Trying to figure out where you fit into the hiring landscape may be difficult at times, particularly if you’ve taken a break for family reasons or you’re attempting to enter a new industry. Finding jobs that are tailored to blending your professional and personal lives can be a challenge.
Apply to positions for which you’re qualified; That may seem like a no-brainer when you’re casting a wide net of resumes that you hope will end up on the right hiring manager’s desk, but you’d be amazed at how many people see themselves in a professional role that they have no training, aptitude or experience in.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a new field if you’re tired of your own or aspire to a career level you haven’t yet reached. Take stock of the facts about a job before wasting time on a position that requires a higher academic degree than you have or demands far more work experience than you’ve accumulated. At the same time, don’t sell yourself short and apply for jobs for which you’re obviously overqualified.
Aim for jobs that fit your background
If it’s too difficult to gauge where you stand with jobs that have a title that you think fits you, but is well out of your league, talk to experts who have navigated the workplace. A staffing agency like Mom Corps specializes in finding flexible staffing opportunities, but they’re also aware of general hiring trends in different industries.
By combining both types of job search, you should be able to find just what you want – a new start that makes good use of the skills you have and won’t short-change your private life. Getting expert advice will cut down your job-hunting time considerably.
They’ll likely suggest an alternative you hadn’t considered such as taking temporary job assignments so you’ll gain exposure to a variety of workplaces. Especially for career changes, learning additional skills and working for different companies will appeal to hiring managers.
Find time for your job search
If you’re working full-time, it’s difficult to fit a job search into an already busy schedule. But most people have some down time, even if it’s your lunch break or an hour when you would normally read before going to bed. Be fully engaged in your job hunt and make it a priority.
Break down the job-hunting process into segments. Check job postings at the same time every day. Get several versions of your resume ready so they can be sent off at a moment’s notice. If you have a portfolio of writing samples, brochures, artwork or new product lines, keep them updated on a regular basis so you won’t have to go on a hunt for the latest entries. Have both digital and hard copies readily available.
Keep your profile current on social media and networking sites. Take every opportunity to create your personal brand that browsing hiring managers will remember. Write interesting summaries of new job experiences and skills and post them.
Work on a variety of cover letters, because if there’s a new cardinal rule about this important element of job-hunting, it’s to tailor your letter to the opportunity at hand. Do your research so you can write intelligently about ways that your qualifications dovetail perfectly with the position that’s available.
When you find an opening that really excites you, don’t delay your application. Get it out to a hiring manager as soon as possible. If you’ve gotten ahead enough on your resume, cover letter and portfolio so that only last minute edits are required, you should be able to respond quickly to the job postings that matter the most to you.