Starting a job search can feel overwhelming — it can feel easy to throw up your hands not knowing where to start. These are 5 easy things to do immediately to help you best position yourself to an employer and start that job.
“Networking” might seem like it’s not for you and not for right now. It’s one of those ideas that you might think doesn’t apply to you, but it’s for everybody. Essentially, networking can be as simple as reaching out and reconnecting with old friends, former coworkers and managers, asking how they are, and telling them what you’re up to. That simple act helps you by having people keep you at top of mind when they hear of an open job that interests you.
Now is a great time to learn something new, something that can end up putting you ahead of another candidate in your search. Learning a new language, for example (or improving your English if that’s your second language) with the help of a free app can be a big help for landing a job and making you more valuable in the job market. You can also learn new skills with the app Libby, which lets you download and listen to library books on a wide range of topics for free. Organizations like EdX also offer select free digital courses like Resume, Networking, and Interview skills.
Wondering what skills might be helpful in the eyes of a new employer? How about using this time to reach out to former managers and ask? Reconnect with bosses as far back as you like, anyone you can contact and have positive associations with. Use this time to check in, tell them you’re looking, and maybe even see if they have time to write you a short recommendation.
Social media is everywhere — and here to stay. What you post on social media stays around forever, too. Employers can track down your profiles, so keep an eye on the content you choose to post and what you write. Use this time to Google yourself and take a look at how you appear on social media. Are you venting about work, sharing confidential information, or pictured with beers and looking less than the way you’d like to appear? Take down pictures or ask friends to remove or untag posts that don’t make you proud. It’s like giving your profile a polish.
The job search (especially in times like these) can be stressful. This time can also be good for picking up a new way to manage stress. Think about something that appeals to you, maybe something you thought of trying but didn’t have time for before. It could be daily prayer. Or a walking routine. Or even meditation if you’ve ever been curious about it. If you’re Instagram familiar, @broganartofmeditation offers free meditation on Mondays and Thursdays. You may find a new approach to keeping calm that proves useful when you’re looking for your next job — and when you’re back at work too.