies know they can and should increase their work force for one reason or another. The season is mid September to late October as well as mid January to late February. This is the time when companies generally increase their capacity to meet demand or because they get their annual budget among other reasons. So what can you do to get ready for the job hunt? I’ll tell you. As a chronic job seeker and a person who is always looking for the next best position, I have learned a few things that can make you stand out as a candidate. So I’ll share them with you over the next few posts to get you prepared for the hunt. Here’s what you need to do to get ready.
- Update your Resume- This is key, a major key in getting you to the interview stage. Updating your resume ideally is something you do at the end of every project when your roles, responsibilities and contributions to the company vis a vis this project are still fresh in your mind. But updating it before submitting it anywhere is absolutely crucial.
- Create atleast 2-3 versions of your cover letter- This is also very important. Have one cover letter per industry. Creating a cover letter doesn’t need to be as difficult and tedious as it sounds. Once you’ve created one well written cover letter, its a matter of tweaking a few sentences to include key words from the job description of the position you want to get hired for to make it relevant.
- Update your Linkedin profile- If you don’t have one, get one. You need a job board profile and Linkedin is one of the more effective ones in terms of finding jobs and showcasing your experience. If you do have one, take some time to comb through your profile and tweak/edit. A LinkedIn profile is like a live resume that’s available to your connections. Make sure it represents you well. Get people to endorse you, change your profile pic to something professional and attractive, update your contact info and add a few recruiters while you’re at it. Don’t contact them. Just add them.
- Inform your References that hiring season is upon us!- You need to give these people a heads up! No, actually you need to ask for their consent first. Either way, get in touch with the people that provide the most glowing opinions of your professional prowess and inform them that you would like to make them your reference. You generally don’t need more than 3 but start with a list of 5. If one or two of your top 3 references can’t do it, move down on your list and keep asking. And remember, when in the business of selling yourself, no always means “Not right now”. So don’t burn your bridges with the people that refused to refer you.
- Salary Prep- You, and your worth cannot be quantified by a dollar amount. You are priceless and shouldn’t determine your self worth based on your salary. But you should definitely find out what your skills and expertise are worth on the market and for the companies that you are sending your resumes to. Once you have decided the kind of jobs you want to apply for and the industry you want to work in, research the average salary of the position based on your location, years of expertise etc. Now research means finding more than one source of information to verify your finding. So don’t just go on glassdoor, look up your salary and call it a day.Actually do your homework. This could mean gaining or losing thousands of dollars. THOUSANDS!