Here are some specific ideas to move you further ahead in your job search:
Ask yourself, how your responses to these questions will hold up in a job interview, be sure to prepare a concise response.
- During this pandemic, what evidence can you show that you have researched, read specific books, articles, webinars, meetings, etc. that are directly related to improving your skills to compete?
- What are you doing to learn about and effectively participate and compete on the rapidly evolving world of digital and remote work?
- What goals, ideas, timelines, possible career tracks have you documented and researched to determine if you are a viable candidate in these roles you’ve targeted?
- What does your job search plan, spreadsheet of contacts, targeted companies and phone calls per day reveal about your commitment, time management, work ethic and self-awareness?
- Are you targeting a job or career that maximizes your skills and energy?
- Do you actually have a file to demonstrate your homework?
- How many hours are you investing in your job search each and every day?
- When asked why you were laid off, terminated or furloughed in this pandemic, how will you explain? You must be specific when answering why you no longer have a job. It’s perception: How are you taking command of your future by ramping up your skills and goals into a new career? (Remember: This question is intended to help you think differently about your future, not criticize anyone.)
- How much time have you dedicated to self-analysis with a pen and paper to document your skills and weaknesses related to your job and desire to secure a new career? What have you learned about yourself right now that you can begin to improve or concentrate on? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Have you targeted a new job, new industry, new profession that you believe will be more self-sufficient and profitable? What research are you doing to prove this choice is rationale, logical, viable?
- How is your LinkedIn profile? Does your profile look like, sound like the professional you believe you are? Will your profile hold up to the pressure of job interviews and secure you a great job offer? How many LI groups do you belong to? How many connections do you have in the market segment in which you have the most expertise? Does your profile match your resume with dates of each career transition? If your profile is not current or missing data, lacking evidence of your success, how do you expect others to see you as a successful, in-demand professional? (LinkedIn is your chance to showcase your value and successes to the business world.)
- Compensation goals: Do you know what you are worth in the marketplace right now? $75,000 $150,000 $250,000 or more? What determines your value? How will you demonstrate your value proposition in 15 seconds or less? Do you know what your living expenses are and what you want to earn and invest each year to create your own FID—Financial Independence Day? Are you studying your investment habits to ensure you have good advice to make good investment decisions?
- Do you appear successful? Perception of effort and personal appearance: The research and effort others see you attempting enforces their perception that you are being proactive in your personal and professional development. This perception can be the difference in a great job offer or finishing second. Your appearance—physical appearance around clothes, grooming, written materials and your professional demeanor such as, online appearance (LinkedIn images, resume, social media content do impact perception, believability and trust. Act and dress like the professional you say you are. One chance meeting can create a career lead—especially now with social distancing and isolation.)
- Seeking accurate advice: Who do you turn to when you need impartial, truthful feedback on your skills, decisions and career tracks? Do you even seek out advice? Have you considered investing in professional coaching to realize your true potential? Do you have mentors/role models that ask you tough questions, deep questions that make you sweat– scare the hell out of you–because the question is dead-on to where the holes are?
If these questions and options resonate, make you defensive, scare you—even intimidate you—then you already know what you need to start now to improve your options and securing a great job offer.
To secure a great job or change careers requires specific actions to prove you are doing the heavy lifting to ensure your success. Be prepared every day for a conversation.
When a potential hiring manager, mentor or colleague that could refer you a job lead reads your resume, checks out your LinkedIn profile, looks you in the eye, asks you what your game plan is, what will they be thinking?
What if she or he asks you what specific action steps you have engaged in to improve your life situation while confined in-part to your home in this pandemic, what will you say?
Masks help protect you against deadly viruses. Masks won’t protect hiring managers from excuses of why you’ve not been more strategic and proactive in your personal and professional development knowing change was coming.
The harsh reality of this crisis is that it reveals vulnerable weaknesses in us as humans and in our decision-making.