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Are you ready for your next job?

Last updated on: February 13, 2014 12:41 IST

Are you ready for your next job?


Deepak Lamba, president, Times Centre For Learning, stresses on the importance how resumes play an important part in finding a new opening, in the second part of the series on ‘How to find your NEXT job’

Read Part I, HERE and Part III, HERE.

Things to know before looking for your next job

The most critical thing to know before looking for a job is the motivation and the reasons for it.

The last thing you want is to blunder into a job search without a good idea of why you’re doing it and what you hope to accomplish.

Reflect and envision your dream job. Everything that is important to you should be put on a list and then prioritised in rank-order.

What are non-starters? What are essentials? What is the scope of your new role? Can you travel? Are you open to long commuting? Are you specific about work hours?

It can be difficult to stay true to yourself in the heat of the hunt, so this list will be essential later on, when you are considering a job opportunity, to be able to compare to your vision and priorities.

Analyse your skill sets and what exactly you want to do with it. This will help in qualifying and expanding areas of opportunity other than traditional ones.

One good way to do this is to maintain a log of all achievements, projects done successfully, personality traits, strengths, changes you led, decisions you made. Over time, it is difficult to recollect all the past work and accomplishments.

It is equally important to identify the stakeholders, that is, all the people close to you such as your spouse, children, relatives, close friends -- everyone who will get affected by this decision - and involve them in the decision.

Preparation while looking for a new job

Identify roles, companies and industry that you aspire for and make a wish list. Do research on each one and find out the key data points that are important to you (eg, industry, market size, revenue, number of employees, competitors, location).

Write down why the company is of interest to you. If you have questions about the company, write them down.

This list will be important when you begin to tell people about your search and ask for their help. It’s always easier to find a job when you know where you want to work. Start networking and connecting with people.

Lots of jobs do not get advertised. Expand your search through online social media networks -- there is always someone you know who knows someone who knows someone who is hiring.

Preparing the right kind of resume and cover letter is also a critical part of the preparation.

Resume-making requires brutal prioritisation. One has to carefully sit and analyse to ensure the right accomplishments and skills get portrayed. It will require serious thought and effort.

Take feedback and use professional help if required. The right resume is your foot in the door to the next opportunity. And it always helps to put your best foot forward.

Preparations once a job opportunity is found out

Do your research. Know as much as possible about the organisation’s services, products, customers, competition and the job. That will give you the edge in understanding and addressing the organisation’s needs.

Use social media to understand the company and the various people employed there. Follow relevant conversations and discussions to get an insight into the company’s culture and values.

Analyse if brushing up on certain skills or learning new skills is required.

If necessary, take training or classes to upgrade your skills. Prepare mentally to see how your skill sets will add value to the job role. This is good preparation for the interview.

Using social networks to find new jobs

Social media profiles are replacing traditional resumes. Ensure that your social media profile reflects the image you want to project.

Keep up with the chatter in the relevant industry or company you are targeting.

A lot of positions are not advertised and companies are using social media predominantly to hire.

Find referrals in your target companies through mutual connects, and friends. Most organisations rely considerably on internal employee referrals.

Connecting with people on social media is easy and fast and if effectively used, can be a great advantage to find a new job.

Part I: New job, new you?

Part III: 3 keys to a successful job search

Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/