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Preparing For Your Search

There are a few things you should have ready as you prepare to look for a new job. 


Remember this is a journey, so take each item as one small goal and gradually move through them instead of looking at these tasks as one big “to do” list.

Know What You Are Looking For

It is not enough to say “I want a new job.”  Rather you need to have your goals in mind as you prepare for the search.  Knowing what you want in your next role will help you focus your efforts as you go through the search process.

  • What type of company do I want to work for?

  • What is the level I am seeking?

  • Do I want to manage a team or be an individual contributor?

  • What are my salary expectations?

  • Do I want to work in an office environment or remotely?


Goals for your next job may come in many forms, but it is important that you can articulate your goals in a simple and concise way so you can focus your search.


Resume Update

It may go without saying, but you need to have your resume updated.  There are countless resources on the internet dedicated to giving advice about how to write a resume.  We will not reinvent the wheel here, but here are a few of our tips for making a better resume.


  • Start with a table at the top of your resume listing key experiences and points of interest so the recruiter can quickly see how your experience is a good fit for the role. Remember the recruiter may be looking through hundreds of resumes and you need to make it easy for them to pick your resume out of the pile.


 💡 Pro Tip: If your past job titles do not adequately explain your role or level in your previous positions you can simply change your old titles to reflect your role more accurately.  You are not required to use a title simple because your old company called you an analyst or consultant.

  • Don’t just list your accomplishments on your resume, but explain how your work led to a positive outcome. Think of P.A.R. or:

  • What was the PROBLEM or situation?

  • What ACTION did you take as part of your job?

  • What was the positive outcome as a RESULT of your contribution?


  • Make a primary template of your resume and be prepared to edit your resume each time you submit an application, thus tailoring it to the job you are applying for.


 💡 Pro Tip: Title your resume with the job title (e.g., James Smith Risk Director Resume) so you and the recruiter know what resume goes to which job.


  • Focus more on recent experiences and jobs. Do not go too far in depth about a role you had 10 years ago, but focus on your recent experiences and how they apply to the role you want.


  • If you are earlier in your career, then you can take off your college jobs at the golf course or restaurant unless they apply to the role you are applying for.  If you are struggling to have one page of resume content that may mean you have an opportunity to take on more responsibility at work in your current role or in your community.


  • Get a few friends or colleagues to read your resume to see if you may have missed anything in editing.


  • Take your address off your resume. No one is sending correspondence to your home; an email address and phone number are sufficient.


  • Finally, make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are aligned on job history. They don’t need to mirror one another. LinkedIn should entice someone to learn more about you. The resume will provide greater detail that will confirm (either way) if you are a fit.

LinkedIn Update

LinkedIn is a wonderful tool to help you find a job while also helping potential employers find you. We have more information on using LinkedIn as part of your search here, but in preparation for the search remember to:


  • Make a detailed LinkedIn profile. Many people just list where they have worked on LinkedIn, but you should give at least some information on your job experiences so a potential employer or recruiter can find you.


  • Get a professional headshot. First impressions matter and a recruiter or hiring manager will almost certainly look you up on LinkedIn, so make sure your profile picture presents you in the best possible light.

  • LinkedIn also has backgrounds that look like a banner. Consider adding something that gives an indication or your interests or an image that says something about you.

  • Complete your LinkedIn profile with a statement about who you are as a professional and what types of jobs you are focused on in the “About” section.  

  • If you have any special skills, licenses, or certifications make sure to add them to the bottom of your profile.  This may help you stand out against someone with a similar background.


The main message here is that LinkedIn is a powerful tool and you want to use it to your advantage as much as possible.


Get Your Network Ready

One of your biggest assets when looking for a new job are your professional and personal networks. The old saying “it isn’t what you know, but who you know” is 100% true.

People by nature want to help others, and it is no different when you are looking for a new job.

The main thing to remember here is that you need to make it easy for people to help you on your journey.  Be able to easily explain the following:

  • The role type your are looking for

  • The industry you want to work in

  • The culture you want in your next company

  • The benefits (financially or others) that you are looking for

Don’t be shy about asking for help even if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable.


Soliciting advice, and being open to advice, is important and will likely highlight careers, sectors, or companies where new opportunities exist.

Now you are ready to Find An Open Job.


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