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Re-Starting Your Job Search…10 Buttons To Push

This post is about the importance of doing a job search refresh.

job search refresh

Well, here I am. As promised. Back to follow-up on that last post. If you missed it, find the link below:

7 Reasons To Press “Re-Start” On Your Job Search

In that post, I shared a few reasons why you might need to consider a job search refresh or re-start. If you didn’t already do so, would you consider adding your thoughts via a comment on that post?


Now, if you know me at all, you know that I normally like to keep things as simple as possible. Because advice in smaller chunks is more likely to be followed than something overly complex. Not always easy, though.

In fact, here’s a warning. This is kind of a long post. If you don’t have the time today, you may want to bookmark it and come back later.

The good news?  You might be glad to hear that I won’t suggest a full job search refresh. A dumping of all you’ve done so far would be silly, right? As I said in the prior post, perhaps some of it can be re-purposed or re-directed.


So instead of a complete job search refresh, I’ve identified 10 buttons to push. 10 places to tweak. Think of it as an update. Your job search 2.0 including critical updates.

Here they are: 10 buttons to push for a job search refresh.

Hold and release as necessary.

1. Your Public Profile

Of course you know that impressions happen quickly. And while what goes on the internet stays (relatively) forever on Google, you can control what people learn about you in certain places. Your public profile on LinkedIn, for example, is a highly controllable medium for your personal branding message. See the post above from Alison Doyle.

Have you taken the time to write a nice, crisp summary of the value you can bring to a new company?  Have you requested and published helpful recommendations?  So that people who find your profile have your word and those who know you well?  Neal Schaffer (@WindmillNet) and @Animal just went through a bunch of LinkedIn profile reviews on a recent radio show.  It is not hard to get someone to review your LinkedIn profile.  Get yours reviewed and improved.  And make sure you include a picture.

2. The Breadth And Depth Of Your Network

If you feel in need of a job search refresh, there’s no better start than in your networking strategy.  Since your job (or a lead for one) will likely be found in a networking room somewhere, you are wise to look for new ways to expand your network and deepen the relationships within it.  Of course I have a tool to help you with that.  It’s called Plateworks™. It’s a simple way to evaluate and identify new places to network. Especially with people you already know. You just aren’t talking with them.

If you like this idea, you can find this tool and many others on the career downloads. You can also “clean up” your network. Some people seemed like they’d be pretty helpful in the beginning. But you now know they aren’t really able or willing to help. So, maybe it’s time to move on.

3. Your Job Search Objectives

In order for your network to help you, it needs to have tangible information about you. About what you are looking for in your next great role. Vague information like “stable, growth environment” helps no one.  It includes a number of key pieces of information. Including your target title, function, geography, and (very important) your target companies. That last link will really help you if (1) you don’t have a formal job search objective or (2) yours stinks. And some do.

4. Your Watchlyst™

I’m not sure how many people out there are actively using the Watchlyst for sharing job leads. It might be only the 15-20 people who told me they are using it. Or maybe millions are quietly helping others (and themselves). How cool would that be? I called it the #1 networking tool during hard times. I called it this because helping others takes the focus off yourself and onto those in your network. It feels really good to help others. And guess what happens when you do that. They are inspired to think about you as well. When jobs come up. This includes recruiters who you actively work to support. Who else can you add to your “lyst”?  And who can come off?

5. Your Resume and Cover Letter

As much as I’d like to tell that the traditional resume is dead, it’s not.  For now, it remains a fixture in the job search and hiring world.  Of course, the smart companies are reading about you well in advance of your interview.  And know all they need to know via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the like.  But most interviewing companies are still relying on the resumes to tell the story.  And on you to explain the details of your career.

So until someone blows a big whistle telling us it is safe to come out, take a fresh look at your resume and cover letter.  How does its presentation of you compare to your online brand?  Two different people?  Are you clearly identifying your value?  Do you have a strong positioning statement?  Are you identifying your strengths and accomplishments in a relevant and measurable way?

How about a new version of your SoloSheet™ (networking biography) and Flashcard™ (networking business card)?

6. Your Social Media Activity

Are you participating in the online world today?  Are you on Twitter?  Facebook?  LinkedIn?  Yes, there are others, but your focus here will cover the large majority of the opportunity out there.  If you are, what are you doing?  If you are still wondering what you could do on Twitter to support a job search (a great post by Jacob Share) or how you can use it to support your general networking strategy, we need to talk.  But read those posts first, OK?

What is your social networking strategy? The more you use social media sites to actively and authentically communicate with new people, the better off you will be.  And this is true whether you are looking for work today or tomorrow.  More important?  It is a lot of fun to adventure out, meet new friends and create a place for yourself in the world.  So it’s not just about being there.  It’s how you get there that matters to us.

7. Your Psychology

As you may have guessed (for you regular readers), I think that your psychology during job search (the link between mind and behavior) is critical.  And as each of these posts are written, I am constantly looking for ways to sneak in a reference.  It’s that important.  Everything you do during job search is influenced by your confidence level when you did it.

And if you are going to do a job search refresh for 2010, you need to be and feel your best.  So let’s rewind a year or two.  Five if we have to go back that far.  To a time when you were on top of the world.  Feeling unstoppable in your career.  You are still that person.  You need to remember your great moments and realize that more are on the way.  Really.

8. Your Interview Preparation and Interview Strategy

After all the hard work you put in to get an interview, do you have the ability to perform?  Is this a job search refresh area for you?  Do you need some new ideas? Here’s a few tips on acing the phone interview.  Print this one out and read it 30 minutes before your next phone interview as a reminder.  If you don’t have a good method for preparing for an in-person interview or if you struggle during the first 5 minutes, you can read these posts for a new way to have the right impact on the big day.

9. Your Weekly Goals

One way to do a job search refresh is to create a new accountability tool for yourself.  This one is really simple.  Each week, set five key objectives for your search.  They can relate to building your network, to helping others, to identifying new target companies, etc.  But create them.  And then stick to them.  And remind yourself that they are there.  Finally, consider forming an accountability team.  Folks in your network that will help keep you on track.  You can do the same for them.  Every Friday afternoon.  Over a cup of coffee.

10. Your Relationship With Recruiters

While recruiters represent a small % of the jobs out there, they have an incredible amount of knowledge about the market.  About companies.  So it makes sense to take advantage of those opportunities.  To make sure that recruiters know you are available.  In case there is a match.  If you feel consistently ignored by recruiters, don’t worry.  You are not alone.

Of course there is a lot of confusion out there as to how smart job seekers should network with recruiters.  In fact, there is a chasm between job seekers and the recruiting industry.  But recruiters are like the rest of us.  They are trying to grow their business.  If you add value to their day, you will be remembered for that.  If you take up more time than you should and don’t give back, you’ll be remembered for that too.

So there you have it. 10 buttons to push for a job search refresh.

And if you aren’t completely wiped out after reading this post, I would love to get your comments! 

In what areas do you need a job search refresh? And how can I help?

Thanks Guilherme Elyseo for the photo via Flickr.

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Finding New Job

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