There are best practices that come up over and over when you are preparing for or making a career change. One of the first things is assessing your strengths, transferable skills, traits, accomplishments and ideal work preferences. The results can provide language you can use to market and brand yourself. This includes the resume career summary and accomplishments, LinkedIn® profile, cover letters, business cards, positioning statement and marketing plan, if you choose to create one.
Career transition and job seeking is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to extend yourself in the marketplace no matter what your state of mind. Assessment results can also provide a needed confidence boost, reminding you of your strengths and positive attributes when you need it the most.
The second best practice is a good editor. As you create your branding documents, it is a must to have a second pair of eyes review materials. I review resumes daily and one of the biggest mistakes I see is inconsistent dashes in resume dates. It may seem like a minor thing, but resume reviewers look for both content and format in these documents and they need to be letter perfect to pass the screening process.
The next best practice pertains to the interview. When you begin to receive calls from employers for telephone, face to face, and video interviews, you need to have your questions prepared. A question I always recommend you ask is some version of what is your process going forward. This is an extremely important question to ask because it reveals when you should follow up. Following up is crucial to getting hired. I generally recommend follow up a few days after the employer said they would make a decision. There is a fine line between being a pest and showing interest.
The final best practice relates to your internal and external process, especially the internal process of keeping your spirits uplifted while waiting on a job offer. Don’t stop your job seeking efforts, networking, research, interviewing and job lead development, until you have accepted an offer and have a start date firmly in place. This prevents the “eggs all in one basket” problem that can stall a job search.
There are, of course, other best practices but these are some key recommendations for the beginning and middle of your career transition process.
Aly is a creative organizational and career consultant with over fifteen years of experience in Training Management, Executive Coaching and Instructional Design. She has a background in Human Resources and Marketing and has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, high technology, manufacturing and non-profit.