In the current climate, there’s never been a better time to secure a good job, which means that this is a great opportunity to get into the job market. That doesn’t make it a walk in the park though. You’ll still need to take the time to set yourself up for success if you want a shot at the best jobs available. Here are a few tips to set yourself up for success when in the market for a new job.
Now this may seem obvious but be sure to keep your resume looking polished. If you suddenly find yourself in need of a new job, it’s easy to quickly throw together a rushed resume and make simple spelling or grammatical errors. These can cost you dearly on the job hunt. Not to mention, those smaller achievements like courses or developmental opportunities can be easy to forget, but they are just as valuable to prospective employers.
They may not seem as essential as primary work experience, but they can tip the scale in your favor if you are in direct competition with another would-be employee. Be sure to keep an eye out for new job postings regularly - waiting until you’re desperate for something else will put you in a weaker position when it comes to negotiating salary. It’s far more preferable to be in a position where you can make a choice, rather than taking anything that falls into your lap. You can even turn on notifications for various work advertising sites to keep up to date.
In the same vein, be sure to consider furthering your skill set or education in a relevant field. It might not feel like the most important item on the to-do list but remaining static in your knowledge can be a death to a career. No matter what age you are, the money you invest in your education will bring a big ROI when you enter the job market. If you’re worried about money, there are companies out there that offer private student loans to help cover the fees and the living costs you’ll endure. When it does come time to search for a new job, it will serve you well to be able to show that you’ve got some continuing skill development under your belt. Not to mention, some outside education will stop you from feeling stuck and scared if you ever do feel like you need a change; it’s confidence building.
It’s easy to take networking for granted, since it’s a given if you’re already working in your target industry. But if you’re trying to break into a new industry, it’s going to be all the more important to make good connections with the people you hope to work with, including those who may be working for competitor companies. That’s not to suggest using your connections to bag a job you’re not ready for, but a personal recommendation can be a powerful tool for your arsenal. Sometimes, it may even be as simple as hearing about a job opening you may otherwise have missed. When life gets busy, it can be easy to forget to pay attention to online postings, so having a friend in the loop is a plus.
Don’t be afraid to discuss normal pay ranges for your area of expertise. Aside from knowing what you’re worth, knowing how to negotiate a salary is a skill it’s good to learn. It can be nerve-wracking but knowing the industry standard will help you to feel more confident about asking for those bigger numbers. You might be able to get access to some information online, but you also have a legally protected right to discuss your wages with co-workers. Knowledge is power and knowing the money you’re entitled to will give you a leg up on the job market.
Know the value of your experience and be confident about it. Even a good employer may try to downplay the importance of the skills you bring to the company, to keep you from moving on or requesting a salary raise. Stay on top of ways to optimize workplace performance and be sure to keep an accurate record of your achievements and learn to trust your own judgment. Don’t lose confidence in your own experience.