Whether you are looking for your first job or just looking to shift your career path, searching for a new job can be a daunting task. There are so many things to take care of and it seems like you always run out of time before you can do any of them. It’s easy to rush into applying for new jobs, but there’s a few things you should do before hitting that ‘Apply Now’ button on your dream job.

Follow these 4 steps to get ready for the first step in your new career.


1. Update Your Resumé

Duh. This one should be the most obvious one on the list, but it’s still worth mentioning since not all resumes are created equally. Your resume should serve as a snapshot of what you have to offer a business at this time which means you need to add some new things to it. What have you learned in the last 12 months that helps you better understand your job, your industry, or business in general? When a hiring manager looks at your resume, they should see that deeper understanding that you have gained by showing any new degrees/certifications you have received and any skills or experience you have picked up.

However, just throwing all your new information on a piece of paper isn’t enough. Your resume should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. Take a close look at the description of the job you’re applying for and take note of the words/themes the company is using. Matching the tone and look of the company (yes, what your resume looks like matters too) helps build direct associations between your skills and the company’s needs.


2. Update Your Social Media

Unfortunately, it’s no longer just about what’s on your resume as a job seeker. Employers want to know who you are and what you’re like before they decide to pursue you further, and yes that does mean they will be Googling you. If you have an online presence, keep in mind that 54% of employers say they have found content on a potential employee’s social media that caused them not to hire a candidate.

Your social media is likely going to be the first impression that recruiters and hiring managers have of you, so it’s probably time to let go of those Spring Break 2015 pictures. Those South Padre Island memories will live on, but you want your first impression to present a fun AND professional image. To make sure your online presence is job-search ready, check the following:

  1. Linkedin
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Instagram
  5. Other public profiles


3. Reach Out To Your References in Advance

Before you start sending out applications, have your list of references ready to give the recruiter or hiring manager when they ask. List at least 4-6 people who know you, your skills, and your work ethic to speak with your potential employer. Be sure to document their phone number, email address, job title, and company on your list. You should also be able to concisely explain how their knowledge of you contributes to the employer’s need to understand your fit within the role.

Most importantly, let them know that you have listed them as a reference, what company will be contacting them, and the position you’re applying for. This ensures that they have time to prepare and tell the hiring manager about how you would be a great fit for the position.


4. Set a Designated Time For Applying

Set aside time during the week for applying to jobs. During your job search, you are going to have other responsibilities like work for your current job or family matters that always seem to come up at just the wrong time which can make it very difficult to fill out those applications. Setting aside a specific time allows you to plan around all those distractions and really focus on putting your best food forward for the company you are considering sending an application to.

You should also take advantage of the skills and personality assessments that are usually included with job applications. Theses assessments help determine whether the company and position fit who you are. Don’t be discouraged if the fit isn’t right, because you have saved time by taking the assessment and finding out early instead of drudging your way through the application process only to find that the company wasn’t right for you.


Now that you’re prepared for the search, are you ready to find your dream job? Start your career search today!