Yes, I know. Belong is all about female creatives and entrepreneurs so why am I talked about job searching?
Just because you have a “dream job” doesn’t mean that creatives and entrepreneurs don’t have “day jobs” or other careers that either fund it or allow them the flexibility to work on it.
Whatever the case may be, I’ve discovered first hand some very important tasks, tips and tricks that you might find helpful if you find yourself in search of a job. (And these are from the girl who is still in search of a position! I’ll keep updating as the process continues!)
1 / TAKE A DEEP BREATH
In through your nose; out through your mouth. Repeat.
Whether you quit or you were let go, it probably doesn’t feel good. You will find you go through the stages of grief which include anger, depression and despair.
So take a deep breath. Because you’re going to make it through this.
2 / GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
I truly believe that looking for a job is a full-time job itself. However, if you manage your time well, you should be able to make a little time for yourself. I recommend doing something that is totally unrelated to your job/job search such as reading a novel (Nicolas Sparks anyone?), going for a long walk or binge watching Gilmore Girls.
You need to be sure that you take a step back every once in a while and do something that’s just for you.
3 / GET ON LINKED IN
This may show my age, but I had no idea the power of LinkedIn until recently. If you aren’t, get on the platform and get active. Here are my tips on how to make the most of this unique social media site:
Is your profile, including your picture, current and professional?
Does your headline have your previous job listed? Make it something catchy and creative!
Stay in your lane. As creatives and entrepreneurs, we often have two personalities—our “day job” and our “dream job”. Be sure that your profile appropriately reflects the type of job you’re searching for.
Make sure that you’ve clicked “ON" so that recruiters know your looking.
Fill it out as fully as you can!
Post (repost) articles, quotes and other resources that are in line with your career path.
Take time to comment on others’ posts.
Be sure you’re following organizations that you’re interested in working for so that their updates post to your feed and you can “like” and “comment” on them.
THIS IS NOT A PLACE TO POST POLITICAL OR CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS.
Take time to go through your connections to endorse their skills as appropriate.
Make sure you focus on 12 or so skills for yourself that directly relate to the job you’re seeking. Too many just muddies the waters.
If you are inclined, write a recommendation for some of your favorite co-workers, supervisors or associates. Or ask if them do to the same for you!
If you decide to subscribe to LinkedIn Premium, you’ll have the opportunity to access some tools such as messaging. If you don’t have the emails of some important contacts (sometimes they are on your work account and are lost when you are no longer employed), you can still send a message through the platform.
Did you know that 80% of jobs obtained are not jobs that are posted? That means you need to get busy networking!
Request exploratory calls with companies you are interested in working with if they don’t have positions available currently. You just never know!
THE MORE ACTIVE YOU ARE ON LINKEDIN, THE MORE VISIBLE YOU ARE.
4 / RESUME YOUR RESUMÉ
You may have to dust it off a bit, or if you’re like me, you may have to create one, but it’s time to get your resume in order. I recommend having a job coach or someone knowledgeable about such things read over your draft for you before you publish and distribute.
Also keep in mind that you will want to tweak the document for each job you’re applying for. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.
HERE IS A TIP YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS: Many times, resumés are run through a scanning software that searches for keywords to find the best matches for the position. In order to be sure your resumé is seen, there is a trick…. copy the job description of the job your applying for, paste it somewhere on your resumé, reduce the font (make it 1 or 2) and change the color to white. Now all the keywords are there and will be detected even if you don’t have them as part of your formal resumé.
5 / APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
This is a hard thing for many of us, but if you find yourself without a job, there is no reason why you shouldn’t IMMEDIATELY apply for your unemployment benefit. Any little bit of cash coming in will help, right? And when I say do it right away, I mean RIGHT AWAY. There is a waiting period for some states, so even if you think you’ll find something quickly, you’ll want to get the process started JUST IN CASE.
By no means is this a comprehensive list. In fact, there are so many things that I’ve learned along the way that I can’t keep them all straight.
Don’t despair! The right job is out there.