5 Easy Ways to Jump Start Your Job Search in 5 days
Know deep down that you need to get out of your job and into a new one but can't quite muster the energy to get started? Follow these 5 easy ways to jump start your job search in only 5 days.
Sometimes taking small steps that allow you to check off items on your mental to do list creates momentum that makes a much larger process seem manageable. When you're combating burn out or are just plain over your job, the job search process can seem daunting.
You start a new resume, but then get stuck. You look for jobs to apply to but then don't have a resume with which to apply. You are counting the minutes until the work emails start to quiet so you can focus but then don't have any energy to tackle updating what feels like a sub par LinkedIn profile. Sound familiar?
“Start with the low-hanging fruit. Any accomplishment gives you a taste of accomplishment that fosters wanting more.” - Me
Don't sweat it! Start with these 5 easy steps to jump start your job search with some quick wins and then you'll be ready to get into the heavy lifting.
Day 1: Get Organized
Before you can dive into exploring specific job openings, make sure you're organized to track all the information you gather and use throughout your job search. My clients typically rely on a spreadsheet or my custom Tracker, but you can also use Trello or another project management tool or a good old fashioned notebook and pen.
It's not about forcing yourself to become a spreadsheet person. It's about creating a system that works from you...that's not based around keeping all the information in your head.
A part of getting organized is also getting clear on your job search priorities and goals. Write them where you can see them so you only pursue the "right" roles and don't get side tracked with roles that require you to do tasks that you don't like or don't want to be doing.
If you aren't sure what your priorities and goals (hello burn out!), Day 4's action item will help with that.
Time Commitment: 10 minutes.
Day 2: Dust Off Your LinkedIn Profile
There are at least two phases for your LinkedIn profile. The first phase, what we are addressing here, is creating a polished landing page for your existing network.
It doesn't have to scream that you are a fit for the job you want because you are only just starting to gear up and are working towards committing to what that job looks like. It's purely an intermediate version of your profile.
For the initial update of your LinkedIn profile, you'll want to make sure you have:
a cover photo,
a professional and current profile photo,
a headline that speaks to more about you than your current title,
your current role,
consistent formatting throughout,
an updated Skills list, and
at least 1 Recommendation within the last 12 months.
Bringing this information up to date and competing these sections is enough to put your best foot forward with your network.
Time Commitment: 45 minutes max. Don't overthink it!
Day 3: Update Your Email Signature
Often overlooked yet such a simple way to present yourself as a polished professional - the email signature.
Now that your LinkedIn profile is current, you should update your email signature to include your name, email address, cell phone number, and LinkedIn URL. While you're in the settings, make sure you have a professional photo of yourself for your email address icon.
This makes it easy for people to visually remember you as well as drive them to your LinkedIn profile, where you can continue to build your network while building your brand.
Time Commitment: 5 minutes.
Day 4: Reconnect with Your Network
With your email signature in place and your LinkedIn profile cleaned up, you're ready to reconnect with your network. The goal is to simply let trusted contacts in your network know that you are starting to think about what's next for you.
You have no ask. I repeat - you are not asking anything of your contact. You are simply reconnecting, asking questions about what your contacts have been working on, and reigniting that relationship.
In marketing, this is called "building that like, know, and trust factor." You are aiming to remind your contacts that they liked working with you and to keep you top of mind.
This way, when you do come back with a specific ask, it's not out of the blue.
Now, if you have no idea what's next for you, these conversations can be helpful without your contact having to go out of their way. You can ask them what they might see for you in the future or what they liked working with you most on. This can jog you reconnecting with what you're good at and what that translates into in a future role (your priorities and goals mentioned in Day 1).
Whether your network is giving you clarity or updates about their own career, I recommend capturing contact names, touchpoint dates, and takeaways in your tracker for easy reference throughout your job search (Day 1 comes back into play!). It will help you know when it's time to reach back out and when you can leverage a relationship for a specific ask.
Note: Do not feel guilty that you're priming your network for an ask. Instead, remember this process and encourage yourself to keep in touch with your network over the years. That way, when you have your next ask, you will be comfortable.
Time Commitment: 2 hours.
Day 5: Set Your Targets
You've poked around on LinkedIn. You've gathered information from those who know you. Now it's time to draft your job search timeline and goals and align your priorities with where you want to go and how you want to get there.
Put pen to paper and build a reasonable job search plan. Perhaps you need to do more research before committing to pursuing a particular job title or career path. Or you're ready to dive in and tackle your resume. Whatever it might be, treat it like a job and set reasonable hours for yourself. Put time blocks on the calendar to commit to your job search and make sure each action is in furtherance of your objectives.
What's more powerful than committing to action on a calendar?
Time Commitment: 15 minutes.
At the end of Day 5, you're ready. You can do this! Take the leap and start your job search!
✨ Still feeling stuck? Email email@example.com for more motivation and details around the Jump Start Your Job Search package.