Looking for a job? Whether you want to progress your career further or got hit with downsizing, it’s time to update your job search strategy. Strategies in job searching change along with everything else.

Preparation

First, prepare yourself for your job search. Put together the essentials, which are still the basics of any job search.

Start with your resume. Quantify your accomplishments. Were you responsible for driving sales contacts up 8 percent one quarter? Make sure the employer will see that.

Write a basic cover letter that can be customized for individual jobs. (Never send the same one-size-fits-all cover letter out; you need to tell them why you’re great for this job.)

Research job search websites. There’s no one-size-fits-all here either. You need to pick the sites most useful for you and if relevant, those focused on your field. Create a list of those most relevant to you and your experience.

To supercharge your job search, it’s not enough to have a resume and cover letter anymore. Hiring managers and human resources departments need to see how you shine.

The Skinny Portfolio

Folks in creative industries often put together a portfolio of their work. The purpose? So everything they’ve done is in one place for an employer to see and lets their work speak for itself. Putting a portfolio together is a great way to display hard evidence and make a case for why you should be hired.

Job hunters today can copy this clever tactic. Put together a skinny “portfolio” to take with you. Received a thank you note for a job well done? Put that in your portfolio.  Include copies of any awards you have won. Get recommendation letters from past supervisors, especially those for whom you did work related to the job you’re searching for. Don’t make busy human resource people or hiring managers call your references. Have your information in one place.

Another key ingredient is to include any outstanding past performance appraisals you have received. Remember, past performance is an indicator of future performance, and you want to provide evidence of your excellent past performance.

Make it easy to find the relevant material. Go the extra mile and use a highlighter on key positive phrases or sentences your previous supervisor used to describe you. You want interviewers to easily find the portions of the appraisal that demonstrate the quality you bring to the table.

Organization

After you’ve prepared a resume, the cover letter, and the skinny portfolio, it’s time to get organized!

Put together a tracking system. Excel spreadsheets work fine. Log who you’ve contacted and the date, along with pertinent details, such as salary.

Set goals for how many companies or recruiters you’ll contact in a day. Remember, you need a tailored cover letter for each job. You may need to tweak each resume as well. Give yourself enough time to do the same great job on the preparation that you’ll do on the job.

A Staffing Agency Can Help!

If you’re looking for a job, we can help. At Graham Staffing Services, we offer both temporary and permanent placements. Contact us and check out job postings today.