Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

The 8 Basic Steps You Need to Nail in Your Job Search Part 1

If you’ve recently started looking for a job after years out of practice, you’re probably having that “uh oh” moment where you don’t quite remember where—or how—to begin.

It’s OK, we’ve all been there. So, to help you get over that “I’m feeling so overwhelmed” state, I’m going to refresh your memory on all the basics: from tailoring your resume to writing a cover letter to the terrifying feat of actually applying for a job.

After I’ve covered it all, the job search will quickly turn transform from something scary to something you can totally handle. Trust me, we’ve got your back.

1. Customize Your Resume for Each Job

If you’ve been out of college for a while and your resume still lists your first internships, you’re probably better off creating one from scratch. Once it’s up to speed, you’re going to want to tailor it, quantify your bullet points, and cut it down to one page. And yes, you will have to go through this process for each new position you find. Mostly because the hiring manager’s only giving you six seconds—unless you give him or her a reason to stick around longer.

Oh, and that objective statement has to go. (Unless you’re changing careers, in which case, check out the summary statement.)

2. Customize Your Cover Letter, Too

For starters, this means you need to address it to a person. (And no, that person’s never named, “To Whom it May Concern.”) And that it should open and close with attention-grabbing lines.

Here’s the easiest template to get you going. And a gentle reminder that yes, these really do still matter.

3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile—and Then Actually Use It

LinkedIn is your new favorite form of social media when it comes to finding a job. You probably have a profile, but now you want to craft a great summary that sums up who you are, your professional experiences, and your future ambitions. You also want to personalize your headline, connect with people you know (and don’t know, but admire), and even attach some of your own work, such as published articles, ads, or press releases.

And yes, you can even make it stand out more with an eye-catching background photo.

After all your materials are in order, you now have the opportunity to chat with fellow LinkedIn members. When reaching out to a stranger, personalize your message while keeping it short and to the point. And remember, even though you’re on the internet, you still need to keep it professional.

4. Get Your Online Presence in Order

As soon as a hiring manager looks at your resume, he or she immediately Googles you (OK, maybe not immediately, but if he or she’s interested, it will happen at some point). Which means that everything on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest is instantly a part of your application.

So how do you manage your social media for career success? Step one is making sure that all public platforms are professional. That doesn’t mean you only share the latest from Forbes. But it does mean there’s nothing (nothing!) that could be interpreted badly. When in doubt, change your settings and make them private.

Read Part 2

Author: Alyse Kalish

Excerpted from: