Top 10 Ways to Kickstart Your Job Search

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Even if you’re not job searching today, it makes sense to be prepared to job hunt.  You may decide it’s time to say goodbye to your current job. Your employer may decide you’re no longer needed. You never know for certain what might transpire at work. You might see a job posted at your dream company, and want to get your application in as soon as you can.

On average, people change jobs eleven times during their career, so it’s going to happen at some point.

It’s better to be prepared than to have to job hunt in panic mode. It's not fun to scramble to pull together a resume at the last minute, so you don't miss out on a good opportunity.

Here are ten things you can do to help ensure you’re ready to get hired.

Top 10 Ways to Kickstart Your Job Search

1. Make sure your resume is current so there will be no delay if you move into job search mode.  Redo your resume if the focus is on responsibilities rather than accomplishments and value added. Employers are now focusing on candidates who can generate the best results. Review resume samples and advice on updating your resume. For a quick fix, here's how to build a resume in seven simple steps.

2. Maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn profile which incorporates your latest accomplishments. Make your profile even better by including a professional headshot and examples of your accomplishments.

3. Make sure you have references ready to go should you need them.

 A good tactic is to bolster your LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements.  Write recommendations for other LinkedIn contacts and endorse their skills.  Some of these individuals will reciprocate or, at the least, you will feel more comfortable asking them for a recommendation.

4. Build your portfolio. It used to be portfolios were only for creative types.

 Employers are now eager to see work samples from professionals across the board.  Put non-proprietary materials such as spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, press releases, and other written materials aside.  When appropriate load them into your LinkedIn profile. Here's information on portfolios for job searching.

5. Have a professional development plan in place. Identify skills, areas of knowledge or proficiency with technology which will give you an edge in the job market.  Make sure you can always tell a prospective employer about assets which you are currently developing. 

6. Step up your activity with your professional association.  Helping to plan a meeting or conference, working on a committee or giving a presentation are great ways to show other professionals what you can do and make contacts in a natural way.

7. Offer to help out others in your network who are in transition.  What goes around comes around and you never know when you will need help. The more people you help, the more people you will have who are willing to help you when it's your turn to job search. Here's how to help a friend job search.

8. Step up mentoring activity.  Find a mentor who can help you to grow or if you already have one make sure you take the time to meet periodically to get their input.

 Mentor junior colleagues.  It will reflect positively on you and you never know when they will be in a position to give back.

9. Make sure your superiors are aware of your accomplishments. This is particularly true if you have a hands-off boss.  Provide regular progress reports on your projects so they are aware of the value you are adding.

10. Do the little extra things that your supervisor likes to stay in their good graces.  Offer to help out beyond your job description during crunch times.  Come in early or stay late when you know it counts.Being an exemplary employee will help you get a positive reference when you need one.

Taking some time to work on your job search each week, even if it's only a little time each week, will help you become more marketable when it's time to move on to the next step of your career.

Read More: Six Super Simple Ways to Boost Your Job Search Productivity