Finding a new position can be a daunting task and one that requires meticulous preparation in order to achieve not only the desired results but to build the foundation for a progressive career. Before starting a search it is worth determining your objectives and long-term goals to see what your “next step” should look like in order to achieve those goals; examine your current role and determining what aspects of the role you excel in can build upon. Do an honest appraisal of your skills and determine in you need to upgrade your skills to reach the next level. Enroll in courses that will lead you to the ultimate goal or ensure that you join a company which will provide you with the necessary career-path. Jumping thoughtless from one dead-end to another leads only to frustration and will not provide the building blocks upon which to build a career.
The next step in the process is to create a professional resume which will act as a template for your job search. Ideally a resume should highlight your objective; skills; chronological work experience, including accomplishments; education and professional development courses. This should all be capsulated in two pages, three at the very most. Utilize a clean format which is easy to read. Be sure to proofread thoroughly to catch grammar, spelling or typing errors – this is your “door opener” and it needs to be error free! Font and style need to be consistent – if you cut and paste use the Format Painter to maintain uniformity.
Once your core template is perfected it will need constant “tweaking”: Tailor it to each position you are applying for. Read the job requirements carefully and ensure that you highlight the skills and requirements that the employer is seeking; leave out irrelevant information. This is especially true for applicants who have a long work history and who have acquired many transferable skills emphasizes the skills that are most relevant to the position. In addition, be sure to change your objective to match the application at hand – careless mistakes are costly and can make the difference between getting the opportunity to interview or not. No point stating your objective as wanting to work with a Financial Institution when the role you are applying for is in the Manufacturing Sector!
When creating a cover letter be concise. Try and mirror the language in the posting, stating why you are a strong candidate by summarizing your skills relevant to the position; do no ramble and clutter the letter with irrelevant information. Close with a call to action and be sure to follow up on your application!