It’s easy to forget how to look for a new job when you already have one. Here are a few strategies for staying sharp when trying to change careers.
1. Show Your Stuff
Maybe you’re looking to branch out into another field. Your unique qualifications make you a strong candidate, and you know you can do this kind of work. The hiring manager doesn’t. And maybe, given your current position, you don’t look as strong as other candidates might on paper. Here’s where you beef up the relevant experience section of your resume and tailor a brand-new cover letter to the new position you are seeking, playing up all the reasons you may be a slightly unorthodox choice, but the best one for the job.
2. Get Off The Page
The best way to get your resume in front of people is to get yourself in front of people. Most positions are filled on recommendation. So start utilizing your network to get you in the door. Hit up your LinkedIn and Meetup contacts and start making the connections you’ll need to get hired in your new field.
3. Be Specific
Your friends and colleagues will obviously want to help. Rather than tell everyone you’re looking for a new job, why not tell them precisely what kind of position you are after, or what kind of company? Give a detailed description of what you’re looking for. You’ll get better help and will be more respectful of your connections’ time.
4. Don’t Be Desperate
Omit the words “I’ll take anything!” from your vocabulary. If you don’t have a very specific position in mind, do a bit of work to ballpark your dream next move. You’ll have a lot more luck getting help from friends, and you’ll be much more successful when up against the hiring manager—who, after all, wants you to be genuinely enthusiastic.
5. Chin Up
Keep your spirits and your confidence up. And when in doubt—fake it until you make it. A positive attitude is the necessary flourish to a successful job search strategy; it will keep you sane, ambitious, and attractive to potential employers.