7 Tips To Jump Start Your Job Search

How to Reposition Your Personal Brand For The Job Market

Whether you’ve been sitting on the job search sidelines, itching for a new job, or entering the workforce for the first time, looking for a job is tough work, especially if you’re an introvert. Unlike going to work with its set routine and built-in colleagues, job search is lonely business, even if you’re in an outplacement office.

Where do you start and how do you get yourself pumped up to face your computer and phone every morning when you’d like nothing better than to slip back to bed and commune with your eyelids.  To help you with your job search, here are seven steps to set your course.

  1. Create your personal plan. Look inward to decide what do you want to do with your life. Regardless of how old you are, what do you want to do over the next 5, 10, 15 years and beyond? Don’t stop at retirement. If you don’t set your goals and a related a plan, these’s a good chance that you won’t get there. Think beyond your job and career. Examine other aspects of your life such as relationships, family, spiritual, community, and hobbies and other interests. What are your priorities based on what’s most important to you? What tradeoffs are you willing to make?
  2. Analyze the market place. Where do you live and are you willing to relocate for a job? Many people don’t have the flexibility to change locations because of financial or family commitments. Assess the type of companies, pay and benefits where you want to work. Are you willing to work remotely?
  3. Position yourself. What makes you different from the other potential candidates from the perspective of the hiring manager? Another way to think of this is to consider how you’ll distinguish yourself from the pack. This involves developing your personal brand. (Not a marketer, here’s some tips to help you create your brand.)
  4. Update your skills. Learn how to use social media and the breadth of current business tools/devices. You must be reachable and active on the platforms and methods where prospective employers look. Otherwise, you’ll appear old, out of touch and out-dated.
  5. Engage on social media. Get out and participate on social media. (Here are seven social media job tips.) To this end, it’s useful to build your social media tribe. Find others to have a public conversation with in your areas of expertise. This engagement can help you connect with other people without the anxiety that comes from meeting potentially useful contacts face-to-face.
  6. Develop a job search plan. Set up a business plan as if you were working for yourself. To this end, figure out who’s in your target market and how to best connect with them. Based on your market research and your positioning, decide which jobs you’re going after and brainstorm what you need to get to each job’s individual hiring manager. How are you going to get networked in? Consider personal connections, social media contacts and direct mail.
  7. Promote yourself. While determining your goals and developing your personal brand are important and provide you with business activities, they’re not a job search by themselves. You need to make connections with people. Even more importantly—you must make it easy for others to help you. Don’t expect contacts to have time to talk or meet, since time is a scarce commodity. Instead make it easy for them to do something to help move your process along.

Getting a job is difficult. You have to keep putting yourself out there all the time. This can be tough, especially if you’re introverted. As with any major task the hardest step is the first one. Take small steps and reward yourself for getting your name out there.

Do you have any other job search tips that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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