For many job seekers, the path to finding that perfect career can be riddled with discouragement, lack of focus, and even disappointment. Though it can be a lengthy process, it helps to have a plan that will proactively help you before you even send out a resume. Here are three ways to start:
Find out what you really want to do. Before you even start your job search, it’s a good idea to figure out what you want to do. Sure, you may have gotten a degree in advertising or engineering. Maybe you’ve even put in a few years in a profession that you thought you were happy with. However, things can always change and it may be in your best interest to do some “soul searching.” How can you figure it out?
- Write down all of your interests, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations and determine what type of a career path could fulfill them
- Pin down an industry and attend conferences, organizational meetings, meetups, etc., so that you can get a better feel of the particular field
- Read blogs by thought leaders or those you admire
- Research and visit organizations that align with your values
- Ask questions to those people who have a career path you’d like to emulate
The bottom line here is simple: figure out where your head is beforehand so you can cater your job search accordingly.
Check your online presence with MyWebCareer. Did you know that 89 percent of companies will use social media for recruiting this year? Additionally, employers rejected one out of three candidates based on something they found about them online. So, since it’s pretty much a given that you’re going to be researched online by a potential employer, your online presence needs to be on par with who you say you are. That means there shouldn’t be any questionable pictures, videos, blog posts or Twitter statuses out there.
How can you keep yourself in check? Use MyWebCareer, our free service that helps you discover, evaluate, and manage your online data, which may help your career prospects. With almost everything being traceable on the Internet these days, MyWebCareer makes it easy for users to see what their online reputation says about them. If you do find out that your image is less than stellar, you can fix your content beforehand, instead of risking lost job opportunities because of it.
Create a professional online brand. As with the previous point, having a solid, positive online reputation is vital in our tech-savvy world, particularly in the job hunt. Therefore, creating a solid professional online brand before you send out applications can be the difference between getting a second glance and getting thrown into the “no” pile.
Creating an online brand doesn’t have to be difficult. It just needs to be consistent; not only with the content you produce, but also with the message you want to give off. Consider doing one or more of the following: create a Twitter account, Google+ profile and/or LinkedIn page, create a blog and blog often, promote your industry, and connect with your audience and followers, ask questions to thought leaders through websites like Quora, and clean up your existing online presence. That way, should you be looked up, your image will be professional, show that you actually have an interest in your niche, and may also give an employer the extra nudge to give you a chance.
What else can job seekers do to proactively prepare themselves?