One of the last things you want to do over the summer is add something to your to-do list, especially a job search. But if it’s weighing on your mind, do these two simple things to get started and feel like you’re on your way to the next great thing.
1. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
Focus on your headline (maximum 120 characters), summary (maximum 2,000 characters), list of skills, and recommendations. Do not simply type your job title into the headline! This is your opportunity to exhibit your strengths and accomplishments. If you’ve won awards, you can be an “Award-winning marketing manager,” and then add a dash or marker to separate a few key skills like “corporate communications” or “healthcare.”
Get personal with your summary. What motivated you to get into your field, or how did you fall into it in the first place? Were there activities you participated in when young who have shaped the skills you use today, such as leadership or communication? Combine the professional and personal.
Update your list of skills. Look at key words and phrases from your current job description or those of interest to you and use the terms that align with your background. Don’t forget technical and language skills.
Ask for a few recommendations from current or former colleagues. You can do this right through LinkedIn, and often writing one for another person inspires them to return the favor. You can give them an idea of the skills you’d like them to focus on when writing it.
2. NARROW YOUR TARGETS
Use this time to think about companies, organizations, or industries in which you are interested. This is a lot easier than starting with searches by job titles which are not standard and vary greatly between companies. This will also help you focus your resume and cover letters when the time comes.
Sign up for talent communities online to receive job listing updates from the companies you want to target. Try to connect with people there and build relationships - either through contacts you already have (or 2nd degree LinkedIn connections) or alumni groups.