When you’re on a mission to find a job you spend a lot of time feeling like you have no control over your own life. You find the ad, you submit your CV… and then you wait, leaving your future entirely in the hands of someone else, usually a stranger. For someone who likes to take control of a situation and have direction, it’s torture to feel like you can’t do anything more. The good news: You can.
Don’t Stop When You Click ‘Send’
What I’ve learnt – the hard way – is that trying to find a job is an ongoing process that requires your input every step of the way. Your role isn’t over once you’ve customised your CV or clicked ‘submit’. What you do next is probably the most important – but also most overlooked – part of the average job search strategy.
Build Your Personal Brand
The application you submit is only a tiny part of the package you’re trying to sell. In my view, the overall package is a personal branding strategy – and it reaches beyond simply trying to find a job. It’s a continuous process that includes many factors, from how others perceive your interactions with them to what you’re putting out on social media.
Prep Your Referees
An easy example: When you include people as references on your CV, prepare them for potential contact from the employer. Provide information about the job requirements and remind them of the key projects you worked on together/while reporting to them. This will ensure they are prepared to respond to questions about your performance, strengths, project delivery and suitability for the target job.
Be Specific About LinkedIn Endorsements
Similarly, when you solicit LinkedIn recommendations, give the person an outline of what you’d like them to highlight. You may have worked on multiple tasks together, so choose the skills most aligned with the picture you’re building as you work to find a job. When you request LinkedIn skills endorsements, it may be helpful to direct the person to specific skills applicable to the work you were involved in together. Try to highlight skills that are in line with your goals.
Start With The End In Mind
This really has been my mantra during the time I’ve spent building my brand. Why? Because it puts meaning and strategy behind everything I do. Think about how you want to position yourself, the types of jobs or projects that fit into your goals, imagine the picture you’d like to form at the end, and build it piece by piece.