While time can feel like it has slowed down as we wait to make plans, travel, and even meet up with friends, you can still make progress with your job search. Here are 5 things you can do now that can make a difference and help you move forward in your efforts.
Talk with a career professional! Talk out what is on your mind, get some help generating ideas, strategize your approach, and get directions to resources that can help you. You can book an appointment with a Career Educator via Zoom, phone, or through email. During this time devoted to you and your job search, you’ll have a partner who can field your questions, make suggestions for where to search, help you create competitive application materials, and support you in creating a plan for your next steps.
Reevaluate your skillset. Perhaps you’ve had to put your first-choice career on hold. Research what other areas you might go into based on your skills. Do you have strong communication skills? Are you highly organized? Are you a good writer? Analyzer? Data tracker? What technical skills do you have? Are you an excel wizard? Can you write code? Widen your search by considering where and how you might apply your skills in a job, including those skills you haven’t previously considered. So how do you do this exactly?
- Reset your career interests in Handshake within the profile section. Select additional industries and job functions that interest you to bring new results to your search.
- Another approach is to take a career assessment that can help you brainstorm new paths and possibilities, like Career Explorer. This free online assessment will help you identify interests and approaches to work, and then provide potential careers, jobs, and industries. You may see roles you already knew you were interested in, but you will uncover other areas to explore.
Each career match has an overview, industry information, details on how to get started, and links to jobs, resources, and related careers. Remember that in these alternative opportunities, you will still gain experience, expand your skillset, and build your network – all of which can propel you forward – whether that be toward your original plan or to any new plan you uncover along the way.
Become familiar with who is hiring. A serious job search is almost a full-time job. Being aware of industries that are hiring is just one part of it. A simple google search will lead you to articles that feature industries that are hiring, employers that have seen a surge in business, and new positions. Here’s an article from The Muse to get you started.
Get LinkedIn Recommendations. Reach out to some of your contacts on LinkedIn to ask them to write you a recommendation. 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to evaluate candidates and recommendations help differentiate you from others. So it can make a difference!
Be sure to pick the right people. Similar to asking someone to write you a letter of recommendation or be a reference, select people based on how they know you, and how much they can say about you (and your work ethic, knowledge, skills, leadership, commitment, great personality). Pick a connection on LinkedIn who can speak easily to these things – they’ll probably be honored to provide you with a recommendation that will help build your personal brand. Within your profile, select Ask for a recommendation and follow the prompts. Be sure to personalize your message - we made it easy for you by including an example!
Hello [Name of individual],
I am currently in a job search and looking for roles in [fill in general job / industries]. I would be honored if you could write me a recommendation on LinkedIn. Having you as a [supervisor / professor / peer] within [the job / class / program] has helped me in so many ways and I want to thank you for your guidance and recommendation. If you can take the time to do this, I would appreciate it if you could focus on the experiences you have had with me which highlight my [dedication / kindness / proactiveness / leadership] in working with you. If you need more information from me, or it would be helpful to have my resume, please let me know. Thank you so much!
University of Arizona College of Medicine | Physiology Major '21
SECD’s Peer Educator, Ada Calvin drafted this example above. Want to meet with a Peer Educator for job search advice or help with writing your resume? Make an appointment or visit them virtually in LifeLab.
Advance your resume. Yes, we know you’ve probably heard that before. But we’re not talking about checking a third time for spelling errors (although that can’t hurt). We’re talking about adding important details that can make your resume more advanced, so you stand out as a professional. Add a headline to draw attention to a title you have held, or call out key achievements within each experience, or create a captivating summary statement that entices someone to read further.