Updated: Sep 8, 2019
Let’s be honest, Iooking for a job is a full-time job. There’s nothing worse than being fed up and frustrated with your current job to start searching for a new one. When looking for a new role, you need a strategy. I decided to write this blog because when you're happy in your career, it spills over to your personal life. Plus, I'm the go-to person amongst my family and friends for writing resumes and searching for jobs. Within the last 3 years it's expanded outside my personal network so I had to share some tips.
What is your criteria?
I recently started a new job at the end of July and I was very intentional with this search. I knew flexibility, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration were on the top of my list. My criteria has changed drastically since losing my mom. It used to be about the bottom line but now it's about a peace of mind. I simply don't need that extra stress in my life. My mental health is non-negotiable.
Before I start applying for jobs I write down my criteria including:
Company mission and values
It's okay to be picky about where you spend majority of your day at least 5 times a week. Let’s put it out in the universe what you are seeking. For example, I’m seeking a new job as an INSERT JOB TITLE, earning INSERT PAY, that allows me to grow professionally where I can utilize my knowledge with a team of forward-thinking collaborators in a respectful environment. Make this a habit of putting out in the universe what you are seeking because you get what you ask for.
Send me the latest copy of your resume ASAP!
We’ve all received an email from a recruiter or a text from a friend requesting your resume ASAP. Now you’re in panic mode because you haven’t updated it in years. I dreaded updating my resume because I didn't know how to articulate my success early in my career. Today, I write resumes frequently but it took practice.
How to build your resume
You should be updating your resume or portfolio on a quarterly basis. Depending on the nature of your business, monthly may be an option too. That accolade you received for outstanding performance in January, it goes on your resume. You exceeded your goal for February by 12%, list that on your resume. These are accomplishments.
One trick I use all the time is to Google the job title I’m seeking and read the job description. The job description is full of key words that should be incorporated in your resume. Plus, the description will list the job responsibilities and you can use those to help write your accomplishments. Many times we just don't know the correct words to use on our resume. This will help a lot.
Another trick I use is to go on Indeed.com and search for actual resumes. You can search by the job title and city. This allows you to see other candidates skill set and experience. The hardest career transition was leaving entertainment marketing for digital marketing. My skills weren't as transferable as I thought in 2011. I knew why I wasn't getting any recruiters to call me once I saw the other candidates' resumes posted online. I wasn't showcasing my talent and was selling myself short.
Verbs such as created, streamlined, generated, developed, managed, trained, analyzed, and launched are great action words to have on your resume to show your accomplishments.
There is no one size fits all resume. If you're using one resume to apply for all your jobs, let's stop now. Personalization is key. You'll have to tweak your resume to ensure it's tailored to that specific job. If you're still including an objective on your resume, delete it immediately. That needs to be replaced with a professional overview of your experience and what you have to offer the organization. Also, remove your full address. The city and state will suffice. Remember your resume will be posted on job boards and people don't need access to your personal information.
Get instant access to your resume
Start saving your resume on Dropbox or Google Drive for instant access. You may not be close to your laptop and its super easy to use. Be sure to download the apps too.
LinkedIn is your friend
Some people don't like LinkedIn but recruiters do. They sit online and search for candidates by using key words. My advice is to use your headline to state what you offer. Many people just use their current job title but it's beneficial to state your expertise.
LinkedIn is a great tool to find hiring managers at companies you want to work at. Plus, reach out to someone in a similar role as you and ask for insights. I've done this numerous times and have eliminated companies from my list after hearing internal feedback. You don't have to be on there daily but it's good to have your profile updated.
Go where everyone doesn't know your name
Now that you've built your resume, it's time to put it out there. Yes, you have to get uncomfortable if you want different results. When was the last time you went to a networking event or meet-up and didn’t know anyone? When was the last time you entered an online forum, answered a question, and didn’t know the person asking? Many times, we want something different doing the same thing. You can apply to jobs all day but you'll need to get out and meet people. You never know who you might meet.
In April, I was attending a conference in Chicago, sat at the bar to grab dinner, and ended up talking to the VP of HR for a company. I had no idea who she was but I was being interviewed the entire time. It all started with a casual conversation about what I ordered off the menu.
Where can I go to stay informed?
Ladies Get Paid is an awesome group. I stumbled across this last year and joined the Atlanta chapter. This is a very diverse group of women in different fields. It was the best decision I made because I’ve been able to meet other people who aren’t like me.
Marketing and Communications Women of Atlanta (M&C) is a fantastic group for my Atlanta marketers who are seeking advice, jobs, tools, and insight. This is truly a community of marketers that are supportive, honest, and forward thinking. This is where I found my career coach. I recommend searching Facebook for career groups in your field too.
The Career Oasis is owned by the talented career coach Nicole Amos. I met her in 2017 in M&C by responding to her question asking was anyone seeking career advice. She was offering 30-minute sessions either on the phone or over coffee. Our session helped me land my previous role and we’ve been in touch ever since. You never know what can happen when you speak up and ask for help.
TED TALK is where you want to be if you’re looking for that spark. With a vast amount of topics and speakers, you are sure to find something that fills your cup. I have been listening to TED TALK’s for years and it’s a weekly habit now to see what is new. One of my favorites is with Brene Brown on vunerabilty.
Elpha is a daily feed of member-generated conversations on personal and professional topics, all through the female lens. It’s for women that work in tech or hope to in the future.
1. Start with a job criteria list before you start applying for jobs.
2. Update your resume on a monthly or quarterly basis depending on the nature of your job.
3. Use Indeed.com and Google to help you build the resume content.
4. Download Dropbox or Google Drive to your phone for instant access to your resume.
5. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated.
6. Attend networking event and actually network.
7. Always keep a job description of your current role. Go back and review it and add in your accomplishments.
8. Join an online professional organization and become active.
9. Find a mentor. You need it.
10. If you're in need of a resume template, I'll send you mine. All you have to do is drop a note in the comments below. Yep, it's that simple.
Let's stay connected
Yes, I work in corporate America. I’m a part of cubicle nation and have dreams beyond my 9-5. I’m a Marketing Product Manager for a software company in Atlanta. I believe in self-promotion because you're the only one who can articulate your worth. Connect with me on LinkedIn as I'm always looking to develop new relationships.