How to Reboot Your Job Search

5 Steps to Get Your Job Search on Track

Do you want to give your job search a reboot? This can also work for people who are considering changing jobs. Before you dive into marketing yourself, it’s critical to take time to (re)assess what you can offer prospective employers as well as what you want from a job. Without this self-knowledge, it’s difficult to find a job to which you’re suited and satisfied.

To that end, here are five steps designed to help you gather this information and feel better about what you bring to a job.

  1. Catalog your professional expertise. Throw out your old job titles. They look backwards at your career and you want to face forward. Go through your past jobs and translate what you did on each job into English so that you could explain it to a fifth grader. The objective is to strip away the company lingo surrounding what you did that obfuscates your true professional know how. Where possible, include the description of something that you’re proud of that’s related to each specific job skill. It’s even better if you can show that you improved the business. Don’t overlook your communications skills, both text and public speaking. These skills are in high demand, especially where social media is concerned.
  2. Determine your interpersonal skills. How well do you get along with other people? Are you a good manager? Do you excel at office politics or does the idea make you want to hide under your bed? While not all managers are good at the warm fuzzy aspect of their jobs, the goal is to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses to help you find new opportunities that match your long term desires.
  3. Assess your technical prowess. Are you up-to-date in terms of the latest technology and devices? The telltale sign of an older employee who’s behind the times is a person that’s unwilling to try new technologies and products. At a minimum, get onto major social media sites and test them out. (BTW, social media sites are great for networking!)
  4. Decide what type of work environment you like. While you ultimately may not have a choice about your workspace, it’s useful to consider what you ideally want.  To this end, assess your tolerance for working on your own from your home. Do you have private space in which to work? Do you have room for the related equipment including another phone line? Is the electricity sufficient? Are you self motivated enough to work on your own or do you need other people around to get you in work-mode? Can you travel? Are you willing to commute to work? If so, how long a commute?
  5. Determine skills gaps that need to be filled. Assess your skill list to see if there are areas where you need more training. Can you easily get training to get up to speed on the areas where you’re missing skills?

When you do these exercises, it’s helpful to take your computer or a pad of paper to a different environment. It can be the local coffee shop or the park. The idea is to physically move yourself to help clear your mind. If possible, put your phone on silence until you’re done.

After you’ve completed these exercises, give yourself a pat on the back for taking a step towards getting your job search on track.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? If so, what are they?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: A Moore Photography via Flickr

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