IT Employment

Five tips to help gear up for a job search

Maybe you know for sure you're about to get canned. Or maybe you're just bracing for a likely downsizing. Either way, it's smart to get the wheels in motion now for landing that next job.

if you suspect -- or you know for certain -- that your current job is in jeopardy, it's a good idea to get your job-search ducks in a row. Here are some tips to help you deal with an imminent layoff and the hunt for the next job.

Note: These tips are based on an entry in BNET's Business Hacks blog.

1: Don't be shy -- tell your social networks

Are you on LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Spread the word. Best case, your announcement will generate some freelance opportunities to tide you over or actual leads to a viable job offer. Worst case, you'll get some sympathy from friends and acquaintances. Heck, maybe I was wrong about social networks.

2: It's resume time

Think about three ways to pitch yourself and create a unique boilerplate resume that speaks to each of those visions of your next job. As you apply for specific positions, you'll have an easier time fine-tuning your resume if you base your response on one of those semi-customized templates.

3: Safeguard your online work

If you're a creative type, like a Web designer or a writer, capture your online work in a format that doesn't depend upon someone else's server. Make screenshots or PDFs of anything awesome you created for your job before they pull it offline or perhaps go bankrupt and go to the great 404 in the sky. You can make your best examples part of the portfolio you assemble for your next job search.

4: Ping your freelance clients

Let folks know that your shingle is out. I'm not talking about people you worked with last year. I'm talking about anyone you worked with or for in the last decade. Dig deep into your Sent mail and your archived PST folders.

5: Update your Web site

You probably haven't touched it in months or years, and now you've got both spare time and a reason for it to shine. Showcase your portfolio and highlight the work you're most proud of. Make sure it's in great shape to sell yourself to anyone who might happen to visit.

Bonus tip: Do something utterly indulgent

And be sure it costs money. After all, you might be losing your job, but a hurricane didn't just rob you of your every possession. Ideally, you want to do something that'll help you on your upcoming job hunt: Buy a new suit, get an iPhone or a snazzy new netbook. Get your hair done. But this last step is part morale booster, too, so it can be as irrelevant as a nice dinner or an Xbox. Remind yourself that the world hasn't ended.


10 comments
PharmRepConnect
PharmRepConnect

Nice article - sharp and to the point. I especially agree with the comments on the resume. I am a recruiter and career consultant. You would not believe some of the resumes I receive. Aside from a lot of obvious mistakes, the biggest problem I see is someone just listing their jobs and their responsibilities with no mention of their successes. A resume must be more than just a list of jobs. Tell the prospective employer why you are a rock star and why they should hire you. I specialize in pharmaceutical and medical sales jobs and the average posting online receives over 5000 resumes! You have got to stand out with your accomplishments. To learn more about how to get those accomplishments into your resume and land a job, check out my website at PharmRepConnect.com to get my free report. Hope this helps!

Thump21
Thump21

Do you really think posting to every social media corner possible that you're job hunting ... won't get back to your employer?! Expect your desk to be cleared-out when you arrive.

mba1jp
mba1jp

1 gotten all my transcripts and birth certificate. 2 made sure I had the cheapest cell plan. 3 gotten a cheaper broadband and landline plan. 4 bought CF bulbs for the entire house. 5 bought new tires and an oil change.

waltrutka
waltrutka

nothing to do with finger, it has to do with DAfinger ----------------------------------------------- after taking my x61 out of the cradle today i went to take some pictures of an old closed automotive plant here in middle class america and then stopped by the shelby library, i again was going to show off some of my code and then the dreaded ( since gina i think ) users private profile couldn't be found i tried several times to know avail, i couldn't get on my 3 year old ibm-lenovo x61 and windows 7 i came home and figured what the heck, lets see if i can get on with another user, and low and behold i could it even so kindley ( nothing secure about it ) let me back up the directory i was working on and am able to get out this email to you so now i figure microsoft uses 2 files per profile but heck i tried to enter my fingerprints into a profile with just a password and my fingerprints are intact and it won't let me what to think, its microsoft! sincerley waltrutka@yahoo.com yes i told wjr radio, back to taiwana mexico storey

gideonv
gideonv

Safeguard your (online) work - Hmmm, this might not be permitted, because if you create something in a company, it becomes their property....

RealGem
RealGem

Every job search site wants you to create a profile, and they all have different rules for how to define ids and passwords. You will likely need several variations on your favourite online "handle". Make a good list of your account names and passwords for each site that you visit. Guaranteed, you will need it. Also, have a standard cover letter that you can upload and then customize for each job that you apply for. Many sites want you to upload your resume once and reuse it, but they want unique cover letters.

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

Having the Cached Credentials fail when offline is annoying as heck. Usually the BIO fingerprint reader is a seperate program, however. So Windows isn't keeping 2 sets of profiles, it is only keeping one, and the IBM BIO program is keeping your fingerprints. Not sure how the interaction between the fingerprint reader and failed cached credentials would pan out.

mcbinder
mcbinder

write the complete works of Shakespeare? This is a preliminary draft.

chrisl4
chrisl4

Agreed that you can't take code from within the company but screen shots from public web sites would be okay. Granted it would be nicer to show more concrete examples of your work but you should be able to back up whatever you show with the knowledge needed to create it.

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