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Well, here we are a year into the pandemic, and unfortunately no end in sight! While it has been a tough time for all, my heart especially goes out to those who have lost their jobs during this difficult time. So I’ve created a quick checklist for those of you who may be struggling, wondering why you haven’t found anything yet, or just want to be sure you are on the right track.  This checklist can also be used for those who may want to take the opportunity to pivot to something new.  After all, I think it’s been made pretty obvious lately that life is too short to waste doing something you don’t love!

The good news is that there are jobs out there, the key is to optimize all you do so that you stand out from the crowd. First of all, you will want to figure out what has been working and what has not and then asked yourself what are you afraid of doing or trying? Who can help you with your job search? Do you have a viable career plan and are you following it?

Here are 10 quick things you can do to answer those questions and to make sure you put your best foot forward:

  1. List your passions and check to see if you are pursuing them
  • Are you happy in your current career path/profession?
  • What do you really want for your work & personal life?
  • Is this a time to pivot to something else?
  • What’s been holding you back?
  1. Itemize your value
  • What are your core values?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • Who are you as a professional?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What skills or attributes do you have that you can offer the world?
  • What problem can you solve for the company you want to work for?
  • How can you deliver value to your employer right away? Because of the pandemic, they may not have a lot of time to get you up and running
  1. Clarify the industry, company & job you want to work in
  • Do you want to stay in the same industry or try something new?
  • What are your top 5 job opportunities/prospects?
  • What are the top 5-10 dream companies you might want to work for?
  • What are the non-negotiable things this job/company has to have, nice to have?
  • What research do you need to do to be considered a viable candidate?
  1. Update your resume so it tells your story well
  • Have you created a personal branding statement?
  • Do you customize each job description you go for?
  • Do you list your accomplishments in $$, %’s or some sort of numeric form?
  • Is the resume clean, simple with lots of white space?
  • Have you included keywords from the job description so it will get through the applicant tracking systems ok?
  1. Optimize your cover letter to highlight your best strengths
  • Have you researched how you would best serve the new organization?
  • Is it customized to each new job you apply for?
  • Why are you excited to work for that company and how can you build a connection with them through this letter?
  1. Check that your LinkedIn profile will represent you well to recruiters & hiring managers
  • Does it showcase your brand & tell a story to potential hiring managers?
  • Does it have the keywords of the job descriptions you are looking at?
  • Do you have enough contacts for effective networking on LinkedIn?
  1. Create a networking plan
  • Are you proactively reaching out to your dream list of companies & following them?
  • Are you asking potential hirers for informational interviews?
  • Are you reaching out to friends & colleagues to let them know of your career search & asking for help?
  • Do you have a plan for ongoing communication with the people that can help you?
  1. Create an interview plan
  • Are you preparing for your interviews now, while you still have lots of time?
  • Do you understand your personality style and how it interacts with others?
  • Do you have 6-8 strong stories to tell that highlight the characteristics the job description is asking for?
  • Is the job a good fit for you and your strengths?
  • Are you comfortable on zoom and in a virtual interview?
  • Are you practiced and ready to speak to a panel?
  1. Look for an accountability partner, friend or coach to keep you on task
  • Do you have a plan to keep you moving forward?
  • Do you have someone to help you make progress on your plan?
  • Have you laid out daily or weekly tasks to ensure progress is made?
  1. Make time for self-care during the job search
  • How can you keep yourself motivated during this job search?
  • Who can help you when you get discouraged?
  • Do you have a way to bounce back if you get rejected?

A job search is like a job in itself but try and keep in mind that all those nos just bring you that much closer to a ‘yes’, and it’s usually the one you’ve wanted all along!

If you want to drill down on any of the above topics, please email kathy@kpcoaching.com for support

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