A Checklist For Getting Serious About Your Job Search

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The job market is showing some small signs of improvement. While this is a good thing for those who are looking for a job or are out of work, it is also a good time for people who have been feeling stuck in their jobs to start looking around at other options.
If you are just starting your job search, there are a few things that you should do to make sure that you are in the best position possible to score the job you really want. Even though the job market is looking up, it is still ultra-competitive and standing out will mean making sure you do everything right.
So, here is a checklist of some of the things you should think about before getting serious about your job search:


  • Your resume – Make sure that you go through your resume word-for-word and be certain that it is up-to-date and shows your skills off to the best of your ability. These days, it is common for job seekers to tailor their resume to the type of job they are looking for or to the company they want to work with.


  • Social networking – With the rise of social networking, it is crucial that you have a presence on social networking sites like Linkedin and Twitter. Participating in conversation with others in your industry and connecting with recruiters is a great way to get job leads.


  • References – You should look at the people you know and start thinking about who you could ask to provide you with a reference. Be sure that you contact these people and ask them if they are willing to give you a good reference. If they seem at all hesitant, consider skipping them. You don't want put someone in the position of giving you a less than stellar reference.


  • Cover letters – The suggested cover letter should be about 3 paragraphs long and be able to fit on one page. Each cover letter should be written for the job you are applying for. Employers can spot a form letter easily, and they aren't impressed.


  • Wardrobe – Take a look at your closet and see if there are areas where you could use some updating. If you are planning a job search, you want to look your best for your interviews and even for the new job. Taking greater interest in your professional image can also make you happier and more successful at your current job.


  • Background checks – Most companies these days do background checks and they also do web searches to find out more about their applicants. It is a good idea to search for information about yourself just to see what is out there. You may find that there are many things you need to clean up before your web presence is “employer-friendly”.


  • Following-up – After sending in your resume and especially after an interview, it is important to follow up with a thank you note, email or phone call. If you are serious about your job search and have a little bit of money to invest, you may want to buy or order nice stationery or thank-you cards to have on hand. This way, you can easily send them out and they will make a great impression.
Finding a new job in a competitive job market isn't impossible. It just means that you have to go the extra mile in order to stand out from the rest of the applicants. If you already have a job and are thinking about making a change, you have the luxury of being able to take the time to get prepared.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for EducationJobSiteBlog, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.

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