5 Techniques to Jump Start Your Job Search

Use these 5 tasks to set yourself up for success in your job search or position yourself for your next career move.

Unemployment, yeah. For a lot of people it’s not just an abstract concept that some other people have to think about. It’s your real lived daily life now that you have been laid off or downsized from your position. And if you are fortune to maintain a position (outside essential needs), you recognize that your employer is likely facing a high-level of uncertainty at the moment.

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In either instance, you may be kickstarting a job search or contemplating a passive career move. And under the best economic and job market conditions, searching for a new job can be challenging and overwhelming. But today, you are in the most competitive job market you will likely experience in your lifetime. How do compete, stand out and win?

There are plenty of tried-and-true job search techniques you are probably already familiar with? Submit resumes through job boards, attend career fairs, send post-interview thank you emails. But there are plenty of techniques expert job seekers utilize that help them move into new positions and advanced roles fluidly and with ease.

Here are 5 techniques that you’re probably not doing that can jump start your job search today.

1. Do a skill self-assessment. Although often conflated with technology competency self-assessment, a skill assessment attempts to take inventory of the hard and soft, tech and non-tech skills you bring to the table derived from your experience, expertise, training, and knowledge.

Examples include: CRM network administration; strategic problem-solver; resourceful; ability to work with limited direction; small group facilitation. Consider identifying skills that are transferable and have cross-functional application while also demonstrating what kind of employee or business partner you might make.

Examples of skills that are NOT actually skills: Salesforce; Python; Network Administration; Photoshop; PR Web. So, why are these not actually skills you ask? Let’s answer that next with:

2. Do a technology competency self-assessment. So, a technology competency self assessment provides not only a list of the technologies, softwares and digital tools, relevant to your field which you have some level of competency using productively. So, Salesforce, Python; Network Administration belong in a tech competency section on your resume where you can also indicate your competency level, or years used level.

A technology competency self-assessment is also a time for you to indicate tech tools and platforms you have familiarity with that may or may not be industry specific, but may be related to internal operations or productivity. Again, you can provide a lot of additional context about your capabilities while minimizing how much content you add. to your resume.

3. Find 3 examples of your ideal role or opportunity. If you are looking to level up your career or make a strong pivot, you may be struggling to find a good place to start. Consider combing through job board search, LinkedIn and company employment portals, and other sources to find a few ideal positions you can see yourself doing well in. Don’t worry so much about the stated experience or education needs so much as the projects, tasks, teams and initiatives you would have the opportunity to be part of.

Once you have located your ideal role or opportunity, map out your transferrable skills, tech competencies, volunteer or professional experiences which prepare you to take on the role. Use that information to create customized resumes.

4. Create industry-, role- and/or position-specific resumes. Customized industry or role-specific resumes are a great way to stay nimble and agile during your job search. This is especially true for those looking to make a career pivot or returning to the job market after an absence.

You may have acquired a good number of skills and competencies that are transferrable, so help hiring managers see that with resumes that are relevant and engaging, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Also, having these resumes created and ready to go allows you to act quickly, when unexpected opportunities find you.

5. Formulate and launch your professional brand. I’m pretty convinced that this will be the era that personal branding becomes a part of everyone’s vocabulary. So, now is the time to figure out what you want to be known for, what you want to achieve, and what tools will help you get there. Building and maintaining a strong personal brand is one of the best ways to set yourself up for new opportunities to come to you.

These are just a few things to help you jump start your job search. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Let us know what strategies you have used that have been successful.

Dr. Erika Pryor is the Founder and CMO of EPiC Career Network, an online career advancement community empowering professionals to unlock pathways to do their most authentic work.



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Erika Pryor

Erika Pryor


Founder, CMO @ EPiC Creative + Design, Culturally-informed Storyteller, Startup Evangelist, Community Builder. Dr. Mom.